Kwade is a freelance writer who is always in pursuit of education. He feels every subject is fascinating and worth study.
Twenty Years Ago The LGBT Community Was Unheard Of
Go back twenty years and very few people knew of the LGBT community. Doing some digging, there were groups that existed to fight for gay rights as far back as the 1950s. Despite this, even as recently as the nineties the stigma surrounding homosexuality was so strong, it could be dangerous to admit to “strange” sexual preferences. Even living in a small town in the middle-of-nowhere, I personally knew several people who felt like outcasts with no group to turn to for support.
Today, of course, homosexuality is far more socially acceptable. The way we see homosexuality changing has been largely the catalyst to be more accepting of all minority groups. We’ve hit this new climate in which media is expected to represent minority groups or face public backlash.
So what caused the change?
Ignorance Created The LGBT Group as We Know it
That’s right, I said it. The LGBT group wouldn’t exist as it does today without ignorance. That is to say, the persecution against its members is what created it. I’m not saying there weren’t people getting together as a community to share in their commonalities. I’m saying the group we now know as LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQQ, or LGBTQ+ wasn’t a widespread organization with the kind of influence it has today. It was the persecution, the unwarranted attacks, and the ignorant damnation that pushed people together.
Being part of the LGBT community (as it was called at the time) as an “ally” was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I got to see a fringe group of people banding together, in the name of acceptance, from the inside. People knew I was straight and accepted that completely. I was treated with respect and dignity that I hadn’t been treated with while dealing with the religious people I grew up with. I watched as more people, once with no one to turn to, started finding a place in love and acceptance.
The religious persecution created a need. People being treated horribly couldn’t be themselves in the open. They had to hide big parts of who they were from the general public. Being forced to keep core parts of oneself hidden is always painful and can only have two results. We wither away, or we burst out and fight. In this case, the fight has mostly been a peaceful one to shine a light on a need for empathy.
Why Create An Article?
You may be asking, “why bother making an article about this, Kwade?”
I suppose I felt a need to point out a few things.
Those living in peace don’t feel a need to band together in a cause. The ideals of the majority (or those in power) causing pain and harm or oppression to any minority, sparks a rebellion. Even a peaceful rebellion starts due to a need for change. Nothing creates that need faster than persecution.
If you want to push people into cooperation, give them an enemy. The other edge to that sword is the natural consequence of creating an enemy. The more we treat a group as an enemy, the more we create a need for that group to fight back.
We saw this when the LGBT community banded together for protection and solidarity.
We’re seeing it now with gun owners and those who feel their second amendment rights are threatened. The upsurge in people subscribed to the NRA and gun purchases are both signs of this. It’s not that people are calling for gun control, that creates that need. It’s the accusations of terrorism for disagreeing that does it.
We’re seeing it with conservatives and moderates banding together against “the left.” The continual shaming coming from Social Justice Warriors and the media has people like me who used to be on the side of Social Justice Warriors, feeling a need to stop the harassment.
As I write this, Captain Marvel is making waves in the media. News outlets are claiming “hateful white males” are leaving “preemptive negative reviews.” The truth is, many people lost interest in the movie once the lead actor made a silly comment. However noble her intent, the comment was taken as one more in a long line of negative comments toward white men. It’s no surprise “the enemy” lost interest.
The point in all this is: When we treat someone as an enemy, they feel a need to find solidarity with those whom they can identify. If you truly want equality, treat others with respect. Even when you don’t feel they deserve it.
© 2019 kwade tweeling