Opinion: It is time to move past sexuality and gender

When it comes to gender and sexual preferences, most people fall into well-known categories. Specifically, people will generally identify with their gender assigned at birth and have a sexual preference for the opposite.

For others, however, this will not be the case. And there are numerous other ways any of these preferences and identities can fit together. Some people are OK with this but others may not quite get it right away. 

Those who don’t understand, or are not able to easily process someone who doesn't fit into their pre-constructed categories of normality will have varied responses to this situation. They will have varying levels of acceptance and no doubt some questions depending on the individual they meet. 

The conversation, however, should be steered away from any inquiries about how someone may be different than them. This is because a person is not limited to their gender identity and sexual preferences. We are never going to be able to accept other people’s differences until those differences are no longer something we need to actively think to accept.

My dad is allergic to onions. I find this to be fascinating since onions are a key food in countless recipes. You just don’t realize how important the onion is until you stop and wonder why it is in your shopping cart every time you’re done consulting the recipe book.

While being allergic to onions is a fun smidgen of knowledge, it has absolutely nothing to do with who my dad is. Who my dad is can more accurately be summed up as an annoyingly cheerful, retired bomb expert who zip ties ladders together and drives himself to the hospital after a car falls off of its supports with him still under them. Of course, someone never would have known this if they couldn’t get past the onions.

Meeting an LGBTQ+ person and going straight for a topic on gender identity is like meeting someone from Japan and immediately asking them how they like Tokyo. They may have never even been to Tokyo, and secondly, if they have been, they could be tired of talking about it.

Being a different race is likely not at the heart of who they are. There is more.

It would feel very lonely and alienating if no one took the time to get to know you just because they always wanted to know about how you live without onions.

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