From micro-aggressions to civil rights, here is what you can do to help the LGBTQIA+ community

Scarlett – Year 7 Student

Editor’s note: Scarlett delves into the scale of problems faced by the LGBTQ+ community. She discusses the issue with micro aggressions and uses punchy facts to draw attention to wider civil rights concerns. Scarlett also asks the reader to celebrate the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community, with several music recommendations and references to the impact this group has had on pop culture. Francesca – Chief Editor, The Scribe

For such a long time, this community has been frowned upon for who they love or who they are. It is only recently that gay marriage has been accepted in society, and even now, LGBT people are discriminated against, in our community and around the world. Being LGBTQIA+ is a large part of someone’s identity, so why should they have to hide it or be mistreated because of it?

LGBT+ in numbers:

One in five LGBT people has experienced a hate crime or incident because of who they are in the last 12 months.

A study taken from a few years ago shows that one in ten LGBT people experienced anti-LGBT abuse online directed towards them in the last month. This increases to one in four for trans people directly experiencing transphobic abuse online.

In more than half the world, LGBT people are not protected from discrimination by workplace law.

72 countries criminalise homosexual relationships.

A quarter of the world’s population believes that being LGBT should be a crime.

A common misconception can be to look at these facts and deny responsibility or claim it is too large an issue to fight against. But it’s people like you and us who need to help.

How can you help? It is not just in fighting against larger world issues where support for the LGBTQ+ community can be felt. It is also in standing up to micro-aggressions that we witness every day. Stop using gay as an insult; it implies that being gay is wrong. Respect the pronouns of others; transgender and non-binary people are constantly being mis-gendered. Stop using slurs; slurs of any sort are casually thrown around and especially LGBT ones. But what is a slur? It is a word used to oppress people who are seen as ‘different’. Stand up for LGBT people who are being discriminated against; if you see something happening, then do something about it.

Also, in embracing the LGBT+ community, we can see change occur. Our society should not only seek to prevent discrimination but should also celebrate our differences in sexuality, gender identity and all other facets of the LGBT+ community. We can see these differences being celebrated across pop culture, including music. Robin Daniel skinner, also known as ‘cavetown’, is a great singer-songwriter, he is asexual and transgender, and I recommend his music to anyone. Marie Ulven Ringheim, most commonly known as ‘girl in red’, is an indie-pop singer-songwriter. She identifies as lesbian and has loads of great songs that celebrate the LGBT+ community. Lastly, Claire Elizabeth Cottrill, also known as ‘clairo’, is another fantastic singer-songwriter who is also bisexual. Check out some of her songs!

So to conclude, what does LGBTQIA+ stand for? Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual. However, behind that plus sign holds so many more representations of groups and individuals, identities and sexualities. In the end, we are all humans, and love is love. Let’s show some love to other people who need it and stand up for what’s right and what’s needed; together, we can all help.

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