Growing up as part of a minority heritage group, I understood from an early age how many societies struggle with ‘difference’. This can often begin with a lack of knowledge or a response to fear bourne from a perceived threat to traditionally held values and beliefs which provide psychological comfort and security. Often, the result is prejudice and discrimination.
Looking beyond these deeply ingrained values and beliefs to incorporate a more inclusive perspective of society can be a complex thing to achieve for some people. It is a constant fight to subvert these barriers. It shouldn’t still be this way. How sad it is that we still have to fight to love who we want and be who we want without facing discrimination or barriers.
Sexuality, gender, colour or heritage should not be the primary focus of association in any social interaction but many of us feel that our ‘difference’ defines us. We are as a result either forced to or choose to wear our ‘difference’ as a badge of honour. I have always been drawn to people from the LGBTQ+ community because I understand that their fight is still real and difficult and they, like my minority group need support and love and help with this fight against prejudice and discrimination.
Teaching my children about healthy relationships, gender identity and sexuality has never been an issue for me. I taught them from an early age that they could marry anyone they wanted to, male or female or not marry or be in a relationship at all. I encourage open conversations about gender identity and who we are drawn to be close to in life. I hope that when or if that journey of exploration and self-identity becomes difficult, that they will come to me in the knowledge that I will love, accept and stand their corner for them always.