Reflective Paper

Submitted By carlywagner
Words: 1580
Pages: 7

My beliefs on the various domains of sexual orientation have been tested on numerous occasions by individuals with opposing perspectives. Although I have contemplated both negatively and positively about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, or Questioning (LGBTQ) community, I have stood up to promote and support their rights, and I have regrettably been a bystander to both the verbal and cyber abuse concerning the individuals within this cohort, such experiences have significantly moulded my current belief system. There have been multiple instances where my belief system has triggered arguments among my peers (specifically family members), and unfortunately, these upsets have led to the deterioration of several relationships I once had. While such experiences have helped shape and build the beliefs I currently possess in regards to the LGBTQ community, these views have not always been crystal clear.
Growing up as a white, heterosexual female, I have never accurately experienced the stigma associated with being “gay”, “lesbian”, “transgendered”, or “bisexual”. There has never been an instance where I felt as if I did not belong, that I was different, or that something was wrong with me. As a young girl, the only comprehension I had in influencing my ideology of “real relationships” was what I saw in movies or on television: a boy and girl fell in love, got married, and lived happily ever after. Cinderella seemed to always marry Prince Charming simply because that made sense. There always seemed to be this “happy ending” in movies which inevitably made me believe that the only way to get married is by wearing a white dress, and saying “I do” to the man of my dreams. Not only did this concept of exclusive heteronormativity produce an impractical perception on the true idea of what sexual orientation encompassed, but throughout the duration of my childhood this norm forced me to construct an exceedingly narrow lens of my surrounding world. Although my knowledge on sexual orientation was rather nonexistent as a child, as the years passed, I began to grow more curious and my views slowly started to evolve. We had moved into a new neighbourhood when I was about 12, and the only other kid on the street was a 14 year old boy named, Ryan. It was through this friendship with Ryan over the years that I began to understand the concept of homosexuality. Ryan liked boys and at first I did not think anything of it but, over the years I understood that there was more to relationships than what I had previously learned from characters like Cinderella and Prince Charming. I was very curious as to what exactly this meant. Why did Ryan like boys? How did he know he like boys? What does this all mean? Being friends with Ryan had opened my eyes in a way that I was almost afraid of. This new information had trumped everything I was taught as a child. If Ryan liked other boys, did this mean that girls can like other girls too? Due to this newly acquired information, I began to ask questions, talk to teachers and peers, but I did not get very far. It seemed as if this “other” group of people were simply invisible among society. No one gave me answers, no one took the time to explain things to me, and people became appalled when I brought up the topic. Why was this such a dilemma?
Despite my best efforts, my search for what these new relationships were came to yet another sudden halt. I was no longer allowed to ask any questions, I was not allowed to talk about it, and I was simply banned from anything and everything about what I had understood about homosexuality. Why did this happen? My families view on such issues were extremely old fashion compared to mine. They believed that man and women should marry and that those “other” relationships were acts of the devil. As soon as I became curious about my social world my parents simply put an end to it, which only seemed to make me more intrigued. Why was it so wrong for me to ask simple questions? Why…