LGBT: are you or someone you know suffering from discrimination and abuse?

 Accepting each other’s differences is not something our past generations have been historically good at doing. We are lucky to live in a time where the ideal has become to strive for this, to strive to foster equality amongst many kinds of individuals, to promote harmony into the melting pot that has become modern society. However, as many of us are aware, this is not always what actually occurs and minority groups are often targeted for the worst of it. One group in particular has been trying to overcome vicious abuse of all sorts, the LGBT community.

Some of our LGBT friends, family, and neighbors suffer ridicule at every corner and while they have learned to expect this, they should never accept it, as it is absolutely abuse. People come in all shapes and sizes, with highly individualistic ways of expressing themselves and as long as this expressing isn’t hurting anyone, others must learn how to be accepting of these expressions. Sexuality is not learned, it is genetically programmed in our DNA and you could no easier choose to be attracted to the same sex if you are heterosexual. Some girls like brunettes, some like blondes, and others like girls. So what? For more on the scientific findings of homosexuality, there is an interesting article written a few months back from Australia’s Science Centre.

This concept can be extremely difficult for some to grasp and accept without issue, unfortunately. Name calling and strange looks are the mildest rejection that these people face, while full on violent attacks and murders have been committed in some parts. At home, teens often have to hide their identity as they are too scared of what might happen to them if they are open with their families. Imagine living in fear every day that someone finds out who you really are. Imagine how lonely and scary that can be, especially for someone who is in the sensitive transition from child to adult. The stress from peers at school and even walking down the street can be paralyzing to those who are struggling with this particular situation. This is one of the most influential times in our lives and what we encounter in these years does stay with us and impact us for the rest of our lifetime. This should be a time of support and understanding, of nurturing and compassion, not discrimination and intimidation. What do these kids learn? What sort of image of themselves will they be carrying with them? Let us not be the ones to add to the inner turmoil that is already hard enough for these kids.

Teens who are growing into themselves are certainly not the only ones facing abuse on a daily basis from those around them, adults who have embraced their sexuality and have chosen to express their true selves, must be always at the ready to cope with an array of insults or discrimination of one form or another. Many countries are now allowing gay marriage and promoting LGBT awareness but though this is a major step in the right direction, there is still fear being felt by this community at all times. They never know when someone will strike at them or how. It does not matter if someone doesn’t agree with your view on something; it never gives a person the right to treat another person in this manner. They are not defending their views any longer when they go to this length; instead they are terrorizing another person who has done them no harm at all. To take pleasure in hurting another person is sadistic and cruel, showing very clearly who indeed has the disorder.

If you or someone you know is suffering abuse for their sexuality, expression of such, or just simply needs some support to accept their identity, there are support groups in your local community that can help with advice and emotional support. Here are a few sources online that you can start with:

LGBT Organizations in the United States

LGBT International Resources

The Trevor Project

LGBT Ireland

GLMA - Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Resources for LGBTQ

Whatever source you decide to use, don’t go through this alone. There are people out there who have gone through the same or similar circumstances and want to be there to help. There is nothing wrong with your sexuality. It is only the close-minded views of certain members of society that need reconstructing. Slowly but surely, society seems to be moving in the right direction and hopefully in time this issue will be non-existent. But until then, keep your chin up and know that there is nothing wrong with you and you are not to tolerate abuse just because you are different than the majority. Being different is a good thing. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place. Hang in there. Acceptance of yourself is the most nurturing thing you can do for yourself; acceptance starts with you. But do be safe and be careful, you shouldn’t have to be but do be mindful of those that aren’t evolved enough to act like a decent human being and who do not know how to handle a difference of opinion. You’re beautiful just as you are.

When in the midst of an abusive situation, it may be difficult to think clearly and come up with a solution to remedy the abuse, while trying to implement it may feel almost impossible. However, given the right tools and the will power to create change, it most certainly is possible, even more so– it is probable. Many may feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start, but it is important to start somewhere.

Please continue to check in with us each week for a new post about abusive behavior and how it can affect your life and the lives of those around you. There is always that first action to helping someone you care about. Let this be it!

 

Author Bio - Anna Czarska is a writer and actor who has 15+ years of experience dealing with various situations of abuse. She has pursued business ventures and creative pursuits as well as spending time to study psychology in both formal and personal education. For more information, you may find her Linkedin profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kasiakraut/

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