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Day 10. Write about something for which you feel strongly

As a journalism student it is important to begin removing yourself and your opinion from your writing. I guess you could say there is one thing I cannot remove myself from because frankly I don’t think I can let go and must stay true to myself.

Equal rights, particularly the rights of the LGBTQ community.

I’ve written quite a bit about the type of home I was raised in and how it’s shaped my life. I never knew there was supposedly something wrong with someone loving another person just because they happen to be the same gender. I’m not quite sure when I became aware that homosexuality was “wrong” or a “sin” but I would guess it was sometime between fifth and seventh grade.

I never caught on to it being “wrong” because it’s not wrong.

In a past post I talked about how I became aware of how judgmental the people in my town are. It made me angry knowing I was being raised next to so many small-minded people. Homophobia spreads like a disease in a town like this. There were many of us that shrugged and said “so what” if someone came out and never batted an eyelash when a celebrity came out.

One of the required courses for my degree is called Reporting on Race, Gender and Culture. The big project in the class is to get into teams and create a panel based on a particular group of people that you have been assigned. My team had the LGBTQ and one of our panelists was Jerry Peterson, the executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, a safe haven for at risk LGBTQ youth. He made the point that it’s difficult for people to come to terms with being born in the incorrect body but trying to tell your friends and family is one of the even larger hurdles.

Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover.

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover.

There are so many people, youth and beyond alike, who are afraid of being who they are because of the ridicule they will face. With Caitlyn Jenner’s recent Vanity Fair cover, we were able to see the horrific side of the connectivity the Internet has provided us.

My thoughts? Congratulations Caitlyn, you’re free.

Some people’s thoughts? That’s disgusting and some people even signed a petition trying to get Bruce Jenner’s Olympic medal revoked.

Why? Bruce may have always known he was Caitlyn but he won those with pure athletic talent. Not to get sappy but I’m pretty sure this is one of the many reasons John Lennon wrote “Imagine.”