I was given the opportunity to enter a Human Right Campaign Essay Contest. My teacher Mr. Block forwarded me the e-mail of all the information needed to complete the essay. I was to pick 1 or more statistics given about LGBT youth and write about. I had to write about if I was surprised, how I relate to it, and how to improve the systems for the protection as well as the happiness of LGBT youth. This is the essay I submitted to the contest last week that won me 2nd place.
Happy..I don’t really hear that word come from my mouth when I’m asked how I’m feeling. It’s usually an “I don’t know,” a “I’m alright/fine,” or “I’m chilled.” Happy isn’t really in my vocabulary. I imagine it’s not in the vocabulary of most LGBT young people. The only time I use this word for myself is when I’m saying, “I wish I can someday be happy..” It’s not easy to be happy. Not everyone has a stress free and painless life. Not everyone has friends in school. Not everyone is loved. It’s not easy to be accepted.
Being unloved, bullied, ignored, viewed different, and treated badly because of who you are is very hard to live with. It makes a person feel sad, lost, unwanted, and that they should disappear or change. To disappear some relocate or stay in the background of life or resort to ending their lives. To change some alter their physical appearance or voice while others change their mindsets or ways of living. People all around the world cope with things differently.
I wasn’t too surprised when I saw that only 37% of LGBT describe themselves as happy. Being LGBT isn’t an easy or calm thing to be. It’s honestly hard and frustrating; it’s an extra box added to the pile of things that people are judged by. Some are blessed to have a family and environment that is supportive of their life choice and still love them. It’s not that way for all LGBT though. Some get kicked out of their house, cussed out, beat up, disowned by family, and not given jobs.
I have a friend who is gay. His father caught him and his boyfriend in his room as they were fixing their pants back into place. His father beat him up that night. After running away to another friends house and staying there for a couple days, his dad calmed down. My friend is back home now but his father pretends that he’s still straight. The relationship between them is thinner than before and now there’s a wall between them. There are people all over the world who try to pretend that their kids are still straight and that LGBTs don’t exist.
It’s become a norm in places around the globe that making negative comments about being LGBT is okay. It’s so hard to get people to accept you when their environment raises them to think that LGBTs aren’t people. And shouldn’t be allowed around straight people. Some will lie saying they don’t tell their kids that or act unfair to LGBTs but if 90% see and hear it how is it not true. There are many people young and old alike that are two-faced as well as double-standard when it comes to LGBT youth. This wrong teaching is what contributes to the LGBT youth being twice as likely as their peers to face relentless verbal abuse.
The world can’t stay like this forever. This has to be resolved and laid down to rest. We need to stop kids who pick on those who aren’t straight. To stick up for someone who we see is in need of support or a friend. It’s not acceptable to have so many unnecessary youth suicides, depression, self-harming, and so many other things. This is our time to stress over school work and the clothes we want to wear. Not the time to worry about which one of my classmates is gonna hurt me tomorrow or the day after. Yes there are lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. But they’re just like us; human.
We are a breathing body that is beautiful and smart and creative in it’s own way. We are a physical being that eats, sleeps, feels, and thinks just the same as straight people. I love a man and he loves me. But I’m not any different or less of a person if I love a woman and she loves me. I am a LGBT youth. Not because I am lesbian or bisexual but because I am a youth who has no problem with speaking for LGBTs, backing them up, and wanting equality for everyone. I am me and I am speaking to all those who need a wake up call.