Standing Together for Equality

Our generation must take the lead in creating a more open-minded society.


Flickr Commons

The LGBT community has been gaining momentum lately as the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal under the Constitution. Recently, transgender celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox are getting more attention in the media.

There are many hardships that the community has to overcome. It was not that long ago when a transgender or gay individual would be branded as an outcast.

We as a society have come so far from then. However, there are many ongoing issues that the LGBT community faces, especially the transgender community, as the idea of gender identity and how we perceive ourselves is a difficult issue to discuss.

“I feel that it’s like one side or another. You’re either treated well or like something else. And there are some instances that we’re treated too well,” sophomore Maya Kirtpatrick said. “We’re almost being praised for coming out, thinking that we need to be treated better.”

With more representation and understanding of transgender people in America, we should not only support their decisions, but help them fit within society. Transgenders are already criticized and judged by the public too much. Many of them have gone through pain and suffering, trying to keep their lifestyles to themselves.

“I feel that I’m being treated equally among my peers,” sophomore Sofia Ott said. “I really don’t broadcast LGBT that much, but when I do, I feel that my peers are fine with it.”

Correct pronoun usage for transgenders is a widely debated issue.

“There are many times when people called me ‘she,’ and there will be days where I want to be called ‘he,’” Kirtpatrick said. “I don’t mind being called ‘he’ or ‘she.’ But most of the times they would call me ‘she.’”

We should not base our views on the LGBT community on past ideals. Rather, we should see the LGBT community in a modern view. They are people, just like us. They have similar issues and problems as those who identify as straight, but also a different perspective.

“I know that the [Gay-Straight Alliance] club is very supportive of others, and you can go there for help,” sophomore Sahana Ramachandra said.

It is difficult for those who are coming out, but society is now more open-minded than ever. Tolerance is expanding as people are becoming more willing to accept change.

“People should come out openly without any pressure,” Ramachandra said. “They shouldn’t feel oppressed saying what their gender or sexuality is.”

Our generation needs to take the lead in creating a more tolerant society. We have experienced so much change. However, the movement is far from over; we have to change now because if we don’t, then who will? We need to be more accepting and considerate of others. We need to stop being so judgemental. We need to stop thinking of people as stereotypes only with first impressions.

Our generation can sometimes be too sensitive about a particular topic and overreact. However, this generation is the one that shouldn’t be afraid or shun individuals who are transgender. We should stand up together and fight through adversity.

“I feel like we are progressing into acceptance,” Ramachandra said.