I am sitting here in the office reading an article that a friend of mine wrote and I couldnt help but tear up. For the past couple of months I have debated and gone back and forth on whether I speak out on an issue that I hold so dear to my heart. Do I speak out about an even that made me, even if for a brief moment, live my life in fear. Or, do I stand up and fight the ignorance that I encounter on a daily basis. Put simply, I choose to fight.
So many times I hear stories of people in similar situations whose voices will never be heard. Who stories will go untold because of the fear that is associated around this taboo topic. They will be forced to continue to live their lives as if nothing while trying to deal with the psychological affects of it. I know many of you may be wondering what I am exactly talking about so let me tell you. I am talking about the stories of those who were the victims of gay bashing, being harassed because of their sexual orientation, or being threatened because of the sexual orientation. Being a member of the LGBTQ community I have also had to deal with these same issues. I have been threatened, harassed, bullied, as well as other things because of my sexual orientation, with the latest incident happening between me and a member of the UT athletics program earlier this semester.
After this incident I finally realized what it actually meant to be a double minority. I understood this term perfectly because I was living the life. I have issues to face because of the color of my skin as well as my sexual orientation. I tried so desperately to separate the two but I have come to realize I can not. I can not force myself to suppress one aspect of my identity just because someone does not like and/or agree with it. I have to learn how to embrace both of my identities.
So what have I decided to do about this problem of homophobia that not only is faced in the black community but in our American society as well. What have I decided to do to fight the oppression, discrimination, and hatred that members of the LGBTQ community are faced with. I can only try my hardest to try to educate people. I can only try to get them to understand and see life in my shoes. See how hate crimes can not only affect gays and lesbians physically but emotionally and mentally as well.
I know some people may not agree with the stance that I have and I am perfectly okay with that. I would drive myself crazy if I believed everyone should share my viewpoints. I know some people may not believe this exists and it is to these people that I am talking to. If you dont believe that hate crimes happen, then go talk to Michael Sandy, Roxanne Ellis, Barry Winchell, Jeff Whittington, Aaron Webster, or Aaron C. Hall from the grave. They were all victims of hate crime because of their sexual orientation.
I know this is a completely random blog, but I felt compelled to right about seeing that this is something that I face everyday. I have come to realize that we all have the social responsibility of trying to make wrongs right and what better place to do that that then in college. It is our responsibility as citizens to fight for rights that all citizens deserve and not just some. What better way to educate ourselves about how to make change than at UT. After all what starts here really does change the world…