I didn’t grow up in the most friendly environment for that sort of stuff. I used to live down in Florida, and while I was down there, a lot of stuff was going on in my family, and my parents got divorced. But I moved to Virginia with my dad and stepmother. But neither my mom or my dad is friendly towards LGBTQ people in general. They really don’t like that sort of stuff. Being another sexuality other than straight wasn’t something I thought about quite a lot. I just always assumed I’m straight because I really couldn’t be anything else. But once I got away to college, got a chance to be on my own and think for myself, I started figuring out about more things and stuff because the same spiel and propaganda I dealt with at home wasn’t being forced on me. I could start talking to people who actually took the time to talk with me and talk through some of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas I had. Part of me always had a little suspicion that there was something like that in my head, but I never paid much attention to it because, with any attraction I had to guys, it was like, “I’m just going to ignore that. That’s not real. It’s just a fluke or whatever.” I couldn’t possibly be anything other than straight as far as I was concerned at the time. But once I got to college, I started paying attention to things more. And I just sort of had an epiphany at one point. It wasn’t like a big moment per se. I just was there for a while and just started thinking about it and kind of figured it out then. But it wasn’t just all of a sudden, bam, I’m bi. But I started getting there, and it was in freshman year of college I figured it out. It helped that I met some of the friends that I met, ‘cause they’re pretty big into that sort of stuff. From the start, they were very much like, “Yeah, we’re not going to hurt you for this.” That helped a fair bit with figuring it out and made me a bit more comfortable with things.
October 11, 2015 is National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day is a day to celebrate those who have come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or for those who haven’t come out yet and need to encouragement to continue to have the strength to be who they truly are, maybe giving them enough bravery to come out on this day.
The LGBTQ community has experienced violence, sexual assaults, oppression, and even murder simply because they of who they are. Coming out is a huge decision that could potentially change someone’s life forever and it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.
Three years ago, I came out to my mom and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I remember thinking what if she kicks me out? What if she doesn’t love me anymore? What if she thinks I’m so disgusting that she can’t even look at me anymore?
I thought these things because of what was happening to gay people all over the world in the media. People were getting abused physically and sexually, kicked out of their own homes, and even murdered.
I was petrified at the thought of any of that happening to me. One of my friends came out to his parents as transgender and they kicked him out, taking away his phone, his car, and basically everything he had. He had to grow up very quickly, getting a job and finding a place to stay. 40 percent of homeless youth are part of the LGBTQ community. I thought to myself if he was turned away by his parents, completely abandoned by the people who were supposed to love him the most, how do I know my parents won’t do the same?
I realized after three years of holding in this secret, that it was tearing me apart inside, and I had to tell my mom. I felt that it was unfair of me to keep this from her, to not allow her to support me in a way that I really needed at the time.
“I told her as we were waiting at a stop light, just blurted it out and she laughed and told me that she already knew.”
She told me that she loved me and that it doesn’t change anything, and she was right. I was one of the lucky ones, to have supportive parents who didn’t care who I loved or how I loved. I’m grateful every day for the way the allow me to by myself, to talk to them about my love life and have them not feel uncomfortable or have me feel uncomfortable. Love should be unconditional and unfortunately not everyone is built or mature enough to feel the same.
Being gay is not accepted in most parts of the country, although there has been amazing progression on the topic, with gay marriage becoming legal in 37 states. There is still so much progress that needs to be done and so much acceptance that needs to occur for the LGBTQ community to truly feel normal in society. National coming out day is a day that should be celebrated but not to be taken lightly.
Come out when you want to and when you feel is safe and right for you.
Move over all you cute, fluffy puppies. Man has found a new best friend, and its name is Netflix. Netflix is taking over America’s living room and has no plan of moving out. The video-streaming provider began streaming in 2007 and has only gained popularity since. It has monopolized everyone’s free time and even some not-so-free time. You have homework? Who cares! Watch Netflix. You have to leave in ten minutes to get to class and you haven’t even showered yet? That’s okay! Go ahead and finish that episode of “Friends.” Netflix gives instant gratification and allows the viewer to binge-watch every episode of every season with the click of a button.
Not only does Netflix stream movies and TV shows that date back to the 1940s, but they also stream shows that have just aired. They even create their own television shows. “Orange is the New Black” is now one of the most popular and successful shows in the entertainment industry and that was all thanks to the brilliant creators at Netflix. They allow more provocative and mature content to stream from their company, which opens up the door for more creativity and controversial topics to be discussed in the media. You would never be able to see any of the members of the LGBTQ community having sex, transgender people actually being represented appropriately and respectfully, or hear the f-bomb being dropped. Netflix produces content that represents real-life people and that’s why it’s so popular and refreshing to the American viewer.
However, North America isn’t the only continent who wants quality content. Netflix is now expanding into Asia! The streaming service launched in Japan last week and has plans to expand throughout the entire region, including India and China, in 2016. Although, because of the strict censorship by the government, Netflix will have to edit their content to be approved by other countries, specifically China, in Asia. It will be difficult for Netflix to expand into more conservative countries, but with the overwhelming demand for new content I think Netflix will conquer Asia and then eventually the rest of the world.
Netflix is taking over the world. Not only is it great for Netflix, it is also great for the world. By introducing new ideas and a new creative medium to the rest of the world, it enables the ability to connect and communicate with people across the world through entertainment. No other media, as of right now, is able to do that and that’s why Netflix is so original, popular, and more than simply just a way to watch your favorite TV shows.
Netflix is opening doors to new ideas, new concepts, and successfully represents all races and sexualities. It’s refreshing and allows other people to open their minds to different walks of life and maybe even acceptance in the process. Netflix definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.