Dear future President,
As president, you have many new responsibilities and now are the face and voice of a whole nation to the world. There’s so many issues prevalent today in society, and even more differing opinions on issues. From wildlife conservation to immigration, issues in the United States never seem to stop and I’m sure you will learn of more that the public is not even aware of. But, as a citizen of the country, I also have my concerns over certain issues and know that if anyone has the power to change the course of movement, it’s the future president.
A personal issue and a national issue is LGBT+ rights. LGBT+, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, incompasses many groups of people, whether they be openly gay or still private with their sexuality, LGBT+ is so large that ignoring the blatant homophobia today in the country is impossible. So many people have been discriminated and even murdered over their sexuality and gender. In fact, most hate crimes reported, around 80-90%, involve a transwomen of color, not only including homophobia but racism against LBGT+ people. The recent shooting in Orlando, Florida is a testament to that, with almost all 49 persons being LGBT+ of color.
In high school, my best friend group consisted of a gay man and a transgender woman. In the town where we grew up, gay people were fictional beings and ridiculed when the mention of homosexuals came up. We didn’t start out to be best friends because of our sexual orientation or gender, we became best friends because we valued each other as people. My transgender friend also happened to be Filipino, and often told us stories about violence against her in bedrooms and from men she would talk to. Because it was her lifestyle and was kept hidden from most people, me and my friend could only offer support to her and wish for her safety.
Typically, most hate perpetrated against LGBT+ is committed by the Christian and Catholic Churches in the United States. Not shy about opinions of homosexuals being sinners and going to hell because of the Bible, there are many church groups that actively rally against LGBT+ rights. Being in a religious family, I go to a christian church when staying at my grandparents for the weekend. Watching the pastors preach about how no one reserves the right to judge anyone and then turning around in the same night to preach about homosexual sin and transgender confusion and how anyone who is not straight or conforms to their birth gender is on a lost pathway from god and is going to hell has not only alienated me somewhat from my family that I love very much because I know they would never support me if I came out gay or transgender, but also frightens me into silence from the overwhelming support of the pastor’s “teachings”.
Religious people who hide behind their beliefs to discriminate should not at all be allowed to demand any laws made to strengthen their hatred. The first Amendment of the Constitution literally states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Many church groups hide behind the statement that the government cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion, but refuse to acknowledge that the government should not in any way support any religion or give special benefits to them. Separation of church and state is mandatory and should be enforced on anti-lgbt groups trying to pass laws.
LGBT+ are another minority, counting people openly LGBT+ and not ones scared into silence, who need to have protective laws against discrimination. There should not be conversion camps where LGBT+ children come out with horror stories about physical and mental torture of “methods to pray the gay away.”. There should not be a need to create exclusive safe spaces for LGBT+ only to have violence and intrusion cause more fear of being openly gay and effectively destroy all spaces we made for ourselves because society doesn’t want to include us.
I know opinions of LGBT+ won’t change overnight, and I know LGBT+ won’t ever be completely free of discrimination and hate, but I believe taking the right steps and supporting a community or people in your nation, future president, will set an example for years to come of how you cannot influence political decisions because you’re apart of a mass religion. That if you live in the United States you abide by the laws of every other citizen and do not get special privileges.
I believe the future president can make changes to create equality in the country where all men were created equal.