These days it is hard to come across respect when you are different. I look around and see people judging others for being who they are and this fact upsets me greatly.
People go around saying it’s 2015 and asking why we don’t have flying cars or teleportation or whatever else the futuristic movies told us about 2015. But what I expect from 2015 is nothing nearly as outrageous; all I want to know is why we don’t have equality among people, especially in the case of folks with non-normative identities.
Why does it matter who you like or why you like them? People still find it strange and weird to see a girl with another girl or a guy with another guy or even seeing an individual who is transgender. And I have to ask, why does it matter? They are doing them, being themselves and honestly I have so much respect for a person who is open about who they are when we live in a society that is still struggling to accept them fully. That takes guts.
I try to understand what is so hard about accepting a person and I can’t think of anything. I guess it’s because I had the great pleasure of growing up in a household that taught me to accept everyone and be who I am no matter how hard it can be. At the end of the day, I have friends and family who I can fall to who accept every bit of me, so I’ve learned to and like to give that respect back to people.
The truth is that people are afraid of differences and change. People get so set in their ways that once they meet someone different or something starts to change, they become resistant and back away. I wish this wasn’t the case, but unfortunately in this day and age, we still have people unwilling to accept anything short of their preconceived ideal of “normal.”
So here we are: it’s 2015 and people are still trying to stop the growing change, especially when it comes to accepting the LGBTQ community. While differences are more widely accepted in and by our generation than in the past, there are still some people who still don’t acknowledge others who may be different as equal. I will admit, things are getting better and hopefully in the near future the LGBTQ community will find their identities to be considered as normal as any other mainstream identity. But there’s a lot work yet to be done to get there.
I leave you with this: try to be open-minded and embrace the differences you see in people. If someone wants to be called something different then their birth name, respect that. If a person wants you to use different pronouns when referring to them, respect their decision. That person already went through a lot to figure themselves out.
The least that we as a society can do is accept and respect how people feel and their decisions to try to be who they are.