Pay kindness forward, preach equality

(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)
(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)

As October is coming to an end, so is the celebration of Pride month, but it doesn’t have to. Pride should be recognized throughout the whole year, if not recognized, then at least respected. Pride does not only apply to LGBT but also people that define themselves as “straight,” for you have pride for who you define yourself as. Reflect on your life, how you can improve pride or at least be more aware and more respectful to other’s lives?

Here are some tips on being respectful to yourself and others: number one: think before you speak. Be respectful. Offensive names are demeaning and hurtful. You would not want to be called names, so don’t demean someone’s sexual orientation by saying “that’s so gay,” because that statement in itself is false. For example, going to a hair salon cannot be “gay” and it cannot be “straight” either. By describing things in these terms you are disrespecting people’s sexual orientation, whom they love and how they love.

Number two: Be honest. If you are not for pride, that’s okay. But it’s not okay to demean and put people down because their opinion does not agree with yours. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but sometimes words hurt. And even if opinions differ, homosexuals and heterosexuals are human. The only difference is sexual orientation; which is not a big deal! It doesn’t make them any less human!

Number three: Don’t use clichés. When communicating, don’t say gay lifestyle. There is no specific lifestyle. Homosexuals and heterosexuals have the same way of life as everyone else. Partners that are homosexual are just living their lives.

Number four: Get rid of labels. Why does straight or gay matter? Does your sexual orientation define who you are? Does it define true love? No. It doesn’t define you. Your heart is the guide to those decisions, not a label of gay or straight, not a scientific term homosexual or heterosexual, not those people that bully or put you down, not the parents who may have disowned you. Your heart is your guide to love and happiness. It will take you to your destination, whether it be with a man or a woman. It does not matter. All that you can ask in life is that you have the opportunity to be happy, and to live life to the fullest. And if you even get this opportunity, and you truly love, then it should not matter who you are and who you are with, only that you are loved and that you are loving in return.

Number five: Do what you can! Go to pride walks, events and rallies. Continue to support equality by the use of merchandise: T-shirts, wristbands, hats, etc. It is important to show that you support equality yourself, and are not only wearing the shirt during pride month because everyone else is doing it. Take a stand for yourself, and wear your equality merchandise all year round!

Do whatever you can so that every citizen has the right to be recognized for their love, regardless of gender.