It Doesn’t Matter To Me Who You Identify As

I’d like to touch on a controversial subject today. I think it’s a great thing that gay marriage is now legal under federal law in the US, but I also think it took far too long for a ruling to say so. I think it’s also incredibly sad that we needed a ruling at the federal government level. I also think it’s equally sad that even though it is now legally acceptable, it will likely take far longer before it becomes fully socially acceptable. For the record, I am fully in support of gay rights, including marriage. If you disagree, 1) get a grip on reality, and 2) leave this blog and never come back until you complete step one. You are not wanted here.

However, I will admit that I did not always have a favorable view. I don’t recall if it was an issue in my middle school years, but I absolutely remember it from my high school years; I was accused daily of – and assumed to be without proof – being gay. I was not and still do not identify as being so. But that didn’t matter to my so-called classmates back then. Not even to the ones I had no idea who they were, yet they somehow knew me, usually as the “gay genius.” As a result, I did – wrongfully so – have an unfavorable opinion towards the gay community during my high school years. That did not change until Freshman year of college when I was finally away from the people I had previously gone to school with, except for one, who I only saw once in my entire five years at Drexel.

It was around that time I became aware some colleagues I worked with remotely identified as gay. I never would’ve guessed, and that remains true to this day. I would’ve also never guessed that another was transgender until they brought the topic up on Facebook. For the record, I fully support the transgender community, and have never held an unfavorable opinion towards them. It was a concept I had been aware of fairly early on, although it was not one I really understood until that first year at Drexel. Did knowing that some of the people I had worked with for three years at the time were gay or transgender change my opinions towards them? No. It caught me by surprise, but it did not change the fact that they were human. Brilliant ones at that.

That being said, it is very likely I may have had classmates or other colleagues who were/are part of the LGBT community. Professors as well. I know for a fact I had one professor who was, and I think it is remarkable they were very open about it. I know from an administrative standpoint Drexel welcomes the LGBT community. I cannot, however, speak for all of the student base, nor staff for that matter. I also know I had a roommate at Drexel that was openly gay, and I was aware both before and at the time I mutually signed an agreement to have them as a roommate. I think that may have made my views towards the community – which were favorable at that time – even more favorable. Is it a community I’ll ever understand in full?

I don’t think so, but it absolutely has my respect and support. There are certainly countries where the situation is worse, but I think this country still has a long way to go. For that, I hold my friends and colleagues in the LGBT community in a higher regard than those that are not. I give them a standing ovation for putting up with years of government and society bullshit – and for continuing to do so. Perhaps in the future if you were to look up the word “Brave” in the dictionary, it would read “See LGBT community”.

So, to me, it doesn’t matter who nor what you identify as. It’s your choice, and yours alone. You are – and will always be – one identity in my book. Human.

Image sourced from Wikipedia.

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