By: Jessica Zhang
People all around the world face discrimination because of how they look, who they love, or who they are. Discrimination is the “unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” LGBTQ represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities in the world. Often, it is known as LGBTQ+ as it includes other gender identities that don’t fall into the acronym like asexual, demisexual, pansexual, intersex, and much more. In every culture, the LGBTQ+ community has been faced with discrimination in different ways, but often in the 19th century many people were accepted without having labels or being defined by a certain word. On the contrary, before the 20th century many cultures were afraid to come out, due to the fear of not being accepted by their community and their loved ones. In recent years, more people are opening up and expressing their identity, and this causes controversy and a surplus of argument between supporters and haters of the community.
Discrimination in this community impacts them because it can lead to emotional distress, depression, anxiety or other disorders. In this world, norms have been created and society often feels pressured to fit in to these stereotypes and generalizations. Such as, the idea of marriage between a male and female, which the LGBTQ+ community does not fit in to. Although there is an increasing acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and more outlets for the community on social media and the internet, LGBTQ+ people still face discrimination, and harassment in many situations. For example, on social media it is easy for someone to spread hate about this community due to the mass population, and opinions grown off of the platform. For example, hate speeches, and posts about one's identity can traumatize and scar one's validations in their identity. These accusations, and opinions although merely online, truly can hurt one’s feelings and even can prevent someone from coming out of the closet.
Despite the hate and discrimination this community has been given, they have been able to grow stronger as a group supporting one another. For instance, they have supported one another by creating a month dedicated for the LGBTQ+ community and raising love for them. The month of June was chosen for LGBTQ+ pride month to recognize the impact this community has made on the world. Parades are held all over the world to raise awareness to the LGBTQ+ community. The rainbow is a symbol used to represent this community as it shows their diversity, and rainbow flags, banners and other decors have been used during these marches. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, the festival event of Toronto Pride from Friday June 26 2020 to Sunday June 28th 2020 have been canceled. However, there will be virtual events scheduled in the month of June for special events, like weekly live programming, and artists performing. All further information can be found at https://www.pridetoronto.com/virtualpride/.
Toronto Pride Parade in 2019
In conclusion, the LGBTQ+ community has suffered and continues to struggle through difficult times, but ultimately they are working towards growing stronger and creating a community where everyone supports and accepts one another. Therefore, members of communities should all take action and can help out by donating, volunteering, or raising awareness to organizations such as Egale Canada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for social justice issues towards the LGBTQ+ community.