Will People Accept Me As a LGBTQ+ person?


Will People Accept Me As a LGBTQ+ person?

Some people will accept you and some won’t.

Prejudice and discrimination are everywhere in North America, and around the world. There’s prejudice against African Americans, against Latino/as, against Arabs, against Asians, against women, against poor people, against older people and youth, against any group you can name. It takes time to overcome prejudice and change attitudes.

If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans you’re going to run into prejudice. Our society has a “heterosexual assumption.” We’re taught — by our families, our schools, our religions and the media — to assume that everyone is straight, and we’re often influenced to discriminate against those who aren’t. That “assumption” has begun to change only recently.

The prejudice you run into could be fairly mild, like people assuming you’re straight when you’re not, and embarrassing you (and themselves!) with their mistake. But it could be much worse. LGBTQ+ people are at risk to be beaten up, kicked out of their homes, and fired from their jobs —just for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans. And, the discrimination that LGBTQ+ people face can be compounded if they belong to other oppressed communities as well. People often fear what they don’t understand, and hate what they fear. That’s the basis of prejudice and, when it’s aimed at LGBTQ+ people on the basis of their sexual orientation, it’s called “homophobia” or ”biphobia”.

Homophobia (and biphobia) are being challenged, however, as more and more people are learning that being LGBTQ+ is as ok as being straight. Attitudes are starting to change partly because LGBTQ+ people are beginning to stand up and say, “I’m gay/bi/trans and I’m proud.” Attitudes are changing also because other people are standing up with LGBTQ+ people to say, “They are my friends, or my children, or my brothers — and I’m proud of them.”

 

Adapted from “Be Yourself: Q&A for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered Youth” written by PFLAG

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