L.G.B.T.Q are not just letters. Each significant letter represents the minority of individuals who choose bravely to love who they love every single day. Times have changed and I’m about to tell you the story of how the world is evolving to gladly accept love in all its worth.
Historically, all over the world, there has been actions of torture, harm and even attempts of brainwashing. People go so far as gay conversion therapy inflicted on people who express feelings for the same gender. Whilst there are a multitude of reasons behind these atrocious actions, undoubtedly an underlying cause of unwillingness by individuals to attempt to understand and be empathetic towards the community. Instead people turned to pernicious displays of hate in aim to change the individuals’ sexual or romantic desires rather than having an empathetic understanding primarily. Therefore as a community, we will always unitedly remember every single human that has been wrongfully murdered, killed or have committed suicide just for their sexual orientation.
However, unfortunately even in the 21st century, globally people are still being harmed, arrested and wrongfully imprisoned just for displaying affection, factually 72 countries criminalise same-sex relationships (and in 45 the law is applied to women as well as men). The fact that LGBTQ+ members can still lose their life for loving the same sex is displayed in the shocking truth that the death penalty is either ‘allowed’, or evidence of its existence occurs in 8 countries. You may think that discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community has decreased over the years but in 2016 Stonewall survey showed that a quarter of the world’s population believes that being LGBT should be a crime – I thought we had gotten over it. It is absolutely unfathomable that people are imprisoned for marrying the same gender as them when the love they share between one another, is the same love that any couple shares in the world. People are so oblivious to what’s in front of them – there is still a long way to go until every LGBTQ+ individual receives the same support and treatment as a heterosexual/ straight person. The shock statistic states that four out of five LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to the police – this isn’t fair at all! Would you want to undergo abuse just for declaring your feelings for your significant other? It’s sickening!
Locally, I believe that although there are minorities that inflict hate towards the community, a significant amount of people have become incredibly accepting and for me that gives me so much happiness. Pride events are taking place, even in Grimsby, with Wonderland LGBTQ+ holding safe events for all ages of individuals to celebrate who they are. Peach Flowers, Betty Swollacks and Krystal Beth are all local drag queens that inspired pride events amongst this coastal town. An organisation called BeaYourself have now introduced exclusive LGBTQ+ meetings to Grimsby so people can feel free to love who they choose and even take along their friends and family to the meetings.
Personally, I can’t even begin to express my thoughts upon the LGBTQ+ community and organisations such as Stonewall and the LGBT foundation which has helped me become fully confident and not hide who I am anymore. Over the years, I’ve experienced hate and been the target of crude comments which have admittedly made me feel self-conscious and at times, making me want to lock myself away from the world. I’ve even hated myself internally and want to change who I am. I’ve felt ashamed,embarassed and even afraid for loving the same sex. But one thing that I have always believed in is a simple motto – love is not a choice and nobody should ever have to apologise for loving who their heart chooses.
Article first appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph on 30th July 2019
Article by our Young Reporter.