Acceptance of Sexuality
So what if you are LGBT+ or even straight?
People seem to think it used to be always men attracted to women and women attracted to men, but if you look back at history then it used to be more anything goes :) Why would it matter what people do in the bedroom? People say gay sex is unnatural, why??? I have never had sex with a man, but I don't see anything wrong with it! A lot of straight couples like anal sex, so what is the difference??? I know men who are really against any male on male sexual contact, but love to watch lesbian porn! I also used to know a woman who often acted homophobic / transphobic in her comments and actions, but had a real thing for watching or reading about any male on male sexual contact!!!
Can you choose to act on your sexuality?
Yes you can, but why should you have to as long as you are just in love with another adult? I have friends who have spent most of their lives lying about their sexuality as they know others around them would judge them just because of who they fancy! One of the most popular drinks on Earth is coffee, everybody loves coffee right? It's the normal thing for people to like! Well I can't stand it! Would you love a family member any less because they don't drink coffee, or don't like Chinese food (I love it), think pink is a nicer colour than orange??? Of course not, you might not agree with them, but you know it's up to them to decide what they like and it might not be the same as you, but that's life!
Some men in particular seem to have a real problem with other men liking men, they think it means they will be lusting after them! Sorry, but the chances are you are not that hot! lol Homophobia is a pretty massive turn off for most people, so just get on with your life. If a gay man (or a woman if you are a woman) flirts with you then take it as a compliment, I do, it feels good when someone thinks you look good. If you are not interested then just say thank you for the compliment, but I'm straight. I would hope when a member of the opposite gender flirts with you and you are not interested you would be nice about it, not be abusive in any way to them, well be the same no matter who it is please.
What about Bisexuals and Pansexuals Etc.
Bisexuals and Pansexuals (and other simular sexualities) are not sitting on the fence, it doesn't mean they are greedy or fancy everybody. If a straight person finds 10% of people very attractive and another 10% of people quite attractive then a Bisexual person would still normally fancy that same percentage of people, but they would be a mixture of male and female (and others, but that's for another post!). So just because someone is more flexible over gender, it doesn't mean they like more people, just different people.
I should point out that I am out with most people as Pansexual (probably more if they read this!), a term I know some people still don't understand. Sometimes I say Bisexual as that's easier to understand, but there is much more to it than that. Most Bisexuals like a certain type of woman and a certain type of man, but for Pansexuals it is all about the person inside, rather than labels and genders. I could just as easy fancy an 18 year old man as I could a 70 year old woman, I don't have a physical type, more of an emotional type. I am more often attracted to women, there is something about femininity that I do like, but I like that trait in men, plus transgender people etc. too! That reminds me, I am also gender fluid! lol I will say I'm in an amazing relationship with a wonderful woman, someone I hope to spend the rest of my life with. Before this relationship I had a six month relationship with a great woman, but the relationship was complicated and didn't work out. Previous to that one I was in an 18 year marriage with a really great woman, but over time we sadly drifted apart. Sexuality is not an issue for me, but I know that is in me, I do notice the occasional attractive person of any gender from time to time, I just wouldn't do anything about it.
LGBT or LGBTTQQIAAP etc?
To quote British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who has probably done a lot more for gay rights than almost anyone else:
"It’s great to be inclusive, but the new alphabet soup is a confusing and alienating mess — made even worse when people get into spats over missing initials or the inclusion of initials they disagree with. The longest I’ve ever seen is LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA. This is absurd. It makes us a laughing stock and devalues serious issues around sexuality and gender."
I agree with him on this and many other issues (NOT all!), I have even met him a couple of times! The names thing has got too confusing, I personally am very happy to just call us LGBT or LGBT+, despite the fact it doesn't directly include me and LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA does, somewhere in that mess of har to forget letters!!! Even LGBTTQQIAAP only half includes me! lol So on this site I will just say LGBT or LGBT+, it's so much easier!!!
Pride and acceptance
One of my favourite types of event to photograph are Gay Pride ones!!! So far I have only been to Gay Pride events in Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne, but would love to visit more one day. Sadly in some countries not only is having pride events illegal, but in some just being in a same sex relationship can be punished by death, my thoughts go out to anybody LGBT living in those places! :'(
People moan and say that Pride is sticking LGBT sexuality in the face of others and shouldn't be allowed, why should they have to see two men or two women kissing etc? Well every day outside, on TV and in films there are always loads of couples kissing, holding hands and more, it's just acceptable and no big deal if it's a man and a woman. That is how it should be for ALL relationships and then there be no need for Pride events, but personally I hope they still continue anyway as they are great fun and it's good to show pride in something nice and loving!
If you are reading this and consider yourself against same sex relationships, please try to imagine what it would be like if people were telling you that loving the person you love was wrong and unnatural? A completely gay person could be in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, but they would be living a lie. I know plenty of people who have done that, some who in the end turned to suicide rather than admit to their families that they are not straight. As I'm pretty open about these things I've had quite a few people come out to me, people who are still totally in the closet to most of their family and friends, I like to be there to support those people and let them say things they feel they cannot say in front of others.
Do it at your own pace. Choose to come out to those you think will accept you first, coming out to the most homophobic person you know can make you lock yourself away back in the closet for years. The more nice people who know, the more support you will have if you do have any bad experiences. I'm sure most people will have no problem with it at all, give them a chance.
If you have a friend or family member you think might be LGBT+ then don't confront them as it could scare them or offend them, no matter if they are or not, just make sure you don't be homophobic (that's very good advice for EVERYBODY!). Try to mention that you have LGBT friends, in a subtle way, such as I saw Sarah and her wife today at work, they look so in love or Paul brought his new boyfriend to meet me today, they make a great couple. Put positive LGBT TV programs on to watch. Just make sure they know it's a safe environment for them to come out and that you have no problem with peoples sexuality, just try to be there for them.
There are lots of support groups out there if you want to come out of if you know someone who is having trouble coming out to friends or family.
To quote Born this way by Lady Gaga
No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to be brave
Photos From Pride Events
If you are interested in see what Gay Pride / LGBT+ Pride events are like, please have a look at my photos from UK Pride events: