Ever found yourself cringing when you find out that someone is gay? Wondered why that uneasy feeling always comes over you, in spite of knowing that ones choice of sexual orientation is an entirely natural process, which cannot be controlled?
Formulaic generalizations about LGBT’s (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) are a result of personal experiences, and are also formed indirectly, through peers, parents, teachers and the media. In most cases stereotypes are formed because of lack of experience resulting in an increased dependence on ‘generalized notions’. When we form an opinion about something, which is out of the ordinary, we tend to associate certain negative or derogatory attributes to the same. Our opinions start to frame our reactions and responses, and without realizing we jump to conclusions and begin to pass judgments about certain people.
Although it is extremely difficult to accept at first, we need to realize that the fear of acceptance is what stops most people from revealing their sexual orientation. When a person finally decides to come out of the closet it is the responsibility of his or her loved ones to make sure that they do not send out any signals of rejection. What we need to realize is that what maybe challenging for us to accept, was the most difficult decision, which some one else ever made.
A person’s innate sense of maleness or femaleness is not something which he or she has control over. To put it very simply, it’s really not their fault, and though most of us know that we still have trouble accepting it most of the times. The least we can do is minor a social if not personal responsibility towards those who need our acceptance more than any one else. A recent survey revealed that, over 39 percent of all gays, lesbians, and bisexual youth have reported being punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon at school because of their sexual orientation. Think about it, its not about a conscious decision which they take, in fact they don’t have a choice at all, they just are what they are, and we as society and peers, can do just one thing to make their lives simpler, shed our hackneyed perceptions and welcome them to the mainstream to live normal lives.