What can representation even do? The answer is simple: it can change our nation. Now, I know what you are thinking. How can having queer characters change our country? The short answer is that on its own, it can’t. The truth is that having these characters just contributes to the overall development of a nation that supports queer individuals. Throughout this blog, I’ve discussed how this happens, through exposure. Learning about queer people and understanding them, helps people who are ignorant of the issues recognize that queer people are just people. In 2015, just before gay marriage was made legal in all 50 states, former President Obama said:
“However the decision comes down on the marriage issue, one thing’s undeniable: There has been this incredible shift in attitudes across the country. When I became president, same-sex marriage was legal in only two states. Today it’s legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia. A decade ago, politicians ran against LGBT rights, today they’re running towards them, ’cause they’ve learned what the rest of the country knows — that marriage equality is about our civil rights, and our firm belief that every citizen should be treated equally under the law.”
If we cannot come together on this issues, we will not be able to continue to protect LGBTQIA+ people. Acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people is becoming so widespread, in part due to our normalization of queer people. For instance, President Donald Trump’s administration is one of the most conservative we’ve had in quite some time, yet they still support Executive Order 13672, signed by Obama, which protects queer people from discrimination in the workplace. If we continue to represent queer people well, there will continue to be a more positive attitude about them across our nation.
featured image via PinkNews