Even though it’s 2019 and the LBGTQ community are a fully visible and integrated part of many Western societies, there is, sadly, still plenty of irrational intolerance to overcome. And while we might think that things are getting better, they are actually getting worse.
According to GLAAD‘s annual Accelerating Acceptance report, the number of Americans 18 to 34 who are comfortable interacting with LGBTQ people declined from 63% in 2016 to 45% in 2018, an alarming shift considering that the younger generation are traditionally thought to be more open-minded than their parents.
“We count on the narrative that young people are more progressive and tolerant,” John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, who undertook the survey, told USA Today. “These numbers are very alarming and signal a looming social crisis in discrimination.”
This statistic, together with the finding that 36% of young people said they were uncomfortable learning a family member was LGBTQ means that ‘coming out’ is still a hugely difficult experience for many people. If you can’t count on your family for love and support, then who can you count on?
Image credits: shutterstock / Halfpoint (not the actual photo)
Sometimes it’s the older, wiser generation who are more capable of showing tolerance and acceptance than their own children. This handwritten letter, which originally went viral in 2013, is from a grandpa who eloquently showed his heartless daughter the meaning of unconditional love.
Having made the brave decision to tell his mum, Christine, that he was gay, Chad was cruelly rejected by her and called an ‘abomination’ and ‘against nature.’
Could you imagine anything worse than being disowned by your own mum? Absolutely heartbreaking. However, Chad found the most amazing ally in his awesome grandpa, who stood up for him like a champion and cleverly held up a mirror to Christine’s appalling behavior.
“Dear Christine: I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have shame in the family, but mistaken about what it is,” he wrote. “Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real ‘abomination’ here. A parent disowning her child is what goes ‘against nature’.”
“The only intelligent thing I heard you saying in all this was that ‘you didn’t raise your son to be gay’. Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You, however, have made the choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward.”
“So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gay put it) grandson to raise and I don’t have time for heartless B-word of a daughter.”
“If you find your heart, give us a call.”
A perfect response! People have been raving about the letter ever since, and in a time where the tide of acceptance seems to be receding, it is as relevant and important as it ever was.