A Year in the Life: Reflections of the LGBTQ+ Reality

I wrote the below letter a year ago on July 26, 2016. I wrote it out of distaste towards then Republican and conservative perspectives, and the candidates on the Republican nominees on the presidential ballot.

Today, President Donald Trump called to ban transgender Americans from any form of military service, for reasons that are not sound, logical, ethical, etc. He called for it for his own personal gain. What that gain is? We don’t know. Nonetheless, it’s discrimination.

Today, I reflect on this letter as I still feel it is still relevant after a year:

July 26, 2016

One of the many “interesting” dynamics this election brought to light is the word “privilege.” I find it fascinating that many people who have privilege belittle others for speaking against those who abuse it. I find it fascinating that those who claim to be “socially progressive, but politically conservative,” ultimately vote and speak for figures who actively work to either repeal or prevent equal and fundamental human rights—again, another form of privilege. I also find it fascinating that many of these people, for some reason, come to me to bond, befriend, while simultaneously forgetting the votes they cast actively prevent myself from living a free life—that is privilege. To forget that I am a first-generation Mexican American of an immigrant mother—that is privilege. To forget that as a gay man, I have only had full rights within the past five years—that is privilege. To say “oh that doesn’t affect me”—that is privilege. To say that social and cultural issues, while important, are not “as important” as current affairs in foreign policy, war, and the economy—that is privilege. To openly flaunt your support for a candidate who wants to impede immigration and vocally abuses minority ethnic groups, or a vice candidate whose career has actively focused on implementing conversion camps and anti- laws towards the LGBTQ+ community—that is privilege. To actively attack someone, perhaps close to me or your own circle, and then laugh it off, thinking it does not affect you—that is privilege.

I am glad this election brought out the true colors of many people and their pride in supporting candidates who openly spit on my own rights and identity as a Mexican American and as a gay man. I am glad because I too no longer have to pretend to want certain people in my life–family and/or friends.

I have no issue with Republicans, Right Wings, or Conservatives. Oh how I wish this were John McCain, Colin Powell, or Condoleezza Rice. Rather, I have an issue with ignorance.

So much for secret ballot.

RMO

Cover image property of: Huffingtonpost.com

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