Cassandra W. Michigan

The LGBT Community are Not Just a Number

This is coming from a 12th grade student, who is upset with both sides of politics seeing the LGBT community, and other minorities as just a number and a demographic, rather than real people.

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

I am writing this letter to you on the behalf of the LGBT community. I understand that either one of the individuals reading this have differing stances on support for this demographic, but no matter who is reading this, one commonality exists. You view our community as just another demographic, another group of voters that will be supporting you or your opponent. But I am here to tell you that we are not just another group of people that have an effect on whether you win or not. We are people, who have individual lives, families, struggles, and identities beyond being a part of the LGBT community.

When you make a promise to protect the rights and safety of those in our community, you are not just making promises to those people parading around, yelling out their sexuality for all the world to hear. You are making a promise to a teenager who’s scared to come out because they cannot afford to live on their own if their parents kicked them out. You are making a promise to the child with two dads, who has to see their parents worrying if they can safely live in their new neighborhood or not. You are making a promise to the person who just started taking hormones, who is finally starting to be happy in their own skin. So, future president, if you have made promises that you do not intend to keep, ones you made just to ensure that you received a higher percentage of the vote for these people, I urge you to reconsider the gravity and impact of your promise. Your promises have an effect beyond a number in the polls. We are not just a demographic to win over.

Alternatively, when you disregard our rights, our safety, whether directly, or through things such as putting anti-LGBT politicians in prospective positions of power, it has an impact on us too. When you do this, it is not just discouraging those who walk around, expressing their sexuality or gender identity at every given opportunity with the utmost level of pride. You are disregarding the child in the closet, with the homophobic parents who now have further validation that their viewpoint is right. You are disregarding the person who is finally happy with themselves, starting to take hormones, who can have it all knocked down by some insensitive people calling them any name in the book, seeing nothing wrong with what is being done, because this person just “shouldn’t be so sensitive”. You are disregarding the teenager who is terrified beyond belief that if their parents find out about their sexuality, they will be forced to go through conversion therapy for loving a certain gender. When you disregard us, it does not just mean that you are getting an extra vote from another anti-LGBT person, it means you are potentially ruining some people’s lives. You are making people fear for their safety, for their future.

By the time you are reading this, it will be too late to change the impacts of your campaign. You cannot go back in time and take back the promises you made, or make new promises that you never spoke. But remember, your position of power has an impact beyond numbers in polls, or your advisors telling you that a group of people is upset or happy with a decision that you have made. You are affecting real individuals, people with families, hopes, dreams, goals, struggles, accomplishments and a full life. We are not just a demographic to win over or push aside. Please remember that the next time you are being aware of an issue in the LGBT community, this is not just an issue for a faceless community, these are issues that affect me, and so many other individuals with lives as complex as yours.

Sincerely,

A pansexual who is fed up with being just another demographic