Dear Future President,
The harassment towards the LGBTQ community has gone on long enough. Ever since marriage was made legal, it seems to me that it’s gotten worse. Teens are bullied for it, adults are shunned for it, and even children with same-sex parents are treated poorly. I understand that some people don’t like it because of their beliefs, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is purposely making someone feel bad about who they are. The LGBTQ community should not be harassed because of a choice they've made. This results in things like self-hate, social anxiety, and other fears or problems. Is this what America’s become?
There are 82% of LGBTQ teens that have problems with bullying because of their sexual orientation. 64% feel unsafe at school because of their sexuality. 37% have skipped at least one day of school due to bullying. 44% have been physically harassed. 61% never even report the attacks out of fear of stronger bullying. 31% say that when they did report the attacks, the school made no effort to stop them. LGBTQ teens are two to three times more likely to commit suicide. In fact, one-third of deaths by suicide in America are because of harassment for sexuality. 26% are forced out of their homes. That is unacceptable. This, Future President, is what’s wrong with America.
Being a part of this community, I can strongly agree with the statistics above. A lot of people change their attitudes towards me when I tell them. Not always in a bad way, they’re just different. Some people stop talking to me completely, and usually end up bullying me. And sometimes people I’ve never really talked to treat me poorly because of my sexuality. I’m going to tell you a brief story. There was a transgender girl who had been bullied for two years because of her sexual identity. When she finally reported it, the school did nothing. A short time later, a fight began between her and three classmates. The school acknowledged that the transgender teen was the victim in the attack, but she was the only one charged with criminal assault. She automatically received the worst punishment.
I know what you’re thinking: There are pride parades, support groups, and gay marriage was made legal. What more do you want? I think I can speak for the entire LGBTQ community when I say that we do appreciate what’s already been done. But Future President, are the protests, T-shirts, parades, and support groups really enough to change how homophobic people see us?
Future President, I ask you this. Do you want teenagers to be afraid to go to school because of their identity? Do you want suicide rates to climb because of the harassment we receive? Do you want to run a country where people are afraid to be themselves? No, I don’t think so. What I want you to do? Have the bullies receive the same punishment. Have the harassers be punished, not the protesters. Please, Future President. Make our country have liberty and justice for all, once more.