What is wrong with the LGBT community? I am gay, and I can tell you

Today, we will talk about a few different things about the LGBT community in general. Those are different because apparently, no one is talking about them, or at least not very much and not very loudly. And I think it would be better if somebody like me, a homosexual, start talking about this before others. We have lots of problems already, to begin with, and I don’t want people to start pointing their fingers to us for such things. So, without further ado, let’s jump into it then.

So, first of all, those who don’t know already, I’m homosexual and a proud to be a member of the global LGBT community. Now, let’s start with a little experience that happened with me just recently, and that experience literally opened my eyes. I was at a friend’s place, and we were just chilling and talking about our relationships and other stuff. My friend was logged into his Grindr account on his phone, and we were casually surfing around. I guess you already know what Grindr is, but in case you don’t, it’s a social networking app for LGBTQ people. It’s basically Tinder for LGBTQ community; however, it was started in 2009, much before than Tinder started. Now, I have a boyfriend, and I have done with Grindr already; hence, I was not paying too much attention to the profiles my friend was surfing through.

However, to my surprise, I saw a lot of hateful comments in there. Some of them not into Asians, some are not into black, some searching only for Nordic partners, etc. And I thought by myself, why are we such racist and disrespectful in the gay community? This actually inspired me to write this article about such issues in the gay community. I wanted to start with the first problem, and that’s about not being into a particular type. I do understand that we’re human and we have preferences. Those preferences – we learn them because those are the things that we are used to seeing or the things that we’re not used to seeing. A teacher of mine always said nobody has a taste, but you’ll develop taste throughout your life. I saw this profile, and somebody said I’m not into a specific ethnicity of people, and I thought by myself, how can you not be into those people? I can understand and relate if you would say I do not like him because his sense of humor or his character doesn’t match me. But if you say I don’t like him because of his hair color, his skin color or it’s this or that, then you’re just being so rude and disrespectful without even knowing that person. By saying such things, what you’re basically saying is I am such shallow, I do not have anything in me, and I’m just an empty box of nothing, and the only thing I care about is your race, color, and appearance! Don’t you think that you should get to know the person, see who he is as a person? I think that’s really important.

A lot of gay people struggle about their sexuality, they struggle about coming out of the closet and getting to know themselves. I don’t know when everyone comes out of the open, I mean, it’s different for everyone. For me, it was once I went to college. But at high school, the only thing that I was trying to do is like covering up myself so that people won’t think or suspect that I’m gay. And, when I get out of the closet, I was like oh my god I’m free, and there’s this whole world like it’s open and it’s new, and I have to discover this wonderful new world – hope you got the feeling! I wanted to settle and mingle and wanted to find out my soulmate. I believe in monogamy, and I want to stay in a monogamous relationship (and thank God for that). We have strict rules between us. There are certain things that we do not wish to do, and there are certain things that we can do and without minding whatever. We trust each other, and I think trust is really crucial here. He is in addition to me in the things that I’m not good at, the things that are less in me or not complete – he completes me in that. He adds something to me, and that’s why I’m in love with him. Of course, there is chemistry between us; definitely, there is, but there is nothing about him that I can say yes, this was exactly why I fell in love with him. Appearance wise, he has beautiful eyes, and his curly hairs are very cute, but is that all? It’s not, and it’s because who he is as a human being is most important for me than anything else.

I know I started writing this article to talk about the problems with the LGBT community, but I think we can take it from here and stretch it all out. Because it’s not only the issue that we have in our community, it goes maybe further. But, for now, I think we should start with ours, and I will start with myself, and this is what I experienced in the gay community. I hope we share the same beliefs or even if we don’t; hopefully, I might have changed just a tiny bit of your perspective on the world and I hope you’ll carry a little bit more love in you towards every human being regardless of their race, ethnicity or sexual preference. Peace and lots of love to you.

Depressed and suicidal LGBT: A short note based on the alarming survey data

The LGBT community has always been more vulnerable to serious mental issues like anxiety and depression, and also substance abuse historically, and the lack of social acceptance makes the condition even worse. Though the situation is gradually changing, it’s still a far cry from the ideal scenario. Today in this article, we will talk about this issue, which seems to be not talked about very much, until recently. A lot of doctors, health workers and volunteers who are working closely with the global LGBT community, expressing their worries and trying to spread awareness. We talked with some of them, and this article is based on their opinions on this matter and some hard facts and data collected from various government and private organizations.

People often feel like they’ll make others mad if they try to cry out for help, and people living with anxiety are commonly known as people pleasers. Because of these issues, people are being bullied for having this disability in their lives. It is found that anxiety disorders are the most common psychological illness in the United States, and it’s affecting over forty million adults over the age of 18, which is 18.1 percent of the population, every year. LGBT individuals are almost three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. The fear of coming out and being discriminated against for sexual orientation and gender identities can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse. The LGBT community is at a higher risk for suicide because they face substantially more peer pressure and mental harassment than the straight people, and due to substance abuse as well.

For LGBT people, who are aged 10 to 24, suicide is one of the leading causes of death. The youths from the LGBT community are four times at more risk to die caused by suicide, to have suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harm than straight people. As per data, between 35 and 65 percent of the transgender population, which is literally millions of people, experience suicidal idealization, every year. Someone who has faced with rejection once she came out to her friends and family by revealing her sexual preference, is more than eight times more likely to have thought of suicide or attempted suicide than someone who was accepted by their family after really revealing their sexual orientation. According to the data from the National Survey on drug use and health, the adults who are identified as a sexual minority used illicit drugs more than twice than heterosexual adults in the past year. Nearly a third of sexual minority adults or LGBT people have used non-prescription marijuana in the past year. The data is alarming when we consider the fact that at the same time only twelve point nine percent of heterosexual adults used any non-prescription marijuana. According to the same survey, every one in ten from LGBT community misused prescription pain relievers, while only four point five percent of heterosexual adults did the same.

We all, as a society, need to understand that there are people living with these issues. It’s not just the people you see as dramatic or too soft, it’s everyone. We want people to understand that everyone in life is going through something, and we all have a story to tell about our past. And because of these backstories, we all have our reasons for having anxiety. We want people to know that it’s okay to acknowledge the fact that you may be struggling, and it’s okay to accept your setbacks in life, and it’s also okay to seek out help if you need it. Psychological illnesses and substance abuse in the LGBT community is not something to hide or be ashamed of, it is something we need to be here to bring awareness to.

LGBT rights in Asia: A brief case study on the Philippines

When we talk about the LGBT community and their rights, we usually only talk about the first world nations. In the USA, for example, people on both sides (those who supports LGBT rights and those who don’t) are more vocal and expressive about their views and opinions. Also, it seems that the international media is focused on the USA and Europe only when it comes to the LGBT community. But what about Asia, do we know what’s going on there? Let’s turn our focus towards that part of the world for a while, and today, we will see what’s happening in the Philippines, an Asian country.

A dotted LGBT pride Asia Map for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Vector homosexual tolerance geographic map in LGBT flag color shades on a white background.

In the Philippines, as compared to other Asian countries, LGBTs are more accepted. In fact, a lot of members of the LGBT community in that country comes from the various upper-class part of the society, like celebrities, movies stars, media and television personalities, etc. A former reporter of ABS-CNN, who is a legislative member of Philippines right now, said that she had the opportunity to listen to their personal stories of abuse, harassment and she was able to see a lot of reports pertaining to hate crimes there in the Philippines previously. From 1996 to 2012, Philippine LGBT crime watch recorded that there were 164 cases of hate crimes and abuses. However, things are changing in the Philippines, and that legislator alone have filed three bills about the protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Her first bill is about penalizing discrimination and sexual orientation and gender identity. Second is to create an LGBT protection desk that will help the victims of hate crimes. And to ensure them that, there should be a place for them to go for assistance if ever they experience such discrimination.

The third bill is about hate crimes against LGBT members or the LGBT community, and offenders should be penalized with a higher penalty. Though all these three bills were considered, unfortunately, the legislator was unable to pass the bills at 16th Congress. However, she stated that she still believes that there’s always a second chance, and will re-submit this anti-discrimination bill on the next Congress again, because she feels that this bill is really worth fighting for. When questioned how long she thinks it would take to pass the bill in Congress, she said that she spoke with the secretariat of the women and gender equality of the Philippines already in this regard; they are handling this anti-discrimination bill. And based on her experience, it took them nine years before they finally were able to pass the human rights bill, so she thinks it will take time too. She expressed her hope that she is still hoping that this bill will not take too long because, in the Philippines, the private sectors and government organizations are working hand in hand to stop the discrimination for the LGBT community.

However, the situation in the Philippines seems to be somewhat mixed. On the one hand, there’s a lot of acceptance for the LGBT community by large, on the other hand, LGBT advocates are having difficulty in passing an LGBT discrimination bill or act.  Also, there’s a lot of hate crimes against gay and lesbians, as reported by the news channels. It seems a paradox which is hard to explain. It would also be interesting to mention a very prominent case of Manny Pacquiao (the world famous boxer from the Philippines) where he made remarks about gay marriage and Nike dropped him from their sponsorship. But as we said already, the situation is mixed and pretty complicated in the Philippines and overall Asia as well. Eighty percent of the Filipinos are Catholic by religion, and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines are willing to support the proposed anti-discrimination law as long as it rejects the second-class treatment for the LGBT community and only on the basis of their sexual preferences. So, of course, there are different views and opinions of the different organizations, but at the end of the day, in the Philippines, we can see that they are gearing towards a pro-LGBT direction. For example, in the Civil Service Commission in the Philippines, they issued a memorandum order to prohibit or forbid any discrimination in accepting employees. Hence, we are positive that everything will turn out good, maybe not very soon as we’d like to expect, but it’s definitely progressing in a positive direction.

What you don’t know about LGBT Pride

Today we will discuss LGBT Pride in this article. There are many interesting facts around LGBT Pride that people are not aware about. For those who don’t know, June is LGBT Pride Month, and this is the last day of June at the time of writing this article. So, we thought we should take this opportunity to bring you some facts that you may or may not know about LGBT Pride. Here you’ll find several such fun facts, keep on reading.

Annual Reminders: In the nineteen fifties and sixties, organizations such as the “Mattachine Society” and the “Daughters of Bilitis” organized protests that became almost a blueprint for the LGBT rights movement. Those two organizations organized pickets called “Annual Reminders” that tried to spread awareness among American people about the fact that LGBT individuals were not getting the same rights. “Annual Reminders” began in 1965 and was held every July 4 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. These occurred several years before the “Stonewall Riots.”

First Gay pride parade: The first Gay pride parade was held on Christopher Street Liberation Day on 28th June of 1970, marking the first anniversary of the “Stonewall Riots.” It started off on Christopher Street and stretched 51 blocks to Central Park, and according to The New York Times, the parade stretched fifteen blocks filling up the entire street.

The largest gay pride parade: The city that held the largest gay pride parade goes to, São Paulo, Brazil. Brazil’s annual LGBT Pride Parade has been held since 1997 on the Avenida Paulista or Paulista Avenue. It took the record as the largest gay pride parade in the world in the year of 2006 when the organizers declared that approximately three million people attended the event. And what’s a Pride Parade without Pride flags, right? For those don’t know, the current rainbow flag of six colors isn’t the original design for the LGBT Pride flag. And our next fact is about the flag.

Colors of LGBT Pride flag: The original flag actually contained eight colors. The original flag was designed on 25th June 1978 by an artist from San Francisco, named Gilbert Baker. He would originally have designed the pride flag to have eight colors with each color meaning a specific thing. But, after November 27, 1978 (the day of the assassination of Harvey Milk), demand for Pride flags increased. Due to the increase of demand for Pride flags, Mr. Baker decided to drop the pink color from the flag. The reason being was the lack of enough pink fabric available to him. In 1979, the flag was modified again to even out the colors, and he ended up dropping the turquoise color. The reason being when the Pride flags were being hung on Market Street, the center pole actually blocked one of the colors and was not be able to be seen. And that became the Pride flag that we know today. And of course, would be a Pride parade without the Dykes on Bikes?

Dykes on Bikes: The Dykes on Bikes have been a staple at the front of many Pride parades in the United States. In 1976, a group of 20 to 25 women motorcyclists decided to gather at the front of the San Francisco Pride Parade. One of those women in the group coined the term Dykes on Bikes, and the San Francisco Chronicle decided to go with it. For years after that, every Pride parade, the women would gather together without any type of organization. As the Pride parade decided to get more structured, that’s when they decided to form the Dykes on Bikes organization which later became the Women’s Motorcycle Contingent. The aim of the Women’s Motorcycle Contingent or Dykes on Bikes is to encompass all of those that are bike enthusiasts within the LGBT community.