The Hidden Truth: The Mistreatment of the LGBTQ Community

Jessie Simmons

There are so many people out there who are part of the LGBTQ community and are harassed and discriminated against in so many different ways. Some examples of the harassment they experience are threats, offensive comments or slurs, sexual harassment and violence. Examples of discrimination for the LGBTQ community are people not being able to apply for a job, get promotions, apply for certain college, participate in politics and buying or renting a home. 

Harassment and discrimination are so much worse for people of color. People of color already get discriminated against and harassed, so they have it a lot worse than anyone else in the LGBTQ community. Most people of color already avoid calling the cops as much as possible but when they’re part of the LGBTQ community, they refuse to call the cops unless it’s a serious, serious emergency. 

When it comes to discrimination, younger and older generations have different views of what the source of it is. Younger generations believe that the source of their discrimination and harassment is the government and laws. Older generations are more likely to say that the source is their individuality. Older generations are also more at risk for abuse, neglect and exploitation. 

When it comes to Alpena there are a ton of people part of the LGBTQ community, a majority of my friends that live here are either gay, lesbian, trans and bi. In alpena most people don’t respect our identity, that’s just from my experience. I’m part of the community and when a person from Alpena asks for something from me and I tell them who I am they either say “I don’t believe it,” or “I can change that.” I believe that the second one is the most seen by lesbians, many of my friends in Alpena have been told one of those things mostly the second one. People do drive by when me and my friends are walking around town and yell things at us, they aren’t loud enough so I can’t exactly tell what they said. When it comes to harassment it really depends on where you are and how people view the community. 

The motivation I have to write this article is the fact that so many people are abused and harassed because of their sexuality or gender and no one notices. I have experienced it myself and so have some of my friends. What people don’t notice is how much it puts us down. We just want to be accepted for who we are and no one really cares. I’m not saying absolutely no one cares; there are people out there that do care about how we feel, there just aren’t very many. I’ve seen so many different ways of putting people down that are part of this community. I’ve seen my friends getting abandoned by their family and being kicked out of their houses for just wanting to be who they are. I myself had to hide from my family because I didn’t know how they would feel about it. So, I’m pretty much just trying to make people realize how we feel about being harassed. I’m taking this chance to bring awareness to what is happening to the people I love and to people like me. I am sick and tired of seeing people give up on their life because they can’t be who they are. Most people do not see how it affects others when they are made fun of for wanting to be themselves. If you feel the need to bring someone down for who they are or how they look or dress, keep it to yourself. All you’re doing is making them want to hide. I have hid who I am for quite a while;I felt trapped.There are people out there who seem to not have a problem with being made fun of and harassed, but deep down, they’re hurt. They just choose to be the bigger person and leave it be. I just want to see a change in how people that are part of the community are treated. I know that probably won’t happen but it’s worth a shot.