I am a strong believer is LGBTQ equality. I have an ever increasing number of good friends in the gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender communities and continually see that there are distinct areas in which my friends do not receive the equal treatment they deserve by the communities they are a part of. So I try to do what I can to assist in this area by supporting LGBTQ causes and activism in my own state, in the United States, and internationally.
I first encountered lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer culture in college. While we had anti-discrimination policies in middle school and high school they primarily focused on racism and ignored other minorities ? including lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer individuals. I was not active in the campus clubs, but spent a fair amount of time working with and socializing with some members of the LGBTQ club because we were both on the student council. Admittedly, this was likely my first real exposure to the lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer communities ? but I am a person who tries to be accepting of everyone and so rapidly made friends and became a strong advocate.
I am extremely happy to have seen so much progress made in our society in terms of lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer rights ? specifically for the gay and lesbian communities, and ? to an extent ? the queer community (it simply encompasses so many different personal identities that it is difficult to make a blanket statement such as that). The United States now allows for same sex marriage and the lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer individuals have been afforded many workplace and societal protections. I am extremely sorry to say that this is not something that all countries around the world are embracing, but I hope that we will see this change in the upcoming years.
Unfortunately, it seems that the transgender community has not necessarily seen the same level of acceptance as the gay and lesbian communities have begun to see. Instead, the transgender section of the lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer community is currently in the same stage that the lesbian and gay communities were in the 1970?s and 1980?s. Thankfully, however, thinks seem to be happening far faster in our current society than they did 30 years ago ? due in no small part to social media and the internet. So it is my sincerest hope that the transgender movement will make rapid progress.