I wrote an article four months ago called I Don't Owe You A Coming Out Statement. The article was shared and viewed hundreds upon hundreds of times. While a vast a majority of the responses were positive and expressed happiness and gratitude, like everything, people had negative comments.
One comment that struck me harder than most said "I'm so tired of this bullsh*t. Ok, so you're different, so what?" The comment was accompanied with a few likes and loves. To the person who wrote this, who I will keep nameless, this one is for you:
I agree with you. I agree that it shouldn't matter if anyone is LGBTQIA+. I agree that people should say "so what" when it comes to sexual and gender identities. The problem is, your comment was not intended to be inclusive or some bold statement -- it was condescending. It construed that LGBTQIA+ people are entitled and should not express their sentiments of our experiences online.
But, who exactly made us special? Who/what drove us to nag excessively online?
You see, the issue is that the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals are politicized every single day. Our simple existence is always politicized. From the plight of controversially getting the right to marry, to people breaking the law to deny us our right and companies raising $50,000 when they state they would deny LGBTQIA+ individuals service.
Fast forward to today, where controversies linger as Trump joked that Pence wanted to hang the gays. Trump's cabinet has always been murky for their support on gay rights, but this statement is the crassest yet. It's safe to assume that Pence never actually said those words, but Trump's casual joking about it illustrates his and Pence's lack of sympathy about those in the community.
Trump even recently spoke to a classified hate-group who is notoriously homophobic. They've even gone on to say "Homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed."
Unfortunately, the political sphere is not the only place where LGBTQIA+ individuals struggle. Hate crimes are common and New York Times went on to claim that LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to be a victim of a hate crime than any other minority group. Let us not forget the Orlando shooting.
Being openly and proudly LGBTQIA+ is inherently a bold and brave act. Coming out can be met with violence, being kicked out of your family and lead to homelessness. While it'd be arrogant to not recognize the massive cultural change that has led to widespread acceptance of the community, it would also be arrogant to not recognize that the minority of hateful, bigoted people still yield great danger.
It's this small group of people that make the LGBTQIA+ community so special. It makes each victory such a sweet victory.
Being LGBTQIA+ should not be an issue. It shouldn't be a politicized issue. Celebrities and people shouldn't have to 'come out', they should just be who they are without the statements. But, until society destigmatizes the community, we are going to be a big deal.
The LGBTQIA+ community will push back against the hateful administration and persist on spreading awareness, happiness and most importantly, equality. Until the hateful, bigoted people stop being so fearful of us and learn to not make us so special in politics, we will continue with the bullshit and remind everyone just how special we are.