LGBTQ Rights and Tolerance
We got it wrong in America by advocating for tolerance of LGBTQ rights. And reading today's New York Times piece on culture war and LGBTQ rights just reaffirmed my opinion. Stuart Stevens, who isn't a is quoted: “Many in the party [conservatives] see that they no longer need to pretend and they can go back to voicing what they really believe.” And this is the problem with "tolerance." Let me explain.
Tolerance implies a surface compliance, not a true acceptance. If you tolerate something, you can privately be against it. Your feelings are your own, right? You can voice any opinion you want in your own house among people who feel and think like you do. As an American, I whole-heartedly believe we should be able to have this personal freedom. However, tolerance vs. acceptance has a clear consequence. If you don't have to comply, you won't.
Stevens pinpointed exactly what happened in our country in the post-Trump era. Conservatives were emboldened to rip away the veneer of acceptance they'd been forced to hide under. I am not saying that all conservatives are anti-LGBTQ, or that liberals are 100 % accepting. I'm sure it's much more complex than that. It is very obvious by recent legislation in Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Utah, and Arizona that Americans are willing to support a roll back on LGBTQ rights, specifically at the contentious line of transgendered issues.
I don't know where we are headed as a nation on these LGBTQ issues. As a nation we mostly supported same sex marriage, but seem to have drawn a line in the sand at transgendered rights. When we address this next period of fighting for equality, I think we need to stop pushing tolerance of the LGBTQ community and instead look inside ourselves for acceptance. When we accept something, we surrender the internal fight and can find peace. That's the only place we can find healing and move forward as a nation. Acceptance is key.