LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual & Transgender) issues have been a major debate in our society the last two decades of the 20th Century and continues to be in the first two decades of the 21st Century. Whether it is marriage, child rearing, bullying or hate crimes there isn't a topic that doesn't include some element of LGBT. Contrary to media and some political talking heads, most Americans want everyone to be who they are. It only becomes a problem when militant activity overrides the civil rights issue. We have much to agree with on this subject if we would not let the very small militant groups dominate the conversation. Separating political agendas and fringe militancy from the honest social debate on this issue is needed. LGBT demographics were revealed in a 2017 Gallup poll concluded that 4.5% of adult Americans identified as LGBT with 5.1% of women identifying as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of men. A different survey in 2016, from the Williams Institute, estimated that 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender. Follow the debate below.

I Shouldn't Exist

from The Wall Street Journal,

A liberal bisexual teen and a gay conservative talk about being boxed in by labels.

Jessica Brito, 18, who lives in Bozeman, Mont., and started her first semester of college in August, describes herself as Jewish, biracial and bisexual. There just isn’t an easy label for someone like her. “I’ve had difficulty being accepted into one culture or race. Like I’m too black, or not black enough. Some straight and religious people don’t feel comfortable around me, and gay people don’t always accept me since I’m not ‘fully gay.’” Perhaps it’s natural for people to be confused about differences, Jessica says. But, she adds, “I’m almost positive that a good majority of the issues around this is because people have misconceptions and stereotypes and expectations and they have nothing else that’s telling them different.” Scott Bowen, 35, a program manager in California, Md., feels boxed in by the same kind of limiting labels. “I’m a gay/bi/conservative millennial. There is no greater betrayal to my typical peers than to be a conservative,” he says. “It’s incredibly frustrating to have to be tight-lipped about my beliefs on issues, while my peers feel confident enough to put their political opinions forward.” There were times that Scott did try to express his opinions. “I’m a fiscal conservative, for example, but there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to politics.” But he says he was harshly criticized by people who disagreed with him. “The truest form of open-mindedness, I think, is really being able to sit and listen and ask questions, and not try to undermine someone.”

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