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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