Equality Has No Specific Gender or Sexual Orientation

The Pride Rally was an unforgettable experience that has made me view love in a completely different way. Despite being heterosexual, I have always been an advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Going to the pride rally this past weekend has opened my eyes about how love should be encouraged no matter the sex of the individuals who share the love. At the rally, I was surrounded by people who were supportive and not afraid to speak up about what they feel is right, true activists. Not only was the LGBTQ community acknowledged during the rally, but the speakers also were sure to express their gratitude towards the heterosexuals who came to show support.

Attending the pride rally was one of the first times I have truly felt welcomed and appreciated at an event in New York City. Love and positivity filled the atmosphere. One phrase that was said various times during the rally was, “love is love” and I have never understood the true meaning of that phrase until being at the rally, surrounded by people who weren’t afraid to show love for one another. One of the most memorable speakers at the rally shared his story while sending an important message to everyone in the audience. He openly admitted to being HIV Positive, showing that he was not afraid to share something very personal with audience members at the rally because he viewed everyone as his family. He mentioned that everyone in the LGBTQ community is in the fight for equality together and no one is ever alone or should have to fear not being accepted. This speaker embodied “pride” in every aspect of the word.

The rally was also meaningful because the LGBTQ community is fighting the same fight as women. Similarly to the LGBTQ community, the women’s movement encourages equality, support, and an end to discrimination. Just as the LGBTQ community wants people to recognize their love is no different from the love of heterosexual couples, women want society to understand that we are no different from men and should have the same opportunities.

I am glad to have been given the chance to march in the NYC pride parade with my non-profit organization, Hollaback. As I march I will hold my head high as a young woman and as an individual who understands that “love is love.” Gender and sexual orientation should never limit the rights that an individual has in society.

3 thoughts on “Equality Has No Specific Gender or Sexual Orientation

  1. Won’t it be a great day when “openly admitted HIV+” will be rephrased as “he said he had HIV”, as he would say “I have a toothache” or any other disease. Because HIV can be contracted in more than one way, as can diabetes, I read the “openly admitted” as implying secrecy. Do we assume that HIV+ is contracted sexually because one divulges at a Gay rally? Just a comment on how telling phrasing can be. Your writing makes a reader feel the magnitude and excitement of a rally in NYC. Great last line!

  2. Hi Ms. Weaver,

    Thanks for your comment. I apologize for the confusion. At the LGBTQ rally the guy’s exact words were “HIV +” which is why I used this term. I would hope that no one reading my blog would assume that HIV is only contracted sexually because it was spoken about at an LGBTQ rally. I cannot help the unfortunate stereotypes that society has created about this illness. In my opinion, the majority of individuals with HIV would not admit to having it in a public space as this courageous young man did because people will begin to judge and make inaccurate assumptions. Therefore I used the phrase “openly admitted,” implying that he was open to sharing information about an illness that most are not willing to admit they have. I believe that it’s not about what type of illness he has but it’s about how he views the LGBTQ community as a family and a support system that he can share anything with. Being at the LGBTQ rally made me feel as if I was a part of this family and this young man was one of the reasons. As supporters of this community it is our job to not remind people of the negative stereotypes associated with HIV and sexual orientation. It would be unfortunate if by mentioning this stereotype we actually end up reinforcing it. Also, I would encourage the term “LGBTQ” rather than “gay” to describe this diverse group of individuals in the fight for equality.

  3. Reading your experience during the “Pride Rally” made me wish society had more postive and supportive people like yourself. It’s a breath of fresh air knowing there are people that still care about the rights of others. Enjoyed your writing. Keep up the support!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.