Homophobia: An Issue Today And Years Ago


When a young teenager realizes that they are LGBT, some hard truths also come to light. Growing up LGBT is a lifetime of homophobia that is “not as bad as it once was”, as if a tolerable amount of hate can exist. There also might be a loss of friends and perhaps family in order to be happy. These are just some examples of realizations the average LGBT teen goes through.

Standing idly by in the face of ignorance is not an option. Adults are revealed as not infallible very early on, watching them stand aside while peers mock and shout slurs is a fact of life. This responsibility is to not let it happen to anyone else, to not let anyone else feel as powerless ever again.

LGBT teens have no choice but to react calmly in the face of discrimination because if they react emotionally, they deserve it. They deserve it because they are not one of the “nice” LGBT people. Be nice, and you deserve your rights. Be calm, and it will stop. Do not speak out or complain, for this is how it is, because this is how it always was.

It does not have to be. The responsibility should not rest on the backs of teenagers who are barely more than children, but it falls on them when adults pretend it is not a problem. Children must fight these battles because they have been abandoned by those who should protect them. Children are not diplomats for their rights.

It is not enough for an adult to shake their heads at homophobia. Action must be taken every time. Every time. Not because they do not know who around them might be LGBT, but because of their morals. The inherent hypocrisy in an adult who is against bullying, but stands aside for homophobia is never lost on LGBT teenagers who are forced to grow up when they realize that they cannot rely on the adults around them.

It is not enough to claim support for the LGBT community. Adults must be better. Peers must be better. Everyone must be better. The loss of hope is what causes LGBT teenagers to kill themselves before they see 20 years. Do not allow this to happen anymore. Blood is on everyone’s hands who chose to stand idle in the face of hate.