LGBTQ+ Today

Phoebe Sciaino and Emmerie Stephens, Emmerie: Writer, Phoebe: Layout Editor and Writer,

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LGBTQ+. What does that mean to you? Whether it means happy, sad, or even confusing thoughts, it is a big topic in our society today. For example, the three main topics that we are going to talk about are the meaning(s) of LGBTQ+, some instances where the LGBTQ+ community is present in pop culture, and the rights that LGBTQ+ people do and don’t have.

LGBTQ+ has many meanings, revolving around gender and sexual preference. The acronym itself stands for lesbian (L), gay(G), bisexual (B), transgender (T), queer/genderqueer (Q) and more (+). Lesbian means a female likes females, gay means a male likes a male, bisexual means that you like both males and females, transgender means that you were born one gender but you believe that you are another, and genderqueer/queer is an overarching descriptor for LGBTQ+. Ones within the + include T (transexual), Q (questioning), A (asexual), A (allies), I (intersexual). Transexual means that you are/were transgender and had surgery to look more like the gender you want to be, questioning means that you are not sure if you are LGBTQ+, asexual means that you don’t have any sexual feelings, allies are people who are straight but support the community a lot, and intersexual means that you were born with male and female parts. Some other terms you probably haven’t heard of are P (pansexual), P(polysexual), D (demisexual), and Gender Non-binary. Being pansexual is when you don’t like people because of their genders but because of their personality, polysexual means that you are attracted to some, but not all genders, demisexual is when you only have an attraction to someone if you are very close to them. And gender-nonbinary is where you don’t associate with one gender or the other. These are just some of the ways someone can identify as LGBTQ+. However, keep in mind that some people have their own way of identifying or they might not like labels.

The well-known lesbian comedian, Ellen DeGeneres, has a show on Netflix called Relatable, and in one episode, she touches on the idea that we tend to stereotype people without even realizing. She said that we tend to assume that all celebrities live in giant mansions with a whole staff of servants waiting on their every command, and that’s not really so. She talked about a time when she was talking to a woman and Ellen told the woman that she had to go home to feed her cats, and the woman asked Ellen how many cats she had. Ellen said three and the woman responds with, “Oh, you are a lesbian.” In the show, Ellen goes on to talk about how that’s obviously not what makes you lesbian, but that it was a common stereotype. Later, she talks about how she lost her sitcom when she came out as lesbian in 1997. Being lesbian cost Ellen her sitcom. That is not right. She said that when she was offered her talk show, they were going to sell it to a different station than where it was going to be. She said that one of the other station managers said nobody was going to watch a lesbian during the day. The audience, when she said that, was dead silent because everybody was stunned. Then, of course, everybody laughed when she made it into a joke. She is now on season 16 of her show, so clearly, people are watching her. Other stars that have come out include Kristen Stewart from Twilight (Bisexual), Ezra Miller from Fantastic Beasts and Justice League (Queer), Halsey the singer (Bisexual), Keiynan Lonsdale from The Flash and Love, Simon (Queer), and Bella Thorne from Shake It Up and Midnight Sun (Bisexual). Now that these celebrities have come out, many LGBTQ+ people feel like they belong.

 

The acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community is becoming more widespread, including in the media. The news is spreading, in the new Frozen movie, Elsa will have a girlfriend! This is big news, since it means Disney is expanding inclusion in its movies! First, we had Tiana, the first African-American princess, then more princesses of other cultures setting the bar like Moana, Pocahontas, and Mulan. Now Elsa is being added as part of a different community, raising the bar even higher. Other movie companies will have to step up their game! Hats off to Disney!

 

LGBTQ+ people used to not have the same rights as straight people. Now the U.S. is way better at accepting LGBTQ+ people. But, there are still some areas where they aren’t exactly accepted, such as when it comes to adoption. Some adoption agencies that might be associated with a church or house of worship, may not accept an adopter if they are LGBTQ+ because of the adoption agency’s religion. Another area is employment. Believe it or not, some places might not accept someone who is LGBTQ+. Currently, almost 40 percent of the LGBTQ+ community is unemployed, while roughly about 9 million Americans (about the population of NJ) classify as LGBTQ+. That’s about 3.6 million people! Lastly, LGBTQ+ people don’t really have complete access to houses of worship that will marry them without complications. Some houses of worship might not marry LGBTQ+ people based on their religion at all. Also, wedding venues might not want them and bakeries might not bake them a wedding cake (which happened just a few years ago!). There is still a long way to go to ensure that the LGBTQ+ population is accepted.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read our article. We hope that we helped you to understand the LGBTQ+ community a bit more with sharing some LGBTQ+ celebrities and explaining what it is and the struggles of it. So maybe, instead of just jumping to conclusions when you meet an LGBTQ+ person maybe you should talk to them and try to understand them before judging them. Also, did you know that FMS has its very own Falcon Alliance, where any member or ally of the LGBTQ+ community can meet? Check out the morning announcements for more details! 

 

Works Cited

Bradley, Bill. “’Frozen’ Director Gives Glimmer Of Hope Elsa Could Get A Girlfriend.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 Feb. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/frozen-director-elsa-girlfriend_us_5a9388c5e4b01e9e56bd1ead.

Steinberg, Sarah Ayres. “5 Reasons Congress Must Extend Unemployment Insurance.” Center for American Progress, 16 Jan. 2014, www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2014/01/10/81927/5-reasons-congress-must-extend-unemployment-insurance/.

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