What gives you the right to hate?

Hate is a strong word. I could hate the taste of papaya and I could hate the color yellow, but when I say hate, what do I really mean? I mean that if I hate those things, I’m going to avoid them. You’ll never catch me in a yellow sundress frolicking around with a half-eaten papaya in my hand. However, colors and food are just inanimate objects that make up our surroundings. Feel free to hate what you want, I won’t stop you. But, when the hate starts shifting from the objects that surround you, to your actual peers, that’s when I begin to wondering why.

  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you are strongly against a certain race or the LGBTQIA community, then avoid them. However, the moment you begin to emotionally or physically attack someone else for being who they are, that’s when you cross the line.

  In the year 2000, life was a lot simpler. I went to my afternoon kindergarten class, played with my friends, and didn’t even think about the word hate. Fast forward a couple years, and I’m now in the 7th grade. At this point, I’ve been exposed to various identities. I’ve seen the judgmental eyes of a middle school student, where everyone stayed close to the ones they related to, and excluded the ones they don’t. Being different was frowned upon, and standing out wasn’t applauded; instead it was seen as an act of bringing shame upon self. At the time, I heard the term “gay” used to describe the color pink and insult others for acting a certain way. Little did I know, months later, I would begin meeting people who were actually gay.

  I like to think of middle school as my closed-minded years, because I was living in a bubble. I was surrounded by a lot of people who weren’t open-minded, but it wasn’t their fault; we were all in the process of growing up and wanting to be accepted.

  In high school and college, I began figuring out who I was, what I supported, and what I believed in. I’m a straight heterosexual female, but I’m a strong supporter of people. Meaning, I support everyone and anyone, because you are who you are. No one can tell you otherwise, and if we live in the land of the free, everyone should be free to be who they are, right?

  According to the FBI’s latest report, “Law enforcement agencies reported 5,479 hate crime incidents involving 6,418 offenses to our Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2014. And these crimes—which often have a devastating impact on the communities where they occur—left 6,727 victims in their wake.”

  Seen in a bias diagram, 40.7% of those crimes were racial, 0.6% were gender, and 18.6% w because of sexual orientation. That was in 2014. In 2016 that gender percentage will have increased, especially because of the number of transgender individuals who are increasingly being murdered. Transgender women of color are part of a community that faces the most violence. They are murdered by people who think that we were born to be a certain way, and that one race is better than the other. What is more upsetting is that there are people who do not see these murders as a problem.

  Why are people killing people and hurting others for being who they are? The idea of hating someone for being themselves, is an idea that completely baffles me. Think about a world where being a male or female heterosexual was not the norm. What if being gay was the norm, and those hate crimes were against us heterosexuals. Put yourself in other people’s shoes.

  Who are you to hate someone else, and tell them they are wrong for being who they are? Stop hating, and start accepting.

  Why is it not okay for Target to have gender-inclusive bathrooms and dressing rooms, but okay for you to deliberately hurt people who are different from you? While I would love for everyone to be on the same page about spreading equality, regardless of gender or race, that is just not the case. For the people who are hating, either mind your own business and let the world evolve, or open your mind to the reality that, regardless of gender, we are all human beings; nothing more and nothing less. Right now, you might hate it, but eventually the tables will turn and you will be hated for hurting those who are innocent and simply fighting for their happiness.

   Being whoever you are does not make you any less human than someone else.

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