What is LGBTQ+? According to BBC News, “LGBTQ+ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, Queer/Questioning, with the plus sign signifying a desire to be inclusive.” It is a community of individuals that identify ‘out of the norm’ when it comes to sexuality and gender identiy.

According to National Geographic, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (who was a German lawyer and writer, who may have identified as gay) started  to create a gay community in 1862. He referred to everyone in the community as “Urning” which in context means men who are attracted to men. By 1972 being gay started being widely accepted in the USA and 86 precent of Americans openly accepted gay couples.

In the US since 2003, being in a gay relationship has been legalized. Marriage between gay men and women has been legal in the US since 2015. However, members of the LGBTQ+  community still face discrimination to this day. Even though being LGBTQ+ is more accepted, people still get called names, threatened, or just straight up treated differently because of their sexuality or the gender they identify as.

Despite discrimination LGBTQ+ members celebrate with their community by having parades, expressing themselves through clothing, and being in a safe space to share their stories with others during the month of June. In June the LGBTQ+community and allies host a series of pride parades where they get together with friends and families, big celebrities are invited to perform and it is a place where everyone can feel safe to express themselves freely.

If you are being discriminated against, or threatened for being part of the LGBTQ+ community, please feel free to use the numbers below or reach out to a trusted adult.

LGBTQ+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564

Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860

The National Runaway Safe-line: 800-786-2929