“Do you think greater social acceptance of people who are transgender is…”
“a. Very good for society.”
“b. Somewhat good for society.”
“c. Neither good nor bad for society.”
“d. Somewhat bad for society.”
“e. Very bad for society.”
In this survey, 32 percent of the general population answered “somewhat bad” or “very bad” to that question, according to pewresearch.org. This question and the following possible answers were taken directly from a political typology, or classification, quiz offered by pewresearch.org, published Nov. 9, 2021.
The mindset behind this question is incredibly harmful to the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s time to stop asking the question, and it’s time to start treating the LGBTQ+ community with respect.
This mindset isn’t something that’s only found in one political typology quiz. If you’ve kept up with the news lately, you may have heard of the Parental Rights in Education bill in Florida, more commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This bill was passed by both Florida’s house of representatives and senate with the intent to “limit what classrooms can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity,” according to abcnews.com.
This issue also extends to Texas, where a judge recently blocked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ investigation into a family on Governor Greg Abbott’s directive to inspect families that provide gender-affirming care to transgender children. A hearing held on March 11 confirmed this block has been extended statewide, according to nbcnews.com.
Although no action has been taken yet as a result of this directive, the intent behind it still pushes a harmful ideology that could result in further attacks or discrimination against transgender people.
It’s not just a problem in state legislatures, either. This hate and mistreatment against LGBTQ+ people can be found in our very own community. Every use of the f-slur, every snide remark about a person’s sexuality or gender, every debate about the rights of the LGBTQ+ community adds to a prevalent stigma.
So why is it a big deal?
This stigma can have very real consequences. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers, with over half of specifically transgender and nonbinary youth contemplating it, according to thetrevorproject.org. This is not an inherent side effect of sexuality or gender orientation, but rather the result of increased hate and mistreatment that the community has to face.
At the heart of the issue is dehumanization. It’s much easier to hate or attack a monolithic LGBTQ+ community, rather than the diverse and varied group of people that it actually is. And by questioning our place in the world and what we deserve, you add to that dehumanization.
So, we are here. We are people. We deserve love, support, and social acceptance the same as anyone else because we are not debates to be held or laws to be passed.
We are humans. It’s 2022, and you can start treating us like it.