Inequality is something that I don’t believe I really experienced as an individual until I started dating men. It was only once my boyfriend and I started going out together in public that I observed various discrepancies in the rights of straight couples compared to LGBT couples.
I’ll begin with a quick story that relates back to my experience with dating. Everyone makes such a big deal about “coming out of the closet.” It’s so hyped up that it almost seems like a necessary step. A step that will resolve all your problems.
Once you’re out, you’re free. Right?
Well, not quite. That’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned since I started dating another guy. Even when you’re out and proud, inequality still poses a serious challenge to enjoying a satisfying relationship equal to that of a straight couple.
I think a primary example of this is holding hands in public. An ordinary and innocent act of affection. Yet so people still do a double-take when they see two men or two women holding hands. That’s one thing I don’t think I expected. When my boyfriend and I go out in public, we often have to debrief about whether or not it’s safe for us to walk hand-in-hand. And sometimes, we simply know right away that we can’t.
Ha that may even sound silly to someone who doesn’t go through it but it’s very much a real problem. I think it’s unfair that so many LGBT couples have to determine whether or not it’s safe to publicly show that they care about one another.
This is just one example of many. There’s also issues with the comments people mumble, the actions people take, and the legal rights we receive, just to name a few. The list goes on and on.
I’ll never forget this one night, me and my boyfriend were walking to a small coffee shop before it was time to see a movie. We had both gotten something to drink and we were on our way back to see the movie. As we walked along the sidewalk deeply engrossed in conversation, we passed by a restaurant where people were seated outdoors. There was this one table of guys who were all talking really loudly. Someone flicked a red-hot cigarette and it hit me. I glanced over at the person who threw it and continued to walk on. After I had taken a few steps, I could hear one guy from behind say, “Dude, I think you hit someone with that,” and the other guy said, “Nah, just one of the gay guys.”
Oh, I guess that makes it ok. :/
There are many instances of inequality in society that put LGBT individuals in disadvantaged positions. Has inequality ever affected you in any way? Share your experience.