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Respect others’ choices

With 52 percent of American citizens backing laws to legalize gay marriage throughout the US, the numbers and actions are not equaling up.

The outing and bullying of the LGBTQ community is a strong problem, which needs to be addressed — the Gallup poll number is showing a different reaction.

There is a reason why the people who have not outed themselves haven’t done so.

These reasons, ranging from just not being comfortable with announcing their sexuality or letting people know, also touch on fears of those who are publicly a part of the community.

The ramifications of an unexpected outing can lead to the loss of a job, rejection from family members and bullying.

People have to be aware that outing a member of the community can put them way out of their comfort zone and leave a devastating mark on their lives.

Their lives are possibly in danger when confronted with being outed before they’re ready to be. Coming to terms and feeling comfortable with it is one step that needs to be taken.

Outing someone before they’re ready causes a lot of damage. Teenagers who are outed face bullying found in high schools; but taken to a different level because of their sexuality.

In some cases, the ones who have been outed lose their lives to the hands by others, or take their own lives after not being able to handle the bullying and threats from fellow classmates.

And sometimes, it’s not bullying, but not understanding their actions. Some just don’t understand the problem with outing an individual who wasn’t ready for it.

While America might be accepting of members of the LGBTQ community, their actions haven’t supported the words.

As one of my instructors likes to say about moments where Americans tend to take a step back from the progress that had seemingly been made, “Hello, isn’t this 2014?”

The thought is that since we’ve taken so many steps forward, we should have been able to keep the progress going. Be willing to accept people for who they are— let them explain who they are and their stories.

We’re living during a major social step in American history, based on letting people express who they are, regardless of whether they are comfortable with their sexuality or not.

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