The LGBT world is wrought with experiences that most straight people do not have to deal with. I'm not talking about bigotry, or beatings, because straight people deal with that too. I'm talking about the social stigma of just making your attraction known to someone else of the same gender. Straight people can do it, but it can be seen as wrong for gay people make their attractions known, and God forbid that a gay person makes their romantic intentions known. There's also the disappointment from family members, as if somehow your hormones tingling at the same gender does them some sort of injustice. There are just certain things that gay people understand about each other that straight people don't. That same statement can be applied to LGBT, or each letter. For that matter, it can also be applied to cowboys, D&D players, or even straight people where others just can't understand.
It is for this very reason that gay people tend to flock together. This is good, and healthy. I love it. Gay people simply understand each other's gay issues better than straight people. It's undisputed. It's even heartbreaking when gay people do not seek out other gay people for comradery, such as gay Mormons, or Ex-Gay Christians. I can only imagine the pain and suffering they go through. It's even more sad, when they are homophobic. But I digress on that topic.
I think the fallacy here is when being gay turns into an identity. It's a sexuality. Not that that's wrong by any stretch when someone who chooses to identify themselves by their sexuality. And participating in a group dynamic is how society works. Gay people stick together. The term LGBT came about, and the rainbow initiative has been a wonderful success for equality. The fight is far from over, but man is it beautiful to see.
So much success has been the gay pride initiative that many straight people have joined the fight. This is great, grand and wonderful. Straight people are taking a stand because they believe that equality is worth fighting for. Human rights are worth fighting for. Their compassion, sympathy, and empathy are joining the equality battlefield. Parents are being encouraged to love their children for who they are. Siblings are starting to not think less of their gay brothers and sisters. Equality is coming about in greater numbers than old conservative homophobic endeavors. People who believe in equal rights are starting to outnumber those who believe in "Traditional Marriage."
These straight people who fight alongside gay people are known as straight allies. They are respected within the gay community, and are encouraged to keep fighting. But the segregation is still there. They are not LGBT, so how could they know? There is still that line between LGBT, and Straight people. The sad part is, I've seen a great many straight allies jump head first into the frey, and then get burned out by getting no support from the LGBT community. They get thanked, and offered some kind words, but then ignored again.
After all, 'why participate in an initiative organized by a straight person? It's an LGBT issue, so straight people should be supporting the LGBT initiatives...'
That's a feigned attitude that I see quite a bit, but no. Nobody I know has actually said that out loud. My point is that straight people can give to the rainbow fight something fierce. They do. But it's as if, they will never be full fledged members of the LGBT community simply because their sexuality isn't wired the same as an LGBT individual's.
So I ask again. I'm attracted to redheads. Is that all I am, a ginger lover? Is my taste in music, work, value, hobbies, or anything else not part of who I am? Is my sexuality all that matters?
I'll ask again for you. Is your sexuality all that you are? Is your humor, work, politics, hobbies, beliefs, or anything else not a factor?
Of course not. Sexuality is part of our core, and essential to who we are as people, but it's a far cry from an identity. It's just one factor among thousands, and kinda sad on how focused many people are on it.
As many of you have guessed thus far, I am a straight ally. As such, I can also confirm that I have been the victim of homophobia on many occasions. I was bullied in school for being gay. I've lost couple of jobs for being gay/supportive of equality. I've lost friends. Coming from a conservative family, some have distanced themselves from me. Many extended family members have completely written me off, but I never really knew them. I've been a social pariah merely for waving that rainbow flag.
In contrast, I have also been able to meet a great many wonderful people, sexuality notwithstanding due to my efforts in the rainbow initiative. Some gay, some straight, some transgender, and more. The above paragraph pales in comparison to what I've seen, who I've met, and things I've experienced. Also because I've waved that rainbow flag. No regrets.
We're all human beings, and eventually, we will need to merge LGBT people and straight people into the same society.
I'm not talking about eliminating LGBT attributes like gay bars, gay pride parades, Pink News, or other things like that. Those are still healthy, and as long as there are gay people, there will be a need for gay social strengthening.
However, I am proposing the merging of the two groups for the sake of equality. A gay guy and a straight guy can still talk about Dr. Who together, and sexuality isn't even a factor. YET, if sexuality continues to be the defining factor, that conversation may never take place. Or are straight people only allowed to talk about Dr. Who with other straight people? For that matter, are gay people only allowed to talk to gay people about Dr Who?
Being raised Mormon, I was a bit of a homophobe growing up. My parents were strong advocates against homosexuality in any form. I learned, I grew, I adapted, and came to the conclusion that the suppression of any group of people is wrong. I threw away my pink triangles, and have worked to ask others to throw theirs away as well. It's all about acceptance, not tolerance. I don't want anyone to merely be tolerated. I want them to be accepted, and loved.
I believe we're all human.