It's too easy for me. Sometimes I feel guilty. Not everyone is as fortunate as I am.
I am bisexual, but this is not a coming out story. The stereotypical "finding oneself" journey does not apply to me in regards to this aspect of my life. Liberal parents, understanding friends, and an arts school in which anything goes have created a safe environment that sets no limitations. Targeted exclusion has yet to be a personal problem, though I do not expect eternal acceptance.
Nightmarish stories of attacks against the LGBTQ (and everyone else) community are haunting me and others who empathize with this issue, but I am here to relate incidences of progress.
Andrew Garfield, the British heart throb known for his leading role in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, is a gay rights activist who continuously speaks out for equality. Arcade Fire released the official music video for the single "We Exist" in May, which featured the actor as a transgender woman. Entertainment Weekly quoted the influential star, making a suggestion in July of 2013:
"Why can't we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It's hardly even groundbreaking!...So why can't he be gay? Why can't he be into boys?"
Garfield's stance proves that positive advancements are not one-sided. We need other powerful figures of all backgrounds to speak out for our rights. If nobody has a conversation about the problems a group faces, steps to make changes will never be taken.
The voice of one celebrity does not compare with the shouts of thousands of participants at the NYC Pride Parade. The annual march to Stonewall commemorates the riots of 1969, in which gay activists violently demonstrated against the persecution of gays in the United States, and specifically in Lower Manhattan. Each year, the celebration is even more extravagant and welcoming to everyone (with the exception of homophobic tourists who blindly took a trip downtown). Mayoral candidates marched in 2013 to show their support, while the cast of Orange is the New Black waved from its own float in 2014. No matter what the members represented, everyone shared one goal: to make being gay not only tolerable but joyous. Yes, being universally understood would be of great benefit, but it is also important for the actual LGBTQ community to have the opportunity to be successful and expressive.
Even if you are straight and do not have a gay friend in your life (you are missing out on so much!), you can probably relate in some way to the alienation that my people are confronted with. Similarly, you can fathom the relief of rapid improvements to our long-lasting struggles. I am not usually the philosopher to see the cup half full, but I am always the opportunist to drink what is given. Fueled by recent breakthroughs, my generation and the fresh perspectives to come will continue this revolution.