The LGBQT (lesbian, gay, bi, questioning, transgender) community is currently going through the same civil rights movement that blacks and women have gone through. While the right to vote is not being debated, other rights are being taken away. Lawmakers are trying to make it illegal for people in this community to get married. As of the taping of the Ted Talk, 27 states have made it legal to fire an employee because of homosexual behavior. People are fighting against these and other laws that discriminate against people based on their sexual preference or their gender choices.
iO Tillet Wright describes situations that impact the lives of everyone that is within the “spectrum of gay.” Along with the range of gay, there is also a spectrum of homophobia. The range of emotions and opinions about gay people is vast and varying. Some people are so intolerant that they have divorced their own children because they were gay. On the other hand, people have changed churches in order to find a community which is more tolerant of their homosexual relatives. Some people will go out of their way to ruin the lives of people who are not exactly like themselves, and others will go out of their way to make accommodations for people they don’t even know.
The spectrum of hate and tolerance is full of people who are against the LGBQT community and, therefore, LGBQT people are forced to endure social stigmas and political laws that strip their rights from them. Black people won their rights. Women gained their rights. In a country that was founded on equality, it is disgusting to think that people are not given the same rights merely because they love someone of the same sex or feel that are in the wrong body. There are millions of people who engage in straight sex practices that are much more dangerous to themselves or society.
Wright’s experience with gender and orientation helped solidify her need to spread the word about the unfairness of laws that are being enacted against homosexuals. At the age of 8 she had a playground experience which drove her to live her life as a boy. Something boys have probably said to girls countless times across the world spurred her to change her life completely. Her upbringing in a liberal household allowed her to become a boy seamlessly. She spent six years living as a boy, and no one outside of her family knew that she was actually female. Just as quickly as she decided to live as a boy, she woke up one day to become a girl again. The following year she fell in love for the first time and entered into a relationship with a female. Three years later the object of her desires was a man. She came to realize over time that she was a girl with tomboy tendencies and was attracted to both men and women. It was simply her place on the gay spectrum. Gender and orientation overlapped for her because neither her gender nor the sex of her affections were significant.
This world is a crazy place. Telling someone that they cannot marry another person simply because the other person happens to be the same gender is a ludicrous idea. Firing someone from a job because they are homosexual is a terrible business decision. Someone might be an excellent employee and an asset to the company, but 27 state governments allow the practice. Wright also points out that it is impossible to find the line of what denotes homosexuality. What actions and how many make someone gay?