Too often, teasing remarks made against the gay community force people into silence. It is human instinct to want to be a part of the majority, and some people discover that they actually represent a minority of the population by being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Queer Americans have been a part of the country since its beginnings, even dating back to Walt Whitman’s gay poems published under an alias in 1860.
This upcoming Pride month, pay attention to the joyful celebrations in the face of hatred and violence. Some dismiss queer joy and Pride parades, noting the progress that has come a long way. While this is true, and we can appreciate the rights and changed viewpoints that the LGBTQ+ fought for, the LGBTQ+ community still faces hatred. One recent example is the bill passed by Florida legislature that allows the state to take transgender children away from their parents if they receive any form of gender-affirming care.
Queer people have consistently played important roles in United States history, and therefore must continue to be recognized for their contributions. Discrimination still plagues our current society, such as using “fruity” to make fun of someone for expressing themselves. Instead of making such remarks when referring to your gay peers, start having respect. Even now, being “out” proves scary, and any student who is brave enough to be themself unapologetically should be recognized, not teased.