In celebration of Pride month in June, TSA decided to find and put together this short series of personal accounts. The purpose of this was for everyone to enter the minds of people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and of people who exist within environments that perpetuate homophobia.

There was a purpose to this. Our aim, by showcasing an individual person’s story, was to open up the minds and hearts of people. The purpose was to give people access to information that allows them to see into the life of someone very similar to or very different from themselves.

Here, we can see that each account is completely unique. Even two people who are both pansexual have chosen to write about two entirely different things. Every person is different and every person has their own unique perspective on life.

The LGBTQ+ community suffers in the way that they are discriminated against for being who they are.

This is a huge problem, especially in the South African context where many cultural practices or religions prohibit homosexuality. We cannot refute the beliefs of people and so we cannot say that this is wrong because we have no right to decide that.

However, TSA wants you to think about something.

Do we accept discrimination against religion? Do we accept discrimination against certain cultures? No. And that is because we cannot choose what another person believes. We cannot change what a person believes.

Imagine that a Christian man decides that his religion is the only one that can exist. When his child converts to Buddhism, he sends her to boarding school, takes her to the priest and eventually disowns her. Her completely Christian, anti-buddhist community decides to encase her in a tower of tires and light her body on fire. This is all because she no longer believed in the Christian version of God.

In the same way, would Christian, homophobic communities condemn the sexual assault of children by priests? Both are supposedly ‘sins’, according to the Bible, and yet the one occurs uncontested.

Is this a comfortable picture? Why do we discriminate against people for being different to us?
If a Jewish man falls in love with a Muslim woman and they happen to conceive a child, would we accept it when their respective families plan to assasinate said child? Discrimination like this is not acceptable. Why is there more opposition to such discrimination than there is to hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community?

Whether homosexuality is a conscious/sub-conscience choice or is something that people are born with doesn’t matter.

People who are homosexual are simply that. There is no way that someone in the LGBTQ+ community is going to change who they are just because someone else believes that it is wrong.

Murdering people because they are not heterosexual is not okay, no matter what you believe.

Instead of discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community because of YOUR religious views, you should decide what you believe for yourself. If you truly believe that homosexuality is wrong, then be content that it is not something that you have to face. Be content that you are upholding your beliefs and your religion.

There is no necessity to condemn others who are secure in their decisions and feelings of what they believe. You have a choice. You can burn a man with petrol for loving men or you could accept him as he is and move on with your life.

The LGBTQ+ community is not a threat to your sexuality. They cannot change who you are, in the same way that you cannot change who they are.

I know you desperate for a change let the pen glide, but the only real change come from inside
– J.Cole

Only you can decide to be who you want to be. If you decide that being a certain way is wrong, then that is your choice. But if a person is harming no one, destroying nothing then there is no reason to discriminate against them in any way.

Believe what you believe but accepting people for who they are is often more rewarding than it seems.