Megan Irving

A Hate-Free Nation

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Okay readers. We’re getting serious this week. You may or may not know, last week we celebrated national coming out day. This week, Wagner has pledged to wear purple and support LGBTQ students here and around the world.

I know that my main purpose in these blog posts are to inform you about my freshman year experiences. But the fact is, college is about growing up. Growing up isn’t easy and these four years can feel like slowly inching your way into the “real world.” However, growing up doesn’t always mean time management skills and successfully navigating public transportation. Growing up, at least for me, means looking around at the world we live in and making a choice to make a difference.

I’m not going to ramble on about LGBTQ equality issues, because I don’t feel I should have to. Instead I’m going to present you with some facts.

  1. Same-sex couples live in all states and 99.3% of counties within the U.S.
  2. There are currently more than 700 LGBT clubs and groups on college campuses nationwide.
  3. Same-sex couples are currently raising one million American children.
  4. LGBTQ students will experience bullying this year in schools all across the world.
  5. My best friend in the world is currently in a same sex relationship.
  6. Members of the LGBTQ community are not statistics. They are your neighbors, your peers and your friends.

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a strong supporter of human rights. I am an 18 year old, straight female, and I am an ally of the LGBTQ movement. I don’t expect everyone reading this to agree with all my opinions, but I do expect my readers and my fellow American citizens to support a hate-free nation for all.

Look around you. Is there something you could do to help? Maybe talk to the kid in the back of the class who doesn’t say much. Or, start a Gay-Straight Alliance at your school. If you’re feeling brave, stand up for the kid who gets picked on, no matter their sexual orientation.

Nobody should ever have to feel alone in this world. Growing up is tough, and we need each other to get through it. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Take his message to heart and you may just save a life.

If you or a loved one are struggling with bullying call:

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

Find a friend, parent or teacher to talk to.

Come knock on my door.

Remember you are loved and this world would be worse off without you.