First of all, I’m not LGBTQ, which I think makes it all the more important that I’m more focused on LGBTQ+ voices in October than simply my own. Somebody close to me did not realize he was questioning until well in his 20s, long after college and a lot of the community of support he would have had access to was gone. I don’t remember the first time I learned what LGBTQ was but I know that, in spite of how much I had heard about it, when he told me, it still threw me for a loop because it impacted my life in a big way. The impact itself, regardless of the reason, was jarring but it was more disconcerting that I had trouble wrapping my head around something I thought I really accepted. I thought I was open-minded, and was probably to a degree, but this particular time it was too far out of the box for me to process. I have learned more about the challenges and pride of being LGBTQ by listening to him talk as he goes through this and I understand it more than I did after any documentary, class, etc. Having somebody that close to me go through it really changed my understanding and made me realize how much I don’t understand or can’t empathize with because I haven’t walked through it myself.
With that being said, I think it would be better to share stories like the one I have been fortunate to witness as he goes through it. We spend a lot of time debating issues which affect LGBTQ people but there are a lot of people in this country who, in spite of having strong opinions, have never considered these experiences outside their own lenses. If you have any story of your own experience, whether it is coming out, a particular situation, a moment of joy as a member of the LGBTQ community, or anything else that you think could be personal, humanizing, and eyeopening, please share it. I will post your entry and link it to your page.
Since I have learned just how much more I have to learn, regardless I am going to post articles or something each day of October, but it would be great if I was including the voices that matter most. If you do, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time and I wish you the best.