Content warning: the content in this article may be triggering for some readers. Please read with caution.
The Evolution of Sexuality
Sexuality has changed drastically over the years. In the past, everyone automatically thought about heterosexuality when they discussed sexuality. However, it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone anymore, people now have a different definition of what it means to them and attach different connotations to it. Although discussions about homosexuality are still taboo in certain places and countries such as Barbados and Singapore which have laws that criminalize homosexuality, society has become more open-minded and accepting of it. For example, the marriage act that allows same-sex couples to get married was only implemented in 2013 in England and Wales; and same-sex couples have only been represented on mainstream shows and movies recently.
Gender- What Does it Mean?
According to Google, gender is defined as the male sex or the female sex, especially when considered concerning social and cultural differences rather than biological ones, or ones or one of a range of other identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.
Whereas, the World Health Organisation defines gender as the characteristics of women, men, girls, and boys that are socially constructed.
There are a variety of opinions about the definition of gender. Many people believe that someone can only be either a male or a female- no in-between. However, some believe that someone's gender is whatever they choose to identify themselves as, regardless of birth. By the LGBT foundation, non-binary people feel as though their gender can't be defined within the margins of male or female and don't conform to the traditional social constructs. To this day, there are debates and discussions about this controversial topic, but my question is: Why does it matter?
The Bigger Picture
We live in a world where people are afraid to express their true identity due to the fear of being rejected, judged, or excluded. It should not be like this. I believe that people should be able to identify as whoever they want and love whoever they choose. It is unjust for people to feel as though they need to hide who they are because they are afraid the world will not accept them. I am a heterosexual female who is proud of who I am and who I love. I am also a heterosexual female who wants others to feel the same way about their sexuality and who they love. Whenever I see changes being made in society such as LGBT Pride Month being made official in 2009 by Barack Obama, or I see the freedom people feel after sharing their coming out stories; or I watch shows including same-sex couples, it makes me happy. It gives me hope for a better future. No one should be obligated to conform to a lifestyle that isn't a true reflection of themselves- I believe everyone should be able to love who they want and should not be judged. Just as a man would not be criticized for loving a woman, a man shouldn't be criticized for loving a man. So today I encourage you to sit back and evaluate how you treat members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We should all aim for a more equal and supportive society because, at the end of the day, the bigger picture is love.