Mapping the Issue: Gay Rights Essay

Submitted By canada2007
Words: 1122
Pages: 5

Love Is Love The topic of rights for the LGBT community has always frustrated me. When I first learned of the word “gay,” I was in elementary school, and we all used it for a synonym to “dumb.” At the time I thought it was okay to say because the dictionary definition of gay was “a merry or lively mood,” but as I have gotten older I’ve come to find out that not only does gay not mean dumb, but it can be used to be a lot more hurtful than just calling someone dumb. Although the issue has been around for centuries, it is only recently that it is becoming more openly discussed. For many years people of the LGBT community have hidden themselves and their feelings away from their friends and family because they felt they would not be accepted. In the past decade that acceptance has been slowly changing. But it is not enough. There are still so many problems facing the LGBT community such as homeless LGBT youth, discrimination on employment, education, and medical care, as well as freedom to marry in all states among many others. As a friend to many openly gay men, and women I have seen first hand accounts of discrimination against LGBT’s. This semester I want to conduct my research on the current LGBT rights of men and women in America.
Once I understood what being gay was, I began to feel very strongly on the subject. It has always annoyed me that rights are being taken away from men and women just because of who they choose to love. Although I am not a part of the LGBT community I am a huge supporter, and it has always confused me that people would discriminate against love. From personal conversations with my friends and family who are both supporters and members of LGBT’s, I am aware that being gay or lesbian is not a choice. Coming out is a choice, and it is something LGBT’s do not want to have to make. I have discussed this topic countless of times with my friends Mathew, Hope, Chanel, and Dakota who are all a part of the LGBT community. I am also a YouTube subscriber to Tyler Oakley, a gay rights activist who volunteers for an organisation called The Trevor Project (a 24 hour hotline for crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBT’s). I find this issue so compelling because I have met numerous people in the LGBT community, and they are good people. In no way are their goals to force anyone to be gay or lesbian, all they want is to have the same civil rights as the straight men and women of America.
Although I know some of the emotional aspects that LGBT’s go through from first hand experience with my friends and family, I am not as knowledgeable of the political side of things. I would like to further my knowledge on the topic by answering questions such as what is the government doing to protect homeless LGBT youth who have been abandoned by their unaccepting parents? Are there plans to ban hate violence against LGBT’s? What acts are congress willing to take to ensure equality for all citizens? Why make it legal for LGBT to marry (in some states) if they do not get the Social Security benefits of straight spouses? What laws are holding back 401(k) benefits to same-sex partners? As well as what kind of difference could my views on the subject do to change or persuade others who may be against LGBT rights to view the subject differently?
By answering these questions it will help me to develop a full argument against the discriminations being presented to the LGBT community today and hopefully shed a new light on the issue. I would really like to get more involved with and learn details about the LGBT movement and how it has progressed through the years as well as where it is heading. Answering these questions will be imperative to my argument for LGBT rights because it proves that not all citizens are being treated as equals. To learn more information I will use online resources such as Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders (or SAGE) who are advocates for new policies that will change the