The suicide of transgender teenager Leelah Acorn brung to light the conflicts that many LGBT face and the importance of acceptance, especially from parents. I just thought I’d talk about the term acceptance, including what it means in the context of asexuality.
What acceptance is NOT:
- Acceptance doesn’t mean understanding, in the sense that you know exactly what your LGBTA+friend/ child/sibling, etc is going through. Chances are you don’t really have a clue of what someone who is LGBTA+ is going through if you haven’t experienced things like they might. That’s OK. It doesn’t give your or anyone else the right to be rude or condescending though.
- Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately change your beliefs about things. Even on Tumblr, Alcirn admitted that. Some people have deeply ingrained views about sexuality and gender, particularly if they’ve been heavily involved in a religious organisation where certain views on gender and sexuality are very black and white, particularly in a highly conservative environment.
What acceptance IS:
- Acceptance is believing what the person is saying, or at least respecting the person enough not to be dismissive about what the person’s been telling you.
- Acceptance means your overall view of the hasn’t been negatively affected to devastating proportions. If someone has ‘come out’ to you, and you need time to process what you’ve been told, by all means do it. May I suggest maybe doing research on gender/ sexuality information relevant to the person who’s come out to you. Read blogs, research papers, books/ ebooks/ iBooks, articles,whatever you can, just to gain some insight into the worlds of the group of people your friend/ loved one identifies with.
- Obviously, acceptance means not ostracising the person from you or others
Research indicates that if a LGBTA+ person is accepted by loved ones, they are are lipless likely to be suicidal or self – harm. I think too, they’re less likely to be involved in harmful activities (drugs, etc). So please, please love and/ or respect the person who’s just come out to you. Chances are, the decision for the person to come put wasn’t the easiest for them either. It can be a nerve wracking experience, even when the likelihood of something bad happening is slim.