In the past few years, the United States has made lots of progress towards becoming more accepting and open towards the LGBT+ community. This, however, does not compromise the many steps back we’ve taken as a whole nation.

 

According to some, such as an anonymous sophomore at Prairie, they believe that these major setbacks have been due to President, Donald Trump. This anonymous individual states,”Ever since Trump was elected, I think we’ve taken a couple steps back.” But even with these complications, they understand that more people are informed about the importance and presence of the LGBT+ community.

 

And the LGBT+ community most definitely IS important! Our world, though it may not always seem that way, is surrounded by straight privilege. Similar to white privilege, it gives disadvantages to those who are in the LGBT+ community, while benefiting people who aren’t. It isn’t always as obvious as one might think it is.

 

In 2014, an article published by Buzzfeed, shows people in the LGBT+ community sharing “microaggressions” they’ve heard. A microaggression is a “Statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.” This basically means when someone says a slight remark or makes an understated action towards a person or group of people in a minority, this can be known as a microaggression.

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Despite the fact that many of these may seem exaggerated or “not a big deal,” studies have shown that the more people experience microaggressions, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression, psychological distress, and physical health issues.

 

This can have detrimental impacts on not only the person experiencing these microaggressions, or forms of discrimination, but can also affect those around them. Suicide attempts among young people in the LGBT+ community are four times higher than the amount of suicide attempts among youth that aren’t in the LGBT+ community. Friends, family, teachers, neighbors are all affected by a suicide, and especially the ones who may also be a part of the LGBT+ community.

 

Nonetheless, we still have made some progress as previously mentioned. As Marc Childs, homoflexible, trans male expresses,”Gay marriage has been legalized, we have the ability to adopt children, and we can openly show affection… Being in the US is fortunate because other LGBT+ people in some countries are brutally punished, and even murdered for being who they are. I know it isn’t perfect here by any means, but I’d rather be where we are now than some other countries.”

 

Obviously, we have lots of more work and effort to put into growing love and acceptance all over. Many people have ideas and ways they would like to see change and people evolve. Bisexual male sophomore, Dany Trebejo-Ariza, who doesn’t go to Prairie, says he’d appreciate seeing people,”Advocate for themselves in their own communities to end stigma and stereotypes… In the future, I’d just like to walk down the street and no one judges me.” Bisexual junior at Prairie, Joanna Moody shares her hopes to see less “Fetishizing,” She’d also like to see more,”Normalization, and make same-sex attraction less taboo, by including it more into media.” Finally, Marc Childs, Junior at Liberty vocalizes,”I’d like to see way more progress in educational aspects. People our age or even a couple years younger should be able to have sexual education that isn’t just for heterosexual relationships.”

 

For every view this article has until October 30, 2017, I will donate $1 to The Trevor Project.

 

Buzzfeed Microaggression Article

Donate to the Trevor Project

Find Trevor Project Hotline

Iowa City LGBT Meetup

Tips for Coming Out as Gay, Lesbian, or Bi

Youtubers in the LGBT+ community:

Dodie Clark

Shane Dawson

Connor Franta

Jazz Jennings

Gigi Gorgeous

Ben J. Pierce

Alexis G. Zall

Rose and Rosie

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