Stop Telling Minorities What They Think


“I don’t think things will be as bad as you think,” he said, “You just can’t take a defeat.”

Friends likes to tell me that LGBT Americans are fine and that there’s nothing to be worried about. Those people aren’t LGBT. They’re just trying to make me feel better. As a lesbian, I feel the exact opposite. Most of my LGBT friends do too. The majority of us don’t feel safe, and while I can only speak for people that I know, I don’t think we are alone. At Capital University Pride the other day, police officers came to the meeting and sat in the back. Nothing bad happened, of course, but It doesn’t matter – it just matters that someone felt they needed to be there. During that meeting, the President of the organization made us all promise to stay safe and download an app on our phones that can help us contact police if something happens. Once again, It doesn’t matter if it does happen, we still felt as though that conversation needed to take place. That’s saying something. For the remainder of the week, I was told constantly that I was loved, because people were afraid I didn’t know. People were afraid that I felt like no one cared. I checked on my gay friends, they checked on me. Shouldn’t that say something?

I also fall into the category of “disability,” which is abnormal for a teenage girl. I have three autoimmune disorders, one of them rare and extremely life threatening, so my health insurance is a major part of my every day life. For me, the Affordable Care act, although broken in some respects, saved my life. The medication that keeps me alive and well costs 65,000 dollars a dose (every 28 days), costs the price of a house per-year, and hits my family’s healthcare premium for the entire year with one shot. In December of 2015, I spent the entire month fighting for my life in the ICU. Those bills were over 80,000 dollars. Without “Obamacare” my family would have lost everything. That’s the reality for people with health issues. It’s a lot greater than a simple cold. Healthcare can cost you your life, and as a new President Trump tackles healthcare, a lot more is on the line for me than the normal, healthy American girl. Other people can tell me not to worry- but those people don’t actually have the problem. Those people don’t live in my world.

I had a girl the other day tell me that Trump was the most “unracist president we’d ever have” and that “he loves hispanics.” I don’t hold that against her. She followed up the sentence by saying “but I don’t know that much about history. So I’m not really sure.” Yeah, I thought, I can tell. Somehow this person missed the fact that the majority of hispanics voted against him. I think hispanics should be able to decided for themselves if he stands for them or not- and the answer is obviously “not.”

In the end, the world likes to decide how a collective group feels – even when they themselves aren’t a part of the group.

“Black people don’t like _____.”

“Native Americans really don’t ______.”

“Gay people _____.”

“Women all feel _____.”

I don’t live the life of a black American. I’m not hispanic or Asian, and I don’t know what it feels like to be threatened because of my religion. But those people do- and I can’t tell them how they feel. All women don’t feel a certain way- but men certainly don’t know how to be women. I don’t know what it’s like to be a white man- or a man, for that matter. But all those feelings are valid and real- so stop shoving them under the rug. Stop telling me how I feel, and I’ll stop telling you how you feel, and instead try listening to how I feel, and they feel, and you might just learn something.


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