I’m going to skip past views entirely, because this is such a rapidly changing issue that past views farther back than about 20 years ago are completely redundant. They are ridiculous things like “it’s a mental disease”/”they’re sick in the head”/”they’re perverts”/”crime against God”/etc etc.
I’m going to be moving forward under the firm belief that LGBT people are no more unnatural than anyone else. Sexual and gender orientation are just another facet of what makes someone themselves, and something that, if changed, would make them no longer themselves.
To make a point to all those people who think it’s a choice: If you think orientation is a choice, when did you choose yours?
Increasingly, legislation is catching up with the times (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/01/242366812/germany-offers-third-gender-option-on-birth-certificates) but the big push in popular opinion is coming from the internet. Like-minded people can come together in the thousands to promote, educate, and support.
A married couple, A. Stiffler and K. Copeland, run a comic on their website ChaosLife (http://chaoslife.findchaos.com/about). In addition to drawing about their daily lives, they raise awareness about LGBT issues. K is a lesbian; Stiffler is agender–that is, s/he identifies with neither male or female. They educate and raise awareness of issues associated with both sexual and gender orientation, and are a great way to look at both some of the issues faced and the response. People who are not a part of the LGBT community may have no idea how bad some of the issues these people face really are. Then Stiffler publishes a letter they recieved on the internet:
Who knew that such hate and ignorance could still exist? And if they hadn’t said so, how many people would know that transsexual people often get harrassed, not just by straight people but by LG people too?
Homosexuals are often harassed for being “unnatural”. Transgender people, as well. A transgendered woman might hear “you’re just pretending to be a woman”. A transgendered man might hear “you’re a traitor to your gender”. Put them together and even more harassment, ignorance, and insulting behaviour appears.
Gay men, harrassed by other gay men, because the man they are with is transgender, and therefore he’s not really gay.
What more and more people are pushing towards is this:
Sadly, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Celebrities and other figures in the limelight are going a long way to promote equality and acceptance (http://araceil.tumblr.com/post/63545560239/mechanicsofaheart1-gay-gateway-stxnakatic) but the fact is that there’s not enough official education happening. The internet, amazing as it is for education about equality and such, is definitely contributing to a movement towards acceptance. But it’s a reactive education, not a proactive one. It is not educating parents before they can start causing problems for their kids; it’s showing the kids that they don’t need to be ashamed of themselves after they’ve already been subjected to the prejudice and harassment.
So in the meantime, we have things like this:
Parents can pay people to kidnap their children from their beds and drag them to a boot camp where they are then brainwashed into being straight.
When something that horrifying can exist, well, that says a lot about the kinds of things LGBT children can go through.