Whenever people talk about “protecting” children from being exposed to LGBT people, rarely does anyone ask themselves: what about kids who are LGBT? (If you thought only adults can be LGBT, read this.)
Why depictions of LGBT people in media are important
Think of your first love. Remember how this person seemed so different, how they used to light up every room they walked in, how much you wanted to be close to them?
Now imagine everyone’s telling you it’s wrong to like that person, that you’re sick for liking them. You believe them, because nowhere around you do you see relationships between people like you and them.
If you don’t hide your attraction, you’re worried your parents will take you to a mental health institute, exorcise or give you away. You resolve to living in silence, not approaching those you’re interested in, not discussing your feelings and worries with your friends and family.
And that is what it’s often like growing up gay.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Picture the same scenario but this time, you don’t exist in isolation. You see people like you, people with the kind of relationships you want, all around you; in books, movies, cartoons, at school, in the news. Even if some people call you a freak, you know you’re not. Instead of getting depressed and anxious, you can enjoy your life and build lasting relationships.
The gay rights movement isn’t about promoting some imaginary “gay agenda” (to this day, I have no idea what that means). It’s about giving everyone the opportunity to live a fulfilling life with the ones they love.