Photography by: Julia O Test
Location: Potrero Hill, San Francisco, CA
Not to get too political, but... we're getting political.
As some of you may know from reading this blog, I'm about to start my sophomore year of college as a sociology major. While oftentimes extremely difficult, I absolutely love my major, and have developed quite the passion for it over the past year.
For those of you who don't know what sociology is, it's essentially the study of society. How I like to describe it, is by saying that if psychology is the study of the individual mind, then sociology is the study of groups of people. So think: studies of race, gender, sexuality, LGBTQ+ studies, etc. It's so interesting, and so so fun (but definitely not for the closed-minded).
A big aspect of Sociology is social justice, and that is something that I'm equally as passionate about. I've talked a lot about it on my Instagram, but figured it was time to bring some social-issue discussion to the blog. Why? Because it's incredibly important, and deserves some recognition. So, i've decided to start a new series on here called "Stayin' Social" dedicated to talking about some of the social issues going on nowadays. This isn't going to be a regular series (this isn't a social justice blog, after all) but more of an every now-and-then type thing (think: once a month at most). I totally get if this isn't your thing- it's not everyone's- but I'd love for you to stick around anyway, and join in on the conversation! :)
Seeing as Pride was just this past weekend (at the time of this writing) and the fact that my sweatshirt states "love is why we are here" (which is so true), I figured a little discussion on LGBTQ+ rights was fitting for the first post in this series. Before I jump into things, a couple different disclaimers: first, this isn't meant to offend anyone. I welcome any and all mindsets/viewpoints to join in on the conversation. This is simply meant to give my personal views. And second, I am a cishet female (cis, meaning I identify with the gender I was born with, and het meaning heterosexual). Therefore, I do not fall anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, so this is merely an outsider's perspective, and in no way am I trying to "speak" for this marginalized community. Again, these are just my personal views. Cool? Cool. Now that that's settled, let's dive into it.
I was raised by two very-liberal, very-tolerant parents. Growing up, I was an only child for a long time, so I would hang around their friends. And they had quite a few gay friends. One couple in particular I remember were these two gay men, and they were the nicest, sweetest people in the world, always giving me kisses and big hugs and making us dinner. I was always taught that "love is love" (even before Lin-Manuel Miranda coined the phrase), and that it didn't matter who you loved, as long as you were a good person. And all the gay people I had ever met were genuinely good people, inside and out. My parents always told me that they'd love me just the same even if I ended up being a lesbian (which, I am not), and having grown up exposed to many different gay couples, I never really thought twice about it.
The first time I ever met someone strongly opposed to same-sex marriage was in middle school. I remember having a ton of very religious Mormon friends, and just not being able to wrap my head around the idea that they didn't support gay marriage. Or even yet, they didn't even watch tv shows with gay couples in them (ummm hello, 7th grade me needed someone to fangirl about Kurt and Blaine's relationship on Glee with). It was the first time I found myself surrounded by people who not only didn't support gay marriage, but felt very strongly that those who lay anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum would be damned to an eternal life in hell. It all felt so extreme to me.
Because to me, I knew and had experienced firsthand that who you loved didn't determine whether or not you were a good person. And I was always raised that the only thing you should ever judge someone on, is their character. Today, now that I'm older and can truly think for myself, I still feel that that message remains true.
While I can absolutely understand (to an extent) the religious reasons as to why those who are opposed to same-sex marriage remain opposed to it, for me, I believe that it isn't my place to be opposed to it. I'm not gay, so why should I get to say how gay people should live their lives? Why should I have a hand at suppressing them from marrying their soulmates? To me, it just doesn't feel like my place, and, to be honest, there are so many more important things to worry about than Sally loving Sue or Jerry marrying Jim. If same-sex marriage isn't physically (or even emotionally) harming anyone, then why is it even a issue?
As my shirt reads, "love is why we are here." and it's true! Our purpose in life is to connect with those around us, to create and seek meaning in the short life we're given. Love is everything, love is what makes the world go 'round. And I'm confident that one day, love will win. Despite all of this, despite everything our current political agenda is doing to revoke same-sex rights to love, love will win.
And that, in essence, is why I will always support same-sex marriage, and be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. You may not agree, and that's okay. But just as I feel minorities deserve equal rights (completely different topic), I believe that everyone deserves the right to love who they love. Whether it's a man, a woman, or even just themselves.
Feel free to chime in on the conversation below, but BE RESPECTFUL. Hateful comments will be blocked. Derogatory comments will be blocked. Homophobic comments will be blocked and reported. Don't do it. Let's keep this a safe, hate-free community full of love. After all, it's why we're here. ;)