Recent LGBTQIA+ progress is good, but still not enough


Graphic by Sophie Magerl

Newt Zoido Tortella

I know what it is like to be persecuted. I know what it is like to not be accepted by your family. I know what it is like to be scared of being attacked because of who you are. I’ve experienced all of these things because I am part of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community. I think people should be more informed about the LGBTQIA+ community because it would help them better understand our hardships that we endure daily, simply for existing. 

Granted, there have been a lot of wins for the LGBTQIA+ community recently. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed it unconstitutional to fire employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In Ireland, same-sex couples can now marry in churches. Bisexual WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) superstar Tegan Nox is already changing and saving fans’ lives just by being out and proud. Bisexual boxer Nicola Adams is making history as part of Strictly Come Dancing’s first-ever same-sex pairing. 

While there has been a lot of awesome news about the LGBTQIA+ community, it still seems that there are more transphobic or homophobic people in the world than ever. Even though the world is moving forward, some people are still stuck in the past. When Jacob Blake was shot, his trans cousin received transphobic death threats for speaking out about the shooting. During the Manchester Pride Parade, some drunk teens attacked a trans woman and her friend because she didn’t give them a hug. 

One of the worst things that has happened is that some straight people decided to have a pride parade for themselves because they felt like they deserved one. In my opinion, they do not because they have never been told that their sexaulity is a sin and that they are going to hell and they haven’t been oppressed or killed because of their gender identity and/or sexaulity. Another horrible thing that has happened is that black trans women keep getting attacked and no one is doing anything to stop it. You would think that the world would have stopped being so bigoted, but it hasn’t. And that is upsetting. I wonder if the world will keep getting even more bigoted as time goes on or if they will finally stop. I mean come on, why can’t people just stop being transphobic and homophobic and co-exist with us? We just want to live in a world where we aren’t persecuted because of our sexual orientation or our gender identity.

Persecution affects the lives of LGBTQIA+ people because they are scared to tell people their sexual identity or gender identity in case their reaction is bad because they think that it goes against their religious beliefs. We don’t tell people that we are part of the LGBTQIA+ community until we trust them enough. If we do tell someone that we are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and they react badly, we are most likely going to take it personally and have a harder time trusting people. Every moment is a moment where we are scared that we are going to be outed without our consent and everyone is either gonna support us or gonna turn their back on us. 

I hope that in the future, everyone can co-exist peacefully and also that the LGBTQIA+ community will get more rights all over the world. I hope that we will stop getting hate, death threats, and mean messages. Here are some tips and tricks on how to be a better ally: ask for their pronouns, and ask for the name that they would like to go by. Also, make sure you know their family situation so you don’t accidentally out them to their parents by calling them their preferred name in front of them. On that note please be more informed so that you can become a better ally and please don’t be mean to LGBTQIA+ people. We are human just like you.