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LGBTQ Voices

How I Was Welcomed Into The Queer Culture

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The author wearing a blue beanie, black shirt and blue jeans, sitting in a chair with a blond dog on her lap.
Oakwood, OH

I grew up in a conservative town. I could go into the cliché “I wasn’t into girl things,” but I feel that would be a bit disingenuous since I did like girly things and I also liked boyish stuff. When I was young, I used to insist I was a “tomboy.” This was because I wasn’t quite a “girl” and I wasn’t quite a “boy.”

Eventually, I gave up and accepted that I would have to be a girl. I transferred my senior year of high school.

Surrounded by a new queer culture, I felt more drawn to this divide in myself.

I discovered non-binary identities and have been shifting around ever since; trying to find what’s comfortable.

I think that LGBTQ+ issues are more polarizing than ever. In many cases, it’s much easier to come out. My distant relatives, once staunch conservatives, have relaxed, criticizing a group from their church who left over the church’s acceptance of the community.

For many, it’s become easier as people have relaxed their views. But, for the communities who still cling to misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community, such as the one I grew up in, the backlash towards queerness has become more and more extreme.

Since the world has gotten so progressive so fast, there’s been a huge uprising in extreme conservative groups trying to reverse that progress.

Much like coming out, homophobia has become less prevalent, but more pronounced in the places where it still takes hold. Since same-sex marriage legalization, many people feel as if the fight is over.

There’s more work to do. We need to re-organize, and again support our fellow queer Americans in the fight for true equality.

Although we are still too “controversial” to be on main-stream television, I do believe that media can be a catalyst for social change. I believe that the media is the key to gathering voices and make sure that our stories are being told.

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