OP ED: Orlando reminds us that the battle for acceptance is far from over
“I realised that this is a battle won by love, laughter, acceptance and knowledge.”
Dear World, From Rob (a gay man)
I never really write anything personal on the internet, I’ve always had the opinion that my personal life is mine, and people probably don’t want to know the boring details anyway, so I post things that I think might be entertaining, and I keep in touch with my friends. After all, I don’t want to come across all soppy now do I?.
But in the wake of the last couple of days, I’ve been itching to write something, to do something with the feelings I’ve had. Something horrible happened across the world, yet it has affected myself and the LGBT+ community as if were on our doorstep.
Now, I probably know a few of the people reading this personally, but if I didn’t know you, I’d usually introduce myself by my name, where I come from and how old I am. Simple little details. However, I was thinking today, I’ve never even thought about introducing myself as gay. Not because I’m embarrassed, I’m so, so proud to be gay. Not because I think the other person would be offended, because I honestly wouldn’t give a shit. But because, for me, it’s not even an issue that passes through my mind. I’m a gay man, yes, but my sexuality kind of starts and ends with who I love, it doesn’t affect anything else.
I thought to myself shortly afterwards that the only reason I have this privilege is because there are generations before me who have fought hard to get us here. Was I being selfish by not realising how much privilege I have in this day and age?
After facing terrible adversity, the LGBT+ community has got itself to this place, where love is slowly conquering hate, and we’re progressing every day.
But recent events remind you that it’s not over. Whilst I am lucky to enjoy all of the amazing things that come with being gay in 2016 – holding hands in public, being confident that we can go out and get home safe as a couple – there are so many others who are unable to have this, and it can’t be fair for me to have this and not others.
I felt hesitant to finish this post because I didn’t have an amazing call to action. I don’t know if I have the words or knowledge to spur on a whole community, or to change the minds of the 1% who hate us. But I realised that this is a battle won by love, laughter, acceptance and knowledge. We are having a vigil in Portsmouth outside the Guildhall, at 6pm on Friday, if anyone wants to join us.
We’re going to get there, and know that I love you all, regardless of your gender, sexuality, race, class or whatever. It’s a cliché but it’s true, and I’m not afraid.
Follow Rob Ulitski on Twitter
The opinions expressed in this comment piece may not reflect those of the management or editorial of THEGAYUK. If you’d like to write a comment or column for THEGAYUK click here.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.