Saturday, June 26, 2010

You Don't Have to Be Gay to Fight For Equal Rights; Why equal rights is a human issue.

I used to think that things worth fighting for should be fought by people who want them the most, from people who would actually benefit from change. When I met my friend, let's call her Jessica, things changed.

Jessica is a petite brunette, a prominent track runner and a proud lesbian. After a while, she got comfortable enough to share her struggles about homosexuality with me. "I'm waiting until I move out to tell my parents," she said one day after they caught her kissing her girlfriend. "It's not that I'm ashamed of who I am…I just know they don't understand."

And neither did I, really. What does a straight female know about a lesbian's struggle and discrimination? Nothing. I wasn't the one being taunted because of something I cannot change, nor not allowed to hang out with certain friends with by the book religious parents. I wasn't being the one stared at in the halls like a science experiment, or being talked about in the cruelest matter.

For my whole life ,I've lived in ignorant bliss. I always thought of marriage as a beautiful thing that would include a huge ceremony, a designer dress and a gorgeous man by my side. Jessica always thought of marriage as something she'd be lucky to experience in one of the few states that offer it (Michigan is not one of them).

When I realized the pain and the struggles she has put up with her whole life, that’s when I started to take action. Gay and lesbians shouldn't be the only ones fighting for equal rights. This is a human, not a homosexual issue after all. Although I consider myself Catholic, I truly believe that two people deserve to be happy, no matter what race, gender, or sexuality they are.

By writing this article and speaking to many groups of people, I hope to broaden more eyes and hearts. Maybe you may not be homosexual, but someone you know is, so why not fight for them? Everyone deserves a happily ever after with the person of their choice.

And above all else remember this: homosexuality is not a choice, but homophobia is.

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