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Thread: LGBTQ- Why We Fight- A Journey Through the Past

  1. #1

    Default LGBTQ- Why We Fight- A Journey Through the Past

    Note: this started as a blog but got way too long for that section, so I'm posting it here instead. For me it is a chance to sort through my own thoughts and reflect on the things that helped form my opinions around LGBT rights.


    ​As many of you know, there is a current thread that asks for people's opinion about a cartoon series that shows a same-sex interracial couple. The fact that the couple is gay is not referred to in the cartoon nor does it serve as a plot point. It is simply an acknowledgement that gay and lesbian marriages do exist.It turned into a heated, sometimes nasty debate with one member being banned and another member temporarily moderated.

    On a raging thread that has since been deleted, the person who was banned condemned me (and others) for my hateful ideology and refusing to listen to what others saying. I'm sorry he's gone because I had really hoped to have some more time to discuss it further with him. It may have been pointless, but I believe when someone is that angry, there are reasons for it. Whenever people feel passionate about anything that affects them personally, it's fair to expect a strong response.

    It made me realize that sometimes we get so caught up in the debate and arguing our own point of view, that others don't see how we formed those views or what influenced us to arrive at our conclusions. We all have stories that make up who we are, and they are all important.. Our past, our own experiences, and what we have learned in life will all determine how we relate and respond to others. For me personally, it was growing up gay while living in fear of a homophobic father and losing my partner to suicide after he was unable to live a lie in a closeted relationship.

    As one of the older LGBT members here (would love to hear from others on this), perhaps I see things differently, having grown up in a different time. We grew up without the internet and had no way of connecting with other gays or lesbians except through the gay bars and cruising in parks. We faced discrimination in employment, housing, and getting services. There was no protection for us. In the courts, gaybashers were given minimum sentences. We were persecuted by the police, social conservatives, and organized religion. Many of us spent our lives living in the closet and will die alone, never having found love. Although same-sex marriage was legalized a dozen years ago here in Canada, and we have made tremendous advancements in protection of our rights, you can't legislate the hatred away, and we are still victims of hate crimes. As a long distance marathon runner, I've learned that it takes perseverance, dedication, and commitment to crossing the finish line. The same principles applied to our struggle for equality. The changes for which we fought didn't occur overnight nor did they come from compromising with those who were opposed to equal rights. They came from a passion born from the injustice we had seen and lived through for most of our lives. Most of us survived, not without scars, while many, including my partner, could no longer carry on with the journey.

    And so, I felt compelled to post something that outlines some of the events throughout my life that had the most historical significance or affected me in profound ways. The purpose is not to debate the topics (you can if you want however), but rather to share with you the things that have influenced me and kept me motivated throughout the years. Some are historical, some are personal, some are local. Some have been catalysts for violence while some have been catalysts for positive change. They are more like 'snapshots'of events that come to my mind rather than a comprehensive primer of our struggle to get to where we are today. I'm sure another LGBT person would have a completely different set of stories and influences which affected them. I don't know that this will change anyone's opinion, but when the next debate comes up, I hope it may help you consider the reasons for our passion and why we don't compromise on equality.



    Gays and the Holocaust:

    When we think of the holocaust, we rarely discuss the fact that gays and lesbians were singled out for their crimes. Beginning with the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party, gay men were targeted and rounded up for deviant, immoral behaviour. Lesbians were not perceived to the same degree of being a threat as much as gay men were. There were lists of suspected homosexuals kept, and suspected gays within the party were murdered.

    It is estimated that 100,000 men were rounded up and arrested under suspicion of being gay, and of those men, 50,000 were found guilty and sentenced. Although most of them served time in prison, between 5,000 and 15,000 were sent to the Nazi concentration camps.

    Gay men in the camps were required to wear a pink triangle to identify themselves as homosexuals. Today the symbol has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ community as a symbol of remembrance and empowerment.


    The Stonewall Riots:

    The Stonewall Inn was a popular gay bar in New York that had continuously come under raids by the local police. On June 28, 1969, the patrons fought back against the police, which erupted into riots in the streets. The Stonewall Riots marked a major turning point in the civil rights movement for gays and lesbians in the US and around the world.
    After decades of trying to live peacefully and hidden in closets, it was evident that police brutality would only continue and worsen if gays didn't stand their ground.


    Defense and Security:

    During the Cold War, gay men were considered to be susceptible to blackmail by Soviet agents. Here in Canada, law enforcement agencies developed some scientific tests, most prominently "The Fruit Machine." It was a kind of lie detector test purported to discover closeted homosexuals which supposedly measured the dilation of eye pupils when subjects were shown nude photos. Security officials investigated more than 8,000 people in civil service using this device and many of the subjects were forced to resign.

    On a personal note, during the late 1980's, I remember when two senior officials from the Department of National Defense showed up at my office investigating my neighbour who served in the military for a security clearance. The questions were primarily related to whether I had ever seen him with women. I responded honestly that he seemed to keep to himself and I had not noticed seeing him with either men or women. This went on in circles as I knew what they were getting at yet they wouldn't come out and ask the question. Shortly afterwards, the military neighbour told me he was taking an early retirement and moving down east. The timing couldn't have been more obvious.


    Meeting Others Before the Age of the Internet:

    For a lot of the younger members here, I ask you to try and think about what it would be like trying to meet or find another ABDL person if the internet didn't exist. Growing up gay before the internet was a journey into darkness. The media portrayed us as limp-wristed, flamboyant fags and when we were covered in the news, it was often in relation to a gay-bashing or the police raiding a gay bar. At work, we lived mostly in hiding because we had no protection from being fired. We put on our facades of acting straight, and most us were not out to our families.

    So how were we to meet someone we could care about, or just to find friends with whom we could be open when we were so terrified of being discovered? Most of the population in the urban areas resorted to cruising in dark areas or meeting in gay bars. Both had high risks of violence. In many areas that didn't have gay bars, men were often driven out of desperation to go cruising in parks after dark to seek out companionship or other public places such as public washrooms. It had a lot of risks and many encounters ended in violence or death. Cruising hot spots were frequently patrolled by the police, and closeted gay men were arrested and charged which often led to their dismissal at work and estrangement from their own families.

    Those gay cruising places also became frequent targets for gaybashers to find their next victim. Many in my city can still recall the horrific murder of Alain Brosseau, a straight waiter getting off a late shift and was on his way home late at night. He unknowingly cut through a gay cruising area where some gaybashers seeking a victim. They attacked him, beat him violently, and dangled him off a bridge over the Ottawa River before throwing him to his death. This incident was so disturbing, it led to the formation of GLBT Police Liason Committee, one of the first of its kind in the country.


    Off the Streets and Into the Buildings

    For many of us, cruising and going to gay bars were not viable options. I had become a competitive marathon runner, so spending my time drinking in a bar was not an appealing way to meet people. I had also suffered from alcoholism, so being in an environment with a steady flow of alcohol was probably not the smartest way for me to meet people. So I lived alone, fighting depresssion, loneliness and isolation. I was far from the only one.

    When I was 25 years old, I finally decided to contact the Gays of Ottawa which was located in an old building not far from where I lived. Although I was aware of its proximity, it took years before I could find the courage to talk to someone there. It was on the second floor, and I still recall the terror of going up that long flight of stairs, not sure what I would find. I met with a counsellor telling him how I felt so alone and how I hated being gay. He helped connect me to a support group for other young gay men who were going through the same thing.

    Although I remained in the closet, this seemed to be a time when our population was moving away from the bars, the confrontational demonstrations, cruising in dark areas, and we were becoming more accepted into the mainstream. There were now services and buildings for the gay community that provided support, counselling and helplines. The police were beginning to work with the gay community instead of harrassing us. None of it was perfect of course, and even today, there are still problems, however there was a definite shift in how we were being perceived and treated. There were still marches and demonstrations, but with more organizations forming to offer support, we also began working with politicians, businesses, and even a few churches. In short, we were coming in out of the cold and gaining acceptance. There were still clashes with hate groups and some conservative fundamentalists, but we were laying the groundwork for the next phase, which included reaching out to youth, connecting with gays and lesbians living in isolated areas who had no form of support, public education, the reformation of discrimination laws in housing and employment, and, most notably, the battle for same-sex marriage.


    Gay Men and AIDS

    When AIDS first made its way into the western world, it was referred to as "the gay cancer." It was an immediate killer back then and it was a death sentence to anyone who contracted the disease. It was largely a source of humour to many people in the heterosexual population (What do you call a fag on roller skates? Answer: Roll-Aids). Several churches issued public statements that it was "God's divine punishment" for living an immoral lifestyle. It was gay men themselves who were forced to take the matter into their own hands and voluntarily organized outreach groups to connect with gay men and particularly gay youth to be careful and get themselves checked by their doctors. They were caregivers to their dying partners, showing love you can't imagine, yet feeling so helpless and fearful. I think this was also a period of change, as compassion and caring for those around us became our life's mission. It united us. Initially there was no idea how people were getting the disease, and it was reported to be contagious. Unfortunately, many gay men were not out to their doctors and some continued to engage in sexual activity and paid for it with their lives. It wasn't until AIDS crossed over into the heterosexual population that it was treated as an epidemic and more funding was allocated towards research and a cure. You can't imagine the fear of being a gay man in the advent of AIDS, not knowing the cause of the disease, and terrified that it will claim you.


    The Death of Matthew Shepard

    There were very few people around the world who were not affected by the death of Matthew Shepard in 1998. It was arguably seen as one of the worst hate crimes in US history. Shepard was a young, gay university student in Wyoming. He was lured into a truck one night by two gaybashers pretending to be gay. They took him to an isolated field and pistol whipped him with a gun and tied him to a fence. They continued the brutal assault and set fire to him before leaving him to die. Even as far away as here in Ottawa, Canada, a vigil was held to share our grief.

    The crime caused ripples around the world. There was a backlash against homophobia and hate crimes. A play about the aftermath titled "The Laramie Project" toured around the US and Canada raising funds and initiating campaigns against bigotry. The Matthew Shepard Foundation was established to fund educational programs and an online community for teens to discuss sexual orientation and gender issues. The Matthew Shepard Act was passed in 2009, a law which defined certain characteristics or motivation of an attack as a hate crime.


    The Battle for Same Sex Marriages in Canada

    After a long, lengthy debate, province by province, appeal after appeal, Canada legalized same sex marriages twelve years ago. Despite the opposition of social conservatives and organized religion, the federal courts and the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that denying gay and lesbians the right to marry was a violation of basic human rights.

    We learned that human rights must first be won before vows can be made. Before Canada legalized gay marriage, sexual orientation was included in the Canadian Human Rights Act and protected in the equal rights section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. There were many stepping stones on the road to full equality.

    The legal right for gays and lesbians to marry had a significant impact on social attitudes in our country. Five years before these laws were passed, only one third of the population supported same-sex marriages. In 2010 that number rose to half the population. By 2015, seventy percent of the population was in favour of same-sex marriages.


    In 2017

    We have won significant legal battles relating to protection of human rights, same sex marriages, and protection in the workplace, housing and accessing services. However, the social negative attitudes against the LGBTQ population still remain with us. The white supremacists in Charlotesville last week chanted their anti-gay slogans, and we are still at a high risk of assaults and crimes motivated by hate. LGBTQ youth continue to have a higher rate of depression and rates of suicide and attempted suicide. Although we have the right to marry, we still face some discrimination in the area of adoption.

    Also, you may have noticed that the majority of this post discusses the battles of the gay and lesbian population throughout the years without much mention of transgenders. That's because they weren't on our radar as they are today. Or perhaps we just weren't listening. I've always said that the gay rights movement was twenty-five years behind the women's movement, and that the transgender movement was twenty-five years behind the gay rights movement. As transgenders become more prominent in our consciousness, we see them facing the same sort of contempt that we faced decades ago, calling them confused or having mental health problems, initiating anti-transgender bathroom laws to instill fear against them, and banning them from the military. We stand proudly in solidarity with them, recognizing there are still many members in our society who need to have a group to villify and hate to further their own agenda. Regardless of our country or race, we will always stand together in solidarity in the face of misinformation, hatred, and injustice. We don't cross the finish line until we all cross the finish line together.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 24-Aug-2017 at 15:12.

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    Great post , i myself had some very bad ideas about transgender because my older sister was born my brother , and he took every bit of craziness in him out on those around him .
    He went from hetero to bi to gay back to hetero and now transgender lesbian , that had me thinking transgender people were nuts . Because all of his anger and flip flopping he ran off everone who loved him, then I met some "healthy" transgender who werent having an identity crisis ever couple of weeks , or getting beligerant and abusive when someone couldnt figure out what his belief was this week , she and i dont really talk she has decided she doesnt want or need any of her family and friends from when she was male , because she was insistent that we re write our history with her as her always being a female , we all told him that was her work to do ,not ours and she became more and more abusive and arrogant until most people said enough and broke off contact, my last convo with her was my telling male or female I don't care i still love him , for that he attacked me with a kitchen knife and then left , i now here from her like once a year she writes tells me what she is doing but has me blocked so she never hears from me , what's equally bizarre I know people who are transgender that know my sister also, we have a great relationship , she ju
    st has no idea that we are friends, or have relationships because she doesnt want to acknowledge any of us , she is content to live in her limited view of the world where everyone Is wrong and misunderstands her, she enjoys playing the victim.
    Any way because of that it took me awhile to figure things out , transgender are just people
    With real needs and real problems like the rest of us , my sister is a different case all together her identity and gender issues have her very messed up , I have even tried to get her into therapy where we could work these issues out , but she refuses that because she is angry she cant get a letter allowing her GRS because she has not done it by procedure , she has all her supplies shipped in from overseas and has a DIY feminization program , so she is pretty angry at the mental health profession for standing in her way of true happiness , she wanted to transition and go work in a brothel but she still has man bitd so she doesnt work she sits around collecting disability for gender dysphoria peridicaly trying to sue Medicare to pay for surgery saying all she needs is a vagina to be "fixed" her job as a male was on Wall street making enormous amounts of money and always being able to buy her way anything she wants , this time that isn't working and it infuriates her , she even thought of "medical tourism" but hasn't found a place that Medicare will pay for it, that she can travel to .
    Your fight is real and your cause Is just, I understand why you fight, most people only believing fighting for themselves , you see what they got from the nazis , so it's all our fight to protect everone's right to be who they are , not just what's convient or practical ,my mom taught me basic fairness , so fighting for the rights of LGBTQ is no different than fighting for the blind or disabled in my book , it needs to be done by all of us for all of us because life is strange something that doesn't seem to fit with a person doesn't mean tommorow we won't have a horse in that race , i got involved in disabled advocacy when i was a young guy never knowing one day i would have my life highjacked by rare disease, so fighting for all comes pretty natural for me .

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

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    I didn't even see this thread (one week later)... I just wanted to acknowledge both, of these posts... I'm more moved by the general solidarity in the latter yet, no less appreciative and respectful of the first...

    I don't have the wherewithal to go into anything much at this time... I'm moved to, I just lack the capability at this time...

    I, grew up with no identity - I mean, none...

    I'll hope to come back to this later...

    -Marka

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    Reading this now is quite interesting considering the current situation in Australia where I live. Same sex marriage is not legal here. Next week the government will conduct a postal opinion survey on whether the people would like same sex marriage to be legalised. If the Yes "vote" wins the government might consider opening it up for discussion in parliament. All a big waste of time and money that will likely not achieve anything.

    But it has stirred up so much hate amongst the homophobic lobby groups here. It's quite disgusting.


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    Being Gay and of the older generation has never been easy.
    Until 2001, I hid in the closet.
    Being Autistic and also having Mild Cerebral Palsy, I am a minority within a minority.
    I internalized a massive amount of Homophobia.
    In the Spring of 1976, the year I graduated from High School, the only "out" person I knew was my Lesbian classmate, CT.
    Admittedly, I thought she was utterly nuts to "come out of the closet" at age 17.
    Yes, she knew how to throw punches to "defend herself".
    I first saw other LGBT people when I was in college down in Boston, MA.






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    Great article my friend. You know my history, getting discovered by my mom when I was having a psychotic break in wonderful 1970. The whole country was coming apart at the seams. My friends were going to Vietnam and coming home in aluminum boxes. There were riots in the streets weekly as both anti Vietnam demonstrations continued and perhaps more important, thou getting less attention, civil rights. Then came the shootings at Kent State University.

    My boyfriend, myself and three others formed an activist committee and lead our college to strike, which was quite an accomplishment for a small music conservatory preparing students to be church musicians or teach music. In the month of May, 1970, almost every college and university went on total strike to protest what happened at Kent St.

    By the spring, it all came emotionally crashing down on me, sex every night along with pot, alcohol, acid, downers, riots and demonstrating, keeping up a B to A grade point average, my senior recital, more young males coming home dead, and in my case, diapers and wondering, who the hell am I?

    So I came home for dinner one night while my parents had company, and not just anyone. It was with the man who set up all the technology to broadcast the Nixon /Khrushchev debate broadcast. Dinner began and I started to cry and couldn't stop crying. Everything suddenly came crashing down. The upshot was that when I went back to school, my mom searched my room and found diapers and gay porn. Could there have been anything worse in 1970? She made me see a psychiatrist at a residential mental facility.

    So yes, being gay was dangerous and worse, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and you could be put in an institution against your will. Additionally, you could be given shock therapy or lobotomized. The Carrier Clinic where I was, did both. That's how people who fit into that LGBTQ category were treated. Cops could beat us to a pulp, or watch others do it while they did nothing. This is all well documented. It's not that we didn't have rights. It was worse. We were a target for the lawless and a target for society which didn't want us.

    I could go on but this always makes me depressed so I'll end it hear. Fortunately other members will have contributions to make and be heard. I may respond to those if it reminds me of more painful memories. For what it's worth, I sometimes have to go back in time and revisit all of that and I do it by playing the music of that time. Music can express emotions that words can only approximate. "The words of the prophets are written on subway walls and tenement halls, and whispered in the sounds of silence." Maybe this is why we no longer whisper, but demonstrate and demand justice, to be treated equally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Great article my friend. You know my history, getting discovered by my mom when I was having a psychotic break in wonderful 1970. The whole country was coming apart at the seams. My friends were going to Vietnam and coming home in aluminum boxes. There were riots in the streets weekly as both anti Vietnam demonstrations continued and perhaps more important, thou getting less attention, civil rights. Then came the shootings at Kent State University.

    My boyfriend, myself and three others formed an activist committee and lead our college to strike, which was quite an accomplishment for a small music conservatory preparing students to be church musicians or teach music. In the month of May, 1970, almost every college and university went on total strike to protest what happened at Kent St.

    By the spring, it all came emotionally crashing down on me, sex every night along with pot, alcohol, acid, downers, riots and demonstrating, keeping up a B to A grade point average, my senior recital, more young males coming home dead, and in my case, diapers and wondering, who the hell am I?

    So I came home for dinner one night while my parents had company, and not just anyone. It was with the man who set up all the technology to broadcast the Nixon /Khrushchev debate broadcast. Dinner began and I started to cry and couldn't stop crying. Everything suddenly came crashing down. The upshot was that when I went back to school, my mom searched my room and found diapers and gay porn. Could there have been anything worse in 1970? She made me see a psychiatrist at a residential mental facility.

    So yes, being gay was dangerous and worse, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and you could be put in an institution against your will. Additionally, you could be given shock therapy or lobotomized. The Carrier Clinic where I was, did both. That's how people who fit into that LGBTQ category were treated. Cops could beat us to a pulp, or watch others do it while they did nothing. This is all well documented. It's not that we didn't have rights. It was worse. We were a target for the lawless and a target for society which didn't want us.

    I could go on but this always makes me depressed so I'll end it hear. Fortunately other members will have contributions to make and be heard. I may respond to those if it reminds me of more painful memories. For what it's worth, I sometimes have to go back in time and revisit all of that and I do it by playing the music of that time. Music can express emotions that words can only approximate. "The words of the prophets are written on subway walls and tenement halls, and whispered in the sounds of silence." Maybe this is why we no longer whisper, but demonstrate and demand justice, to be treated equally.
    Thanks, dogboy.

    I was thinking earlier today about the movie "Brokeback Mountain." When it came out, a friend of mine, who prides herself on being highly progressive, just had to see the movie right away, and of course she had to take me with her so she could teĺl her friends what a genuine queer thought of it. I must admit, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the movie. She asked why I wasn't blown away by it and I replied that gay people have our own Brokeback Mountains, and all of them were true experiences. We didn't need a fictionalized account of our lives when there was so much truth to be told. The movie didn't even scratch the surface of the thousands of stories of the survival and deaths we experienced.

    You know a lot of my story from my younger days, growing up with a homophobic abusive father, a suicide attempt at the age of sixteen, and the loss of a gay partner to suicide who couldn't handle the pressure of our closeted relationship. The hardest thing in life is grieving all alone in the closet.

    I think you and I can take solace in two things. First, we simply survived against the odds and we have lived long enough to become comfortable with who we are. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for having had the strength and resilience to get through it and come out in one piece. Damaged, perhaps, but we're still standing.

    The other thing is that we began the fight to claim our lives and our dignity. After surviving the violence, the health crises, the hatred and discrimination, we have opened to door to more acceptance in general. Youth today have more a hopeful future with the legalization of same-sex marriages, gay/straight alliances and anti-bullying campaigns in schools, and more resources and support services for LGBTQ youth and their parents, We fought for legislation to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and services. We may have barely survived, but for what we lived through, the future generations will be better off. There continue to be setbacks, but that happens in every movement. There is always a step backward for every ten steps forward. I know it will still be a less than perfect and accepting society by the time I am gone, but we will get there in time. I do believe that.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 10-Sep-2017 at 04:25.

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    Again, thank you for this response. I thought the same thing about Brokeback Mountain. There just wasn't enough there. Back in the late '60s there was a more in your face movie called, "The Boys in the Band". It's available on Amazon, believe it or not. It's dated now because it was made in the 60s and reflects gay life back then, but it's also very revealing of those times. Buzzy and I saw it together in Princeton. The feeling I got watching it was that I didn't want to be like the characters in the movie. They all had problems, in accepting themselves and being accepted.

    For what it's worth, your life story always moves me. I'm so sorry all of those events happened to you and to your first partner. I'm always reminded as to how difficult life is. We see it work its difficulties on many of our members on this site, for a myriad of reasons. The trick to living is finding ways to survive with dignity. Today I played the first two Chopin Nocturnes from memory. I'm getting better at this and it makes me so happy. We all find ways to cope in our different ways.

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    Thanks for writing this Starrunner. I finally had some time today to read a block of text, and this is a really well-put together post outlining your experiences and the major historical events that gave them context and changed how the world acted towards gay people. As a student of history myself, I thought it was fascinating, and I wish I had the connections to get something like this into an archive. I don't know if you have either the time or the willingness, but if there's a university near where you live in Canada, you might consider seeing if they have any professors there studying modern Canadian history (or modern American history, or modern European history maybe) who would be interested in doing an oral history interview with you and saving it.

    For myself, I've flitted about with labels. My interest in diapers is on the very strong end of the spectrum. Thinking about diapers was what brought me into puberty and has been my main source of arousal for as long as that's been something possible for me. I spent a while thinking maybe I was asexual because outside of my fetish I didn't seem to find men or women attractive. On top of that, having a big ABDL secret made me kind of a cold person for a lot of my teens and college years: I was smart, logical, driven by my career interests, and not willing to open up to anyone, which was not exactly conducive to having a relationship or even really exploring whether one were possible. As I've grown older, I've found that just getting sexual satisfaction isn't enough, and I'm willing at this point to say that my romantic interest is towards women, but I honestly still haven't figured out exactly what terminology I should use for my sexuality. All of this has often left me in an odd situation. On the one hand, the way I want to live doesn't require that I publicly declare myself: I don't need to show up at parties with the same partner or hide from parents lest I be disowned, for example. So in that way, I am far more lucky and blessed than what many LGBT+ people have gone through. On the other hand, my sexuality is particularly unusual and even among LGBT groups I don't feel safe talking about myself (for example my work has an LGBT support group, of which I'm a member, but I don't talk about my possible asexuality or demisexuality plus my fetish there). So I've always felt like an outsider among outsiders, so to speak. My opinion though is that gains for one are gains for all. I don't think everyone has the same experience, but I think that the sorts of fear, loneliness, and uncertainty that I have felt in various times in my life are probably very similar to those felt by many LGBT people, and so I want everyone to be better off, selfishly so that the world is more favorable to me, and selflessly because I want all the other people who might have suffered any of the things I did to be better off and for people in the future not to have to suffer those feelings.

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    Excellent post regarding LGBT history. I know for myself, I fall under the LGBT umbrella, but many of the struggles I've heard other LGBT folks across the country describe, I've been fortunate enough to not have to deal with. I feel like I live in a left-leaning progressive bubble, where this isn't an issue. All the family and friends I have come out to have been fine with it and accepting, and homophobic attitudes are strongly frowned upon. I can only think of one time where someone was homophobic towards me, and when you hear of people suffering through so much worse homophobia on a daily basis, you know you're fortunate in that regard. Not to mention, majority of people whom I'm not close to probably just assume I'm straight since I don't fit any of the LGBT stereotypes, I don't have to worry about people discovering I'm LGBT by bringing a same-sex partner to a party since I'm not seeing anyone for the time being, any talk about exes would just be considered normal since talking about my ex-girlfriend would just have people assume I'm straight since people generally don't think of a dude talking about his ex-girlfriend and think to themselves, "Bisexual Man", and I very rarely bring up my sexuality anyways.

    I feel like some other LGBT people with experiences similar to mine, who also live in a progressive bubble, and didn't go through all the struggles and the hardships the LGBT community has overcome over the years, and will naively think that homophobia is over because "We just won on gay marriage. It may be legal to fire someone for being gay in 27 states, but it's not legal in my state. I can't legally be fired or evicted from my home for being gay where I live. And homophobic attitudes are shamed and ridiculed by everyone around me. Nobody I know is homophobic. That was a problem of the past. Homophobia is over now". This obviously isn't true, but I do feel that many people could easily think that if they just lived in that bubble and never looked outside it or at the history of the LGBT movement that you laid out in full detail. I'll admit at times, I'm guilty of occasionally feeling disconnected to stories regarding LGBT rights in the same way I feel disconnected to stories about race and POC, in that occasionally, it feels that the stories I hear about homophobia and I'll think "That can't affect me. That would never happen here. Not in the progressive bubble I live in". Though I'm pretty sure that that's not true, and if I stopped only associating with my small group of friends and spoke to more people, I'd probably find more LGBT people who have much worse stories of homophobia and will reveal that where I live is less progressive and LGBT friendly than I want to believe.

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ADISC.org - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community.
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