Seeing past the differences: having an understanding of the LGBT community

Im not here to start a political argument or to have some type of an agenda behind this post. Since, I know that the USA political party conventions are going on now. This post is just to show how much I grown as a person throughout my travels. From someone who was homophobic to someone who now has compassion towards this community’s struggles. I’m a straight guy so I know I will never fully understand what this community goes through but at least I have a small idea of the issues. Please read this post with an open mind.

The rainbow flags photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

After exploring London for a little bit more, nightfall came by quick. I wanted to explore the neighborhood my Airbnb was in a little bit more. The more I walked around, the more rainbow flags I saw. It was clear that this neighborhood, Soho had a theme of sexual freedom. From the restaurants that look like sex shops to the actually sex shops. I was definitely glad that I traveled without kids because that talk about the items at the stores would had been awkward.

A random person in Soho photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Back to the exploring, the music blasted loud from the buildings. People were enjoying their night. I was taking photos and this person in the photo above showed up. I still have no idea who they are. Either way, the place was really alive. It was as if, the sun never came down. The people acted like tomorrow was not monday.

A gay sex shop photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

I took a picture of a sex shop like it was normal. Before being around this type of environment would had made me very uncomfortable. It’s crazy how much I changed. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, most people would think we would not be homophobic. However, it’s the opposite. Homophobia runs deep in the Bay Area. Especially within the Hispanic and Black communities. We used to avoid going to the Castro district in San Francisco. We would jokingly say don’t pick up money in the streets of the Castro district. Even mocking the community with offensive slurs. It wasn’t until I traveled to the Middle East that my eyes opened up. I mentioned it before in another post. One of my friends in Dubai was gay. He was one of the people that showed me around dubai. After sitting down and have a conversation, I learned the issues the LGBT community goes through. In the Middle East, being gay can get you killed if you are caught. In the west, it’s not that extreme. However, I had heard stories from people being jumped just for being LGBT. So, the issue is still there.

The neon bikes photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

I know there’s not much I can do to change the minds of grown adults. However, at least I can change the minds of the people around me. One conversation at a time. Being comfortable in this neighborhood was a reflection of my personal growth. People are people regardless of who they are and what they are into. Hopefully, one day everybody can live in peace and without fear.

Thank you so much for reading! Stay safe everyone! Wash your hands! Much Love!

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London United Kingdom

12 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Actually, you can change adults/ If it won’t be possible, we won’t achieve that much progress in the fight for LGBTQ rights, as we did. We won’t be able to legalize gay marriages. Several year ago I receive a huge feedback from the people who were silently reading my posts, never commenting, but day by day, post by post theur mindset was changed.

  2. I’m glad you’ve been able to shift your perspective.

    I just re-watched the movie “Brokeback mountain”. For me it is one of the most powerfully tragic yet beautiful love story movies made. In talking about it to a male friend , he said that although he wasn’t homophobic , he couldn’t watch a movie of two men in love. Sadly, many people are that way rather than being able to celebrate two humans managing to fall in love, no matter what gender.

    • It took alot of growth but i’m glad I see the world differently including the people. I can somewhat understand your friend. It is difficult for straight guys to watch a romance movie. Unless it has some comedy or some type of action. However, what the movie stands for is very powerful. I watched to have a better view of the LGBT community.

      • I understand. And my take on the movie was that Jake’s character was probably bi-sexual hence is need to go to Mexico to have sex with guys. But I saw Heath’s character as just a man who fell in love with another human….it wasn’t that he was male and Heath’s character was drawn to sex with a man, but that he fell in love with the person. Ultimately, to me….that is what love is about….human to human.

      • i actually never looked at it that way. It is just humans falling in love with humans. I just saw them as gay or thinking about being gay. I have to rewatch the movie. I’m sure there is a lot I missed.

      • Oh…and PS…my male friend watches many romances….so it was more the issue of two men being romantic that was off putting to him…but he denies being homophobic.

  3. I would say that Soho, Earls Court and possibly South Kensington are places of safety for fringe communities in London. They each have a steady theme of gender tolerance. Soho has always within my memory been the ‘red light’ district of the City, and there was a thriving community of gay people in Earls Court (including two of my relations) when I was last there. Great places to be!

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