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Why I "Choose" to be an Ally

Anyone who knows me, knows I am an avid supporter of equal rights for all. I dislike bullying, racism, anti-semitism, homophobia etc. Although I want and will fight for equality for all, there is one specific group that is very dear to my heart and that is the LGBTQ+ Community. This shouldn't be a shock since people I love most in this world are a part of it.

I'm not perfect. I've definitely laughed at or even said something off color in the past. But in my 35 years on this Earth, like many I have grown and now know that some of things that were "okay" back in the day were never really "okay" and shouldn't have been said. Yet, even back when I was younger and being politically incorrect was "tolerated" I was never against anyone because of their gender, sexuality, race or religion. I knew that racism, sexism, and homophobia are disgusting. This was probably due to the fact that I was always taught that you judged someone by their actions and not by the things mentioned above. The unfortunate truth is that some people are good and some people are bad and it doesn't matter if they are gay, straight, non-Christian etc. I was very lucky to be raised in an open-minded tolerant home.

Growing up in a thankfully liberal part of the United States maybe gave me an unrealistic outlook of acceptance. I'm still baffled today by the millions of people just in my country alone that are homophobic and/or transphobic. I just cannot wrap my head around it, like honestly what? How can you not like someone (granted who is a good person) for being who they are born to be?

As a child I learned about homosexuality at a young age. My mom has a cousin who is gay and was out then. Instead of a wife he had a husband (although not legally since this was back in the early 90's). My mom explained it to me really simple basically she said, "some men marry women, some men marry men, some women marry men and some women marry women." It didn't need any other explanation than that. I totally understood and was like okay. To me even as a child it made total sense, you married who you loved. My mom's cousin and husband weren't different than any other couple. They laughed together, they owned a house, had jobs and children just like everyone else. It wasn't a hard concept to understand or accept.

Also while growing up at, still a pretty young age I encountered my first transgender person. At the salon where I used to get my hair cut there was a male hair dresser. As time went on he started wearing more feminine clothing, makeup and accessories, eventually completely transitioning into a woman. I asked my mom about it and again she simply explained that some people are born boys but realize they are girls and some girls are born girls but realize they are boys. She also told me how people can get surgery to help with this and that's probably was SHE did. (I emphasized she because I cannot stand when people refuse to use the proper pronouns when addressing a transgender individual.) Again I was like okay. It was something I just understood. This and homosexuality were just really easy for me to grasp because they weren't explained to me in that tone that denotes people do this, it's really not okay but we just pretend and ignore it. Instead it was explained to me in the same tone that tying my shoes was, this is just how it goes.

One thing that really irks me is when people say being homosexual, bisexual etc. is a choice. It's not, but even if it was so? Why would that be a bad thing? I'm the oldest of three children. Growing up I always suspected my younger brother and sister might be gay. So it wasn't a surprise to me when about ten years ago they both came out. Them coming out didn't change anything, in fact it just made things better because now they both got to be open about their lives. They didn't have to live tiptoeing around around things. My parents and I didn't have to wonder anymore and everything just moved along normally as it should. Since I've known my siblings since they were born, I knew that neither one of them chose to be gay, they were born that way. There was no difference in us because I am straight and they are not. The only difference between us should be obvious; I'm me and they are them. My brother and sister are exactly the same people they were before they came out, they are just my amazing younger brother and younger sister. We still laugh, talk, fight and bond over the same things as before. Nothing has changed except now we may find a grey hair or two from time to time.

The reason I titled this post "Why I 'Choose' to be an Ally" was because it was never a choice. I just know it's right. No individual should be discriminated against because of who they love or for being who they are. I will defend and fight for my siblings and other members of the LGBTQ+ community for as long as there is a need to. Human rights are human rights. There is no such thing as just "straight rights". I am so saddened by the fact that there are people out there who cannot understand this. There are people who deliberately twist religious beliefs to condemn members of this community and defend their choice to be prejudice and/or violent against them. I am disgusted that there are individuals in high office who support these misguided and deplorable behaviors. The fact that there are camps in this country that parents forcibly send LGBTQ+ children to be "fixed" is revolting. Parents who do not accept their child because they are a member of the LGBTQ+ community are loathsome and aren't even worthy of the gum I picked off the bottom of my shoe. No they aren't even worthy of being parents, and it's a shame they were given the gift of a child when others who would love it no matter what do not get the chance to be a parent. Yet, what I find to be one of the most detestable things is the fact that these prisons I mean camps are only banned in 18 of the 50 U.S. states and it is 2019! We need to ban this period! Homosexuals etc. do not need to be converted they are perfect just the way they are.

I think all I really want to say is please be compassionate, understanding, open,

progressive etc. The world needs love not hate. Humanity needs respect for one another. As we move to 2020 we need clarity and acceptance not fuzzy homophobic vision. If you don't understand or aren't clear as to why we equality it still a fight for some, educate yourself. Put your glasses on and get out there, be open to learning and understanding why certain communities are in a constant war to be treated fairly. We are all human and we all deserve to be treated as such. Also members of the LGBTQ+ community remember you always have a friend in me and I love you!

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