Opinions under the dome: polarization in the LGBT community

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Unfortunately, this country has become heavily focused on polarization. Americans tend to classify each action and idea with liberal and conservative values. This idea of polarization in politics and throughout society spread into the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community as well, and Americans need to stop it.

The LGBT community has come incredibly far in the recent years. With same-sex marriage equality, transgender people in the military, and more, one would think that the LGBT community would feel unified, but it is quite the contrary. Instead of trying to revive a feeling of community and family, some in the LGBT community focus too hard on trying to form a set of political beliefs. The liberal agenda might be responsible for pushing these ideas into society, but this issue is also present within the LGBT community. If an individual happens to be a conservative gay man, or an evangelical transgender woman, I feel he or she is marginalized and segregated from the rest of the LGBT community. Politics is something that should never be associated with a sexuality, gender identity, or presentation.

So, how do we fix it? This process takes time, and it can not be forced. It is nearly impossible to get all people to conform to a strict ideology and doing so fragments the community. For example, a group of liberal extremists within the LGBT community are responsible for pushing this ideology. At first, this sounds backward, but it makes sense.

According to The New York Post, The Commission of Human Rights pushed movements to pass laws that would make misgendering someone on purpose illegal, within the workplace and housing and interactions with a landlord. The law would require businesses and corporations to address transgenders, and other LGBT identities with their preferred pronouns. For example, if a manager intentionally addressed a transwoman employee as “he” or “him” the manager would be fined. Pronouns like “them” and “they” are becoming increasingly popular as well as the more unconventional “ze” and “zir” or “hir”. This is an issue that might be the cause for the fragmentation of the LGBT community. Not all people within the LGBT community lean one specific way on this issue. 

In my opinion, this is a clear restraint on free-speech and it cannot pass. Making someone pay up to $250,000 for incorrectly addressing someone’s pronoun is ridiculous. In fact, this law would only make businesses more hesitant to hire transgender people because it would create the threat of a legal catastrophe. Being called by the wrong pronoun is not fortunate, but it also is not discriminatory in all cases. The brain creates a natural response while speaking, so how can we determine the difference between intentional harm and genuine human error? Everyone needs to be patient in this time of progression, and not force the ideas through law. We need to join hand in hand to communicate the differences in opinion to reach a consensus. 

This means that the community needs to accept the differences of opinion on issues like these and that it’s important to have a community with an open mind. Coming from different racial backgrounds, political viewpoints, and socioeconomic positions just make the LGBT community a more diverse and beautiful group of people, and the road to change will continue to grow over time.

By: Jack Degenhart

degenhart.jack@oakwoodschools.org

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