The Time For LGBT Equality

For me, I am open to say that I have friends that are from the LGBT community and I’m proud of them for being who they are.

In fact, over the past 3 years, I’ve become more aware of the LGBT community due to having gone to a seminar at the Southbank in London with my school back in 2015.

What it taught me is that in our teenage years, hormones get expressed, people become independent, feelings can and will be felt for people who you didn’t expect to have for and most of all, you become your own person and the best part is that its perfectly normal!

My parents have told me no matter what I become in terms of sexuality and identity, they will love me because I’m their son. That’s my own experience and I hope that its rather similar for other young people.

I however have noticed another side to it. A bad side which is known as discrimination. No person should suffer discrimination or abuse for being non-heterosexual and that view is shared around the world in most countries.

However, as I have seen on social media, some people believe that being “gay is a sin” and “those people should burn in hell” when it clearly isn’t.

Being gay isn’t a choice that you can decide to be. Its who you are. In my view, its a bit similar to when a baby is growing inside a mother and it decides whether your going to be a boy or girl.

As we unfortunately know, IS (Islamic State) are just like many religious people who don’t believe in homosexuality. But then again, that’s because the Quran doesn’t agree with it. In fact, it actually says that homosexuals should be stoned to death when truth be told, that’s pathetic and its inhumane.

Here is the quote:

Quran (7:80-84)“…For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)” – An account that is borrowed from the Biblical story of Sodom. Muslim scholars through the centuries have interpreted the “rain of stones” on the town as meaning that homosexuals should be stoned, since no other reason is given for the people’s destruction.

That is sickening however what we need to realise is that in some Islamic countries, the death penalty is still carried out for homosexual behaviour and in worse cases, since the birth of IS, many homosexuals have been pushed off buildings and some stoned to death. I’d just like to say that this is not right and it should never be the solution!

I would like to put it out there that most Muslims that I know do accept LGBT rights as its seen as a normal thing in today’s society. From my view, its just the extremists that don’t believe in LGBT rights and this is as far as it goes. I am not anti-Islam in any way as its just a select few that let the religion down which is a bit like the same for my religion of Christianity with my next section of this blog being on a little group that is notorious in the USA.

Even in Western Society, the Westboro Baptist Church in the United States of America is notorious for its hatred on the LGBT community and lesser known The Islamic Community. The hatred is so strong that their website url is “godhatesfags.com”. (I wouldn’t recommend you to look it up) Once again, this is wrong! The WBC, as they are known as, do have a lot of hate for the Jewish community as well as my previously mentioned communities. They are also known for their protesting at funerals and Pride Parades which is beyond sickening!

Numerous members of the WBC have been banned from entering the UK as a result of their notorious hate-speech crimes and many Christian sections including the Baptist Church have denounced the WBC from being affiliated with them and many have condemned their actions. Once again, its a small amount of Christians that have let the rest of them down.

In my local area, many priests and churches accept homosexuality in our society and that’s what it should be in society these days!

However, from my experiences, there are still battles needed to be won on other battle grounds to make the LGBT community into the norm and not an outsider thing.

Firstly, the school playground is my main objective. We get told as kids about marrying a dream girl or boy (whatever the opposite gender is for you) and we see this in Disney stories like “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Beauty and The Beast”. However, for some, this may not be the case which is fine but there’s nothing there for those that want a same-sex relationship.

There are comments that float around schools like “that’s so gay”, “your gay” and “gayboy”. Little playground comments like those criminalise homosexuality like as if its a bad thing when it honestly isn’t. I noticed this in primary school and it gets a lot worse in secondary school and believe me it does.

In Year 7, I said I was gay in terms of being happy but everyone else took it as in that I was a homosexual. That was a regret but it made me part of who I am. For 3 years, I ended up with various homophobic names until those critics left my school and then I was free not to get bullied anymore.

For me, I’ve always got on better with girls by nature as I look out for them more and I never got hit around by them unlike with boys where I ended up with various bruises after so called “light digs”. I’ve got 1 girl who I’ve been friends with for around 12 years and we still look out for each other and we bond really well as friends. However, being friends with girls at school resorted in boys calling me “poof”, “queer boy” and “faggot” along with plenty of other insults that aren’t too pleasing to hear.

Moral of the story is that those kind of insults shouldn’t occur. Of course though, most boys would call it “banter” but is it really? Or is it another form of homophobic bullying but not as common? Maybe that’s for head teachers to decide upon.

My next battlefield is on sports pitches and more precisely, the football pitch however this isn’t as bad as the school playground in my view.

Football has taken a lot of steps to help accept the LGBT community into the game that once was dominated only by men until women’s football came and sweepped the country into fascination. One of these steps is by the charity Kick It Out. They campaign for all types of equality in football including homophobia and religious discrimination along with racism. Its one of the more successful types of campaigning with many clubs offering a day when their players wear a shirt over their training gear as a sign to campaign in a way to stop inequality in football as a whole.

However, that’s on the pitch. Off the pitch and in the stands, its like as if we’re in the past occasionally. I’ve heard some fans call players “gay” and “poofter” from the stands and I get rather frustrated with it. In fact recently, I heard a few anti-gay comments just down to the fact that the goalkeeper was wearing pink. I did actually report the incident to Kick It Out. I do try and tell fellow fans to stop the homophobia as there’s nothing wrong with being gay. I admit that it has worked at soccer schools that I’ve done as well as at football matches.

But there is still work needed to be done to stop it LGBT discrimination and we need to make being part of the LGBT community is a normal thing.

To conclude, I hope that one day, there won’t be the need for a person to “come out” as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. I hope that it will become a normal thing like heterosexuality but in order to, people have got to get with the times and realise that people can be whoever they want to be.

I want a world where we don’t judge a person for their religion because of a few people have used their religion as a backbone to do bad deeds or same goes for sexuality and gender identity.

Mental Health

In recent months, I’ve been attending Southend Youth Council Committee Meetings on Mental Health where we’ve discussed what can we do to help those who currently encounter the likes of depression, anxiety and many other forms. I’ll admit that I have suffered depression in my life and following my experiences, I continue to support any campaigns that help promote the awareness of it.

I can say that I have spoken very notably that from my view, LGBT Mental Health is very much overlooked by many organisations and over the last 10 months, I’ve been campaigning in the Youth Council to offer more support to those in the LGBT community who could do with the extra help.

In recent weeks, I’ve also starting campaigning for the same in the Young Essex Assembly of which I’m also a member of. When I get more progress on that agenda, I’ll let you know if your interested.

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If you liked reading this blog about this current issue that I feel very strongly about, please stay tuned for more blogs in the upcoming months.

And thank you for reading this blog!

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