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Since the last decade, the world has shown an increase in the social and cultural acceptance of different identities. The LGBTQ+ community has garnered a lot of support across the world, however, there is still a lot to do to enhance the equity and inclusion of diverse sexual orientations. The LGBT community or those with diverse sexual orientations have always remained a marginalized group of people in the society and are still vulnerable to many different stigmas associated with this society. But why? Why is it that those with different sexual orientations are treated differently than those that are considered to be “normal”? What is normal? There are so many different questions that simply do not justify how these groups of people are treated differently in society.
What is the problem?
Before we get into the inclusion of different sexual orientations, let’s understand why this society faces an imbalance in equity.
Equity aims at providing equal opportunities to all those who have a different sexual orientation. This was considered taboo at the start of the century when people refused to accept the many diverse sexual orientations and identities, however, the struggles of the community have ensured positive results over the years with 50 states accepting gay marriages in America.
That’s not all. There are now more than 30 countries around the world that have legalized same-sex marriages such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, and more. With that being said, there is still a long journey to go as there are over 195 countries with more than 80 countries criminalizing the rights of those with a different sexual orientation.
Gender inclusion and inclusion of sexual orientation are often worsened when there are other factors involved such as race, age, religion, and more. Think of it this way. People with diverse sexual orientations have faced troubles with society, however, it becomes difficult if these people were part of a different race besides white. An African American coming out as gay is even a greater taboo. We’ve seen the backlash received by Lil Nas when he officially came out as a black gay man.
This taboo or stigma associated with different sexual orientation people and society is because of the harmful views that are promoted to the masses. Religious leaders often condemn those with a diverse sexual orientation while many parents often shun the idea of same-sex marriage to their kids who grow up understanding that same-sex marriages are not natural.
Teachers in schools where sexual orientation is not a thing shun same-sex marriages which impact how young ones interact with people with diverse sexual orientation in life. Although these groups of people have been opposing same-sex marriage, it is this group of people that can play a positive role and promote diverse sexual orientations in society.
Diverse sexual orientations have consequences
Whatever your view may be on the diversity of sexual orientations, it is the right of these people and society to live a normal life. A life that will not affect their employment opportunities or a life where they can socialize among the rest of the societies. However, that is not the case as diverse sexual orientations are looked down upon resulting in bullying from a young age. Young people are most affected by acts of bullying and can also lead to a hike in suicidal rates. On top of that, these people are not able to express and identify themselves openly in the fear of becoming homeless and eventually entering sex work as a way to survive.
Inclusion of sexual orientation
A change in the mindset of society will take generations, however, we can all start with small things to make people with different sexual orientations part of the society. This will not only help develop the equity that this society rightfully deserves but also create a more understanding world where we can all live in harmony together.
Start using inclusive language
One should start to avoid specifying different genders or sexual orientations. Unless the theme is about the relevance of gender, it is unnecessary to mention the gender of the person in a statement or while socializing. For example, many people ask the question of whether or not they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. We live in a modern age and should start to act like one and ask questions like “are you dating anyone?”.
Do not label anyone
Just as there are diverse sexual orientations among the LGBTQ+ community, there is the same if not more diversity among those who identify as heterosexuals. What this means is just like how heterosexuals are from all walks of life (race, gender, age, and more), the same applies to people with various sexual orientations with different races, gender, and so on. You can’t simply assume.
Educating yourself is important
Start with yourself. Learn how the LGBTQ+ community responds to general definitions and know these definitions. When discussing gender, it is important to use the right definition to address a comment or issue. To get an idea of what definitions to use, many different LGBTQ+ websites offer resources to educate people.
Confront and educate others
The best way to increase the inclusion of people with diverse sexual orientations is to first educate yourself and then start to educate others. If people around you are using heterosexist comments, confront these people and address the issue immediately. The more you educate people, the faster these people can become part of our society.
We need to understand that people with different sexual orientations are contributors to this world. We’ve had examples of famous LGBTQ+ personalities like Neil Patrick Harris, Tim Cook, and many more who have played a positive role in the prosperity of their country and their people. Tim Cook, the driving force behind Apple has ensured the growth of the company exponentially offering employment and growth in the country. If Tim Cook was shunned from society, the impact made on Apple and the economy would not be the same. Instead of secluding people from society, we should learn to live together and work towards a better future. Many bigger problems need to be addressed rather than focusing on promoting harmful views about diverse sexual orientations.