Living when I came across the NoH8

Living in a conservative community, it is often hard for the members to accept something that is not “normal”. As a 31-year-old single mother living in South Carolina, I am deeply devoted to my two children. My son, Sebastian is just like any other 16-year-old boy. Sebastian enjoys writing, sings in a band, and he is gay. Although gaining acceptance from family members, I am fearful of the potential backlash from our community. What would happen if my only child were to expose the news to his school, or the community? Bullying, physical threats and societal degradation are all fears that have been instilled into my mind. How can others be more informed about the LGBTQ+ community?This is when I came across the NoH8 campaign. The campaign, at its core, lies on the idea of visibility. The images which display individuals with duct tape sealing their mouth and “No H8” embellished on their face are the campaign. The pictures often include subtle messages that encourage the audience to extract the overall meaning. I believe that these photos would be an efficient way of educating the community about discrimination. It promotes a significant message without being forceful.To ensure that instances of anti-LGBTQ+discrimination do not continue and to raise awareness about people like my son, I believe that our community and schools should turn to the tool of education. Statistics from GLAAD have found that teaching students about LGBTQ+ issues and individuals within the classroom could help them better understand LGBTQ+ people. Including LGBTQ+ content in our schools could offer LGBTQ+ students, like my son, a safer and improved educational experience.Pictures like the Kardashian sisters who posed the “see no, hear no, speak no evil” gestures is one example that can serve to inform our community. It aims to enlighten individuals that many LGBTQ+ people are silenced due to unjust laws. In the community, many of the members view the LGBTQ+ community as an evil. This unspoken “evil” can create negative effects on LGBTQ+ youth. “Hear no evil” can be explained that every opinion must be listened and responded to without prejudice. “Speak no evil” informs the audience that individuals should be more inquiring in order to develop an accurate understanding of different sexualities rather than labeling it “evil” out of fear or ignorance. If posted around the community and schools, this picture and many more from the campaign can create a dialogue. It can provide people a chance to explain the underlying message. Hopefully, after that conversation, the audience may realize that it is important to be informed before making a judgment. This means educating students about heterosexism can encourage students to speak out in support of the LGBTQ+ community.Our words should carry consideration. It is important to educate both adults and youth alike about the LGBTQ+ community to ensure a safer future for the LGBTQ+ community. We are all human, and we deserve to be treated equally on all levels. No matter what.