Writing: ‘There Are Many People Who Don’t’ by Jocelyn Urias

This piece placed second for middle school writing submissions in the Ánimo Voices Writing and Art Competition, which invited students to consider a change they’d like to see in their community or the world and to convince an audience, through any genre of writing or visual medium, of the importance of this change. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.

There Are Many People Who Don’t

In this world,
We have many people who support the rainbow flag.
We wave around the flag without a care in the world.
Ignoring the negative comments
Ignoring the people that have signs that state:
“Homosexuality is a sin. You are all going to hell.”
However, we try our best to ignore it.
We try our best to ignore the negativity.
We try to spread love and positivity.
But there are many people who don’t.
They discriminate:
They fire them from their jobs
They deny them a home
They deny them their own family
In the end, they send them to leave on the streets
In the end, it feels like there is nothing else to do

They harass:
They scream out negative comments
They tell them:
“You’re going to hell!”
“God hates you!”
With derision in their voices
Only because a book told them that homosexuality is a sin
Evidence suggests that compared to their heterosexual peers
People who are part of this community
Suffer more mental problems
Including substance use, affective disorders, and suicide
They kill:
In 2017, at least one homicide of an LGBT person was reported

Each week in the United States
2% were Natives
4% were Asian
8% were Latinx
23% were white
60% of them were black
The rest were unknown.
David Swartley
Neil Rodney Smith
Sydney Loofe
Kevin Wirth
Michael Jones
Juan Javier Cruz
Were all victims of homicides
The list goes on and on.

While researching this issue,
I have found many facts and experiences that surprised me
To be honest, I knew things wouldn’t be pretty when I decided to research this issue
From the very beginning
But when I sat down and read through the many stories
I felt helpless
Even though I am not part of the community
Even if I don’t know how they really feel going through these types of situations
I felt helpless
I do support them
I try to change people’s minds
But I know that I can’t change everyone’s point of view of the LGBT community
I know people will still have negative opinions of them
I know people will still discriminate against them
However, I think that the support and love that we give them now
Will help them
Even through the rough times

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