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The Rainbow Explosion: Turning Shrapnel Into Sunlight by Taylor Adams

LGBTQ. Upon reading these five letters, what associations spring to your mind? Maybe you think of a valiant fight, an unstoppable, yet necessary force for equality and justice for marginalized people, and against the bigotry and hate forced upon you by your oppressors who refuse to understand what you and your community struggle with. Or maybe, you think of cancel culture, bullying, or a lifestyle being shoved down your throat by unstable, but yet increasingly powerful people. Maybe you just don’t care either way, or you’re baffled by the idea that this is even an issue worth discussing, being that the world is already facing problems that pale this one in comparison.

Being a woman of trans experience, who is very much invested in this issue, I’ve heard all these opinions and viewpoints expressed at one time or another. There’s no denying that this issue has become a subject of much contention and upset. There are two opposing sides expressing strong opinions that they will not bend on. I am not here to debate which is the so-called: “right opinion” if such a concept even exists in the first place. Rather, I am here to offer another way, which considerably lessens the hate and anger involved in such discussions.

At this point in my observations and experience, I can confidently say that this current environment around the discussion serves no one, least of all people like me, who are members of the LGBTQ community who just want to live our lives. This is particularly true when I’m seeing proposed reactionary laws made around the world which make things difficult for my community to do just that. This worries me greatly, and I feel that these laws are a result of the toxic environment around this contentious and controversial issue. What follows is all from my own place of knowing, and should be taken as so. I cannot speak for everybody, and I cannot account for every single viewpoint that someone may have. But from my own observations, I’d like to propose a possible solution, which I believe, if implemented, will create a happier and safer environment for all. So, if you’ll join me, let’s dissect the problem, the cause, and the solution together.

I believe that the issue here is perfectly summarized in The Indigo Approach, principal seven, Knowledge Inhibitors, key two. Here, it reads: “Tension: Created by the fear of personal harm or loss.”

From my place of knowing, this is exactly the reason why those of us who are involved in this discussion are so divided. Both sides have an inherent fear that the other side is taking something from them.

On the pro-LGBTQ side, there has always been a fear of regression. The presence of criticism or invalidation is the reason why the community fights so hard against detractors, as the fear of their rights being overturned is eternally present, and anyone who expresses those views has branded an influencer of the oppression of LGBTQ people, particularly if those people have power. People in the community over the years have been denied jobs, housing, safety, equality, their identity, and their dignity. Consequentially, a lot of them are traumatised, and anything that remotely relates to their trauma brings forth a response that may manifest itself in hate, persecution, or even violence.

Loss or harm does not always have to illustrate physical harm, as is often the perception of a large proportion of society. Harm or loss can take many forms, be it the loss of rights, the loss of identity, the loss of freedom, and the loss of safety. These are all things that are the cause of much concern, anger, and pain among LGBTQ circles. As a consequence, they may not be ready or willing to hear views that are not their own when it comes to this issue, as it takes them back to the pain they may have experienced in their life, and the fight they’re fighting is considered life and death to them and their community. Make no mistake, there are a lot of concerning laws right now being passed around the world which affect the LGBTQ+ community, and these concerns should be heard and respected, but there will be no progress made if we cannot see each other’s humanity.

On the other hand, people are very much concerned about the loss of tradition, the loss and/or corruption of women’s spaces, or the harm to children in a climate that they deem to be predatory. The main component here is rejection and resistance to change, which are concepts as old as time. The world is in a constant state of evolution and change, and within this continuum, there have been, and always will be, people who question the validity and the acceptability of that change and disruption. These concerns may be worth discussing, but the problem is the way that these concerns are voiced. It can often be confrontational and invalidating to the community that is bringing on this so-called “disruption” of previous ways of being and thinking. The community is pathologized, demonized, and blamed for the downfall of society. This tends to put the said community on edge and makes them unreceptive to the concerns that are being voiced, creating a neutral environment of fear, contempt, and disgust. And why wouldn’t they be on edge? Most people are unresponsive to punishment and demonization, and so the cycle continues, where both sides feel like they have a battle to fight. A battle, which, if lost, will create fatal consequences for our society. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Key three of principal seven of The Indigo Approach reads:
“Argument: The putting down of another to elevate one’s position.
There is another way.
Discourse: One’s position with evidence and then listening to the other side with respect. We allow ourselves to benefit from the knowledge of others to solve a problem together. Arguments are about power and domination over another.”

In engaging in these charged discussions, there is a strong temptation to forget the other participant’s or the other side’s humanity. I do not state this from a position of elevation and implicit knowing that others may lack. I present this assumption as someone who has directly participated in it myself. I have engaged in these discussions in the past, creating an “us and them” narrative in my own head which made me immediately discard the notion that the person I was debating with was human, had feelings that could break, and is just as entitled to love and kindness as I am.

Equally, I have also had that done to me. It’s a sad state of events when we forget, Or willfully choose to ignore the fact, that, for all our differences, we still breathe the same, bleed the same, hurt and love, and want to be loved. We are all vastly different and thank God for that, but in so many ways, we are not so different at all. We share this planet together but show little regard for how we treat the people we are working and living alongside at times. This isn’t necessary. When we realize the fact that people do not exist to hurt us, that they have their own agendas that don’t intentionally lead to our pain, doesn’t that make the hate of politics and angry discussions on Twitter seem somewhat pointless?

There is an urgent need for more safe spaces to be held. Spaces that are safe for everyone, where discussions and mediation can be had between both sides. Hate needs to be taken out of the equation, because despite the fact that our opinions may differ greatly, we are all united in one thing, we want to world to be better. Bridges need to be built, a certain degree of open-mindedness needs to be adopted, and most of all, leading with kindness is absolutely essential. It’s easy for us to become passionate about our viewpoints that we forget that one essential concept. But for progress to be made, this cannot be overlooked.

Let’s include as many people with as many different viewpoints as possible so that we can make sure everyone is being represented. Let’s listen, let’s learn, let’s love. I dream of a time when our individuality and differences are all celebrated and where no one has to clammer and fight for space and rights on this planet. I dream of a distant sky where rainbows aren’t cast out, burned by the sun, and drenched by the rain. I dream of a world where we support and complement one another as part of the same force. The force of creation, the force of innovation, the force of love. If you resonate with what I have to say, let’s help create that world together, because when it’s all said and done, it starts with us.

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