June is recognized by most as Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. This is a time for members of the LGBTQ+ community to reflect on and celebrate being part of this community. To strive to live an authentic life free of persecution, bigotry, hatred, and violence.

On June 1 I was told that people had been posting “Happy Pride” memes in the “Who Loves Rainbows” thread on R2R and that they were being deleted. I decided to add one of my own along with a few paragraphs behind my reasoning. It only took the mods a few minutes to edit my post and completely change the narrative. I would have had no problem if they had deleted my post but to change what I wrote? No, I’m not having that.

I don’t care what the administrators of that site think of me. Delete my posts, ban me, I don’t care. What I do care about is the younger people that are subjected to this hateful rhetoric.

The constant claim of being a “Family-friendly” site are in complete contradiction of their actions. As we used to say, “We’re Everywhere”. Meaning that one might not realize it but chances are that they have at least one family member or friend who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community. They also may be unaware of how their words and actions are affecting people around them who may have chosen to remain silent out of fear.

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Kids and young adults who grow up hearing the type of hatred spewed by adults, often reinforced by religious doctrine, learn to live in fear. Studies show that LGBTQ+ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. LGBTQ+ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Treating kids and young adults this way is far from “Family-friendly” and welcoming.

Will anything I say or do change the mind of the moderators over there, no. What I do hope is that anyone who feels threatened or helpless reaches out to someone who does care about what they’re going through. Be that me, or any other member of the wonderful reefing hobby that isn’t as close-minded.
I’m adding a link to The Trevor Project with the statistics on suicide I mentioned above. The Trevor Project is also an excellent place to find help, education, and other resources if you need it.

You are seen, you are valid, you are loved. Happy Pride!

-Tal

Aquarist of the Year – 2020 – Marine Aquarium Society of America

 

The Trevor Project
Reefs.com Inclusion Forums
Rainbow Reefers

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