Fitting In

Sexuality and Societal Change

Straight, Bi, Gay, Trans, what do all of these names have in common? They’re all labels, labels that people expect you to fit in. Why do we have to fit in the first place? Why can’t we just be ourselves?

No matter what your sexuality, you will always be pressured to fit underneath your label by friends, family, or even strangers. People like to put others in groups because it gives them some semblance of control, putting those whom they look down upon below their station. Labeling people is foolish to me, especially if it is used to demean others. We are all human beings no matter what, which means that we’re all the same. However, at the end of the day, people who label won’t care if we’re all the same at the core, they just don’t want others to bring change.

So what do we do? Do we fit in because we’re afraid of what others think about us? Or do we stay true to ourselves and ignore the haters? Whatever choice we make can change our lives and light the beacon for others. There will always be others like us who want to fit in because of surrounding pressures, we can be the ones who tell them or show them that they don’t have to. If someone is standing in our way telling us to move, we can choose to tell them no, and make them move out of the way, or just go around them.

It really shouldn't even just be a sexuality thing. Honestly, there's more to a person than who they find attractive and have sex with. Judging a person based on what you believe is fine if you keep it to yourself, but expressing it in a condescending way is childish. This goes for both sides, straight or otherwise. Just because someone disagrees with you, that doesn't give you the right to fight fire with fire.

In a country where groups of people are partying one hour and are slaughtered by a madman the next, divisiveness is poisonous in a society that needs to come together. The phrase peace on earth is fictional in this day and age when people with hate in their hearts walk the streets. Hatred is like a disease, it is contagious in households that teach it. On the flipside, peace and neighborly conduct can also be upheld in homes everywhere. A person isn't born racist or homophobic, they are raised that way. 

But even if love and peace are taught, there will always be people who are addicted to hatred's drug. There will always be homophobes, racists, and sexist fools. What is the ultimate solution in a chaotic society? Perhaps none, but the individual can still be the light in a dark tunnel. Maybe if we had more politicians like Barack Obama who stood for great change and progress in America there will be more hope.

As long as bigots like Donald Trump are in power, little change will come to be. The power of the people must be upheld in times of great confusion, when the politician isn't getting the job done. In many ways, social media is a great tool for this. If you want your voice heard, write a blog, create art that expresses what you stand for, do anything to let your voice be heard. Whatever you do, let it be peaceful and not violent, violence only leads to more violence.

Hate speech is used by the cowardly, sure it's hurtful, but the haters will always be stumped by people who don't lash out in retaliation. Great figures like Martin Luther King Jr and Harvey Milk are great examples of this. Both wanted their movements to be peaceful and as a result both of their movements were successful. Unfortunately they were both killed, but they remain as heroic martyrs today. Harvey Milk once said that,

 “Politics is theater. It doesn't matter if you win. You make a statement. You say, "I'm here, pay attention to me.”

As was mentioned earlier social media is a great tool, especially in regards to the above statement. People are on their devices daily, and one person without hope can read a positive statement and be uplifted and empowered to do something. Even if it seems like what you're doing is impacting nobody, it could be impacting somebody. Your poem could inspire someone to see the same humanity Ghandi had in a gay man. 

Your sketch could help a young person understand that "love is love is love is love," as Harvey Milk said. Your blog post might convince the racist that black folks can love the same God. There are endless possibilities for societal change if we stand up and decide that we will do something.

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Fitting In