I find it very distressing when I publicly see groups who are actively trying to create a narrative that there is something wrong with being diverse, but it makes me even angrier when I see members of my community actively supporting hate groups like the alt-right. I don’t see it a lot, but it’s there.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just as much as I am, but even then, there’s a line they cross when they begin to hurt their own community and the individual rights being tirelessly fought for.
When you’re young and trying to discover who you are, you are seeking a community of people who are just like you, and that can be said for anyone, but especially when you are LGBT+. At this stage in your life, barely 18 years old, is when you can be taken advantage of when your mind can be brainwashed to believe that “immigrants and people of colour are wrong and that we must do everything to protect our country from these people”.
The alt-right will always seek out young people because they understand that young people haven’t discovered who they are and will brainwash them of thoughts that they are part of a dominate race.
The best of example I can give of an LGBT+ alt-right supporter would be Milo Yiannopoulos who is the former editor for Breitbart News, which is an alt-right news network website based in the United States.
It is people just like Yiannopoulos who have actively curbed and hurt the efforts of the community in the US and abroad. How we identify is an extremely polarising issue in society, and people inside and outside our community will take advantage of this for their own personal gain.
It’s best to just understand that even when they harbour so much hate, love always wins, because if the activism I’m in – and I’m involved in too much to remember at times – has taught me anything, it’s that if the fight isn’t hard and, at times, soul-crushing, is it even worth it? Marriage equality wasn’t won in 7 days, it was won over the space of 30 years, with countless people deciding to fight for what they believe is right.
My work with young people has taught me that just as much they can be shown the light, they can just as easily be shown the dark. We have a responsibility to guide the future generations into the light by teaching them about Stonewall, Act Up, pride in protest, the people who have shaped modern Ireland, the radical action that has brought about change, and sexual health information.
I think we can do better, and we must take care of each other, because inequality will always exist in society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change how things work.
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