“For Fayetteville” – A Victory for Equality

Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

“For Fayetteville” – A Victory for Equality

For Love…

I’ve grown up in a world where I’ve seen my own outlook on people change drastically.  Coming from the rural corner of southwest Missouri, I did not know any gay people, much less  transgender or transsexual.

It was after moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1992 to attend college that I had my first exposure to somebody being gay.  What I remember most is that I had found a friend. All of the old ideas were instantly evaporated into a new understanding and compassion.   My preconceived ideas of what gay people were like, were just manifestations of poor collective thinking and misguided perceptions.

Instantly, I knew in my heart there was no choice.  I always say it like this, but it’s just my take, we are all uniquely wired and some of those wirings mean that the person of the same sex is your natural mate, not a conscious choice to “be bad” or a “sin.”

And those that have sexual identity issues, can be males who are psychologically living in female bodies, or the opposite, and some are born with both sexual organs, and a host of other things can emerge.

I think all of us can relate to feeling isolated, anxious, or depressed at some point in our life.  And how is society at large looking at us when we hold the hand of our significant other or lay at a park with a group of friends? Perspective helps lead to compassion, which provides healing.

Teen suicides, bullying, and yes discrimination are a reality we can’t turn a blind eye to anymore. Some eye opening  statistics on what happens when you are raised in a home or community that doesn’t understand, bullying, or worse are found below.

 

 

“According to the Journal of Addiction and Mental Health, around 600 people between the ages of 10 and 24 die each year from suicide and about 32% of these people are lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LAB) youth. “[1] However, while gay youth are considered to be at higher risk for suicide, a literature review published in the journal Adolescence states, “Being gay in-and-of-itself is not the cause of the increase in suicide.” Rather the review notes that the findings of previous studies suggested the,”…suicide attempts were significantly associated with psychosocial stressors, including gender nonconformity, early awareness of being gay, victimization, lack of support, school dropout, family problems, acquaintances’ suicide attempts, homelessness, substance abuse, and other psychiatric disorders. Some of these stressors are also experienced by heterosexual adolescents, but they have been shown to be more prevalent among gay adolescents.” {2}

 

 

This is the city where I began to “see” that we are all uniquely part of this world, no better and no worse.  Through friendships over the years I have come to love the LGBT community and all they stand for.  They carry stories, they carry scars, and they carry hearts.

Make no bones about it, I’m as imperfect as they come, but I believe we all have beauty in those imperfections and over time I am hoping to embrace who I am with the same courage, and tenacity that this group that inspires me so much possess.

The 5781 ordinance that passed last night extended anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community in matters of employment, housing and public services.  The rainbow flags waved, and for this community a pot of gold was found at the end.

 

Way to go Fayetteville!

 

  1. Journal Of Addiction and Mental Health Surveys Gay Teen Discrimination And Suicide. National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. Jan. 14, 2004.
  2. Jump up^Kitts, R. Adolescence. Gay adolescents and suicide: understanding the association. Adolescence, 40(159), 621-628. 2005.
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