It’s nearly impossible to turn on the TV without hearing something about LGBT issues these days; it’s become one of the go-to, hot-button political issues. If you’re one of the majority of the population who is both heterosexual and identifies their sex with their gender then you could find yourself wondering why exactly these issues should matter to you. Turns out, there’s not just one reason but at least three.
1. You probably know someone who is a part of the LGBT community.
Roughly fifteen percent of the population of the United States ages 14-94 reported to be Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual in a survey of about 6000 people nationwide as recently as 2010. That’s a little more than one person in seven, so if you know more than seven people you’re statistically probable to know someone in the LGBT community.
Sometimes it’s hard to empathize with a movement that’s not your own, but it can help if you put a face to the struggle. If you have a relative, for instance, who’s LGBT, then imagine that whenever someone vehemently opposes the LGBT issues platform, their talking points are speaking directly about your family member. Putting a face that you care about towards the movement can make it easier to understand why LGBT issues are so important.
2. You probably support the creative work of a member of the LGBT community.
Neil Patrick Harris. Ellen Page. Jane Lynch. Zachery Quinto. All four of these celebrities identify as a part of the LGBT community, and chances are you’ve seen them act, sing, or provide philanthropy during a part of their career. There are, of course, plenty of other examples within all facets of the entertainment business, but the fact of the matter is that you support what they do. LGBT issues affect celebrities too.
3. You probably want to work in an environment that doesn’t discriminate.
For one reason or another we’ve all got something about ourselves that doesn’t fit within the expected “norm” of society, even if it’s just a rabid love of Star Trek. Now consider how you’d feel if people who loved Star Trek were banned from getting jobs at your workplace. It seems like a random discrimination because it’s not like you can suddenly stop liking your favorite TV show. That’s just a part of who you are, right?
Just remember that discrimination by its nature is subjective and only in place because there are people who sit by and do nothing since they don’t feel it affects them. Discrimination affects everybody at some point or another, so do your part by speaking your mind. You should care about LGBT issues because if you work in an environment that discriminates and say nothing, you’re advocating that policy by omission.