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LGBTQ Passion Project

By lauratlehman Mar 24, 2015 2795 Words
 

 
The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 


 

 
 
 
 
The Fight for Equality: 
LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 
A Review of the Literature 
Laura Lehman 
Edina High School
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 



The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century  A Review of the Literature 
 
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 92% of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,  Transgender, Questioning) youth say they hear negative messages about their sexuality. The top  sources of these negative messages are school, the Internet and their peers. Being bullied and  harassed for who you choose to love isn’t just, and certainly isn’t humane. I chose this topic as  my passion project because I strongly believe everyone was created equal, and that everyone  deserves to be treated that way no matter what. I know from experience with my LGBTQ friends  how hard it can be to hide who they truly are every single day, or face the hurtful words and  actions from peers just because of who they love. I want to make a difference in this problem  with teens, and lead by example of how to be an advocate. Although the situation is improving,  LGBTQ identifiers, especially teens, are still not treated as equals in society at larger. Raising  awareness and standing up for identifiers are ways to reach equality.   

Background of the Information 
Inequality like slavery has existed in America previously, and racism is beginning to 

 

 
The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 



disappear altogether. Even though this form of discrimination is dying down, sexual orientation  inequality still is present and very controversial in the 21st century. This is a problem because so  many LGBTQ identifiers are losing benefits and rights that straight people are born with. For  example, teenagers are being kicked out of schools because of who they love. Many Christian  schools in Georgia actually make their enrolled students sign a paper saying that they are  straight. Kids who want to attend these schools for the education ,but are homosexual, have to be  incredibly secretive. A student attending a Georgia one such school recalls a moment from his  friends past, ​

"They found out she was a lesbian, and they made her go in front of the entire  school and tell them," says Tristan (the student). "And then they kicked her out the next day."  (Morris, 2013,p.9). LGBTQ adults are being discriminated as well, but in a more serious form.  An identified teacher says “​

After 12 years together I was excited to finally be able to marry my  partner. Because of that, I was fired from Holy Ghost Preparatory School today. I am an alumnus  of the school and have taught there for 12 years.” (Brydum, 2013,p. 3). Being fired from your job  and being denied the right to marry is discrimination and awareness needs to be raised so  equality can be met.  

 
Evidence of the Problem 

 

 
The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 



Being accepted by others a teen can be hard, but imagine how it feels to come out to a  society that still isn’t 100% supportive about your sexuality. The research from the Human  Rights Campaign say that 26% of LGBTQ youth’s biggest problem in life is not feeling accepted  by their family/peer and afraid of being bullied for coming out. Meanwhile, 22% of straight teens  say their biggest problem is having trouble in class with exams and grades. Homosexual students  are spending so much time worrying so much about how others will accept them for who they  are, that they are forgetting about schoolwork and not doing their best. This is a reason we need  to raise awareness of LGBTQ equality because identifiers shouldn’t spend their days worrying  about society and how they will react, rather than enjoying life as a teenager. This lack of sexual  acceptance by society, especially in teens, is a problem because gay and lesbian suicide rates  keep climbing up. According to SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids),  suicide is the leading cause of death among LGBTQ teens in the 21st century and more than 30%  of gay youth attempt suicide near the age of 15. The New Civil Rights Movement produced an  article with the shocking statistic that ​

it is estimated that 1,000 LGBTQ youth commit suicide in  the United States every year. That is approximately three LGBTQ youth committing suicide  every day​
.​
This is significant because homosexual teens are two­six more times likely than  straight teens to commit suicide for reasons like bullying and non­acceptance. Suicide in general 

 

 
The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 



is an issue that needs to be resolved, but these LGBTQ suicide rates are a problem because it  shows that society is so harsh on their sexuality, that kids would rather die than truly be who they  are.  

 
The lack of LGBTQ equality is also a problem with adults because they are being denied  basic rights that straight married couples have. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s  study on federal rights, there are supposed to be 1,138 benefits, rights and protections that you  should receive during marriage. However, LGBTQ couples do not have access to social security  & tax benefits, immigration papers, family & medical leave, and employee benefits. This is  because the Defense of Marriage Act states that marriage is between one man and one woman,  which means the marriage rights do not apply to same sex couples. This is unfair and is a  problem because homosexual couples are being limited to their basic rights just because of who  they love. For example, LGBTQ couples do not have immigration rights like straight couples do;  so every year thousands of homosexual spouses are either being deported, or are constantly in  fear of being deported. This denial of rights is evidence that LGBTQ unequality because every  married couple should have the same rights/benefits as the next.     

 

 
The Fight for Equality: LGBTQ Acceptance in the 21st Century 



Current Action Being Taken 
Because LGBTQ equality and acceptance is a more recent issue, there are many actions  people are currently doing to try and make a difference. Many celebrities have voiced their  opinions on this subject by taking action, and have created lasting effects on their fans and many  other people. A very well known example of celebrity action being taking about sexual equality  is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s song “Same Love”. For me personally, I think this song is one  of the best and most strong messages that has been delivered to teenagers (and others) about  awareness for LGBTQ equality. Lyrics throughout the song like “​ The right wing conservatives 

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