Thousands of people milled around me, many adorning flashy shades of red. We were gathered on the broad street of Los Angeles for the annual Aids Walk. This is an event that I attended for three consecutive years, the first year in 2009 had been the most memorable. Excitement filled the air as the opening ceremony officially began the walk. Right when I rounded the first corner, I saw three middle-aged men on the sidewalk holding cardboard signs that read "Jesus hates gays" and "You will go to hell". They received no shortage of boos, but that was because the mentality of the people at Aids Walk was more liberal than that of the average American. While I admire their bravery for boldly protesting at such an adversarial audience, I contemplated the homophobic mindset of the three men. To me, acceptance of others matters for both individual and society, and among proponents of gender and racial equality, I advocate for gay rights. I have heard of many arguments against gay marriage on the basis of religion, education, etc. Although I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don't understand the great extent some people go to make those different from them feel miserable and alienated. I despise the negative connotation the word "homosexuality" holds. It upsets me to know that loving someone of the same gender could elicit such strong reactions of disgust. Even though I do not expect everyone to share the same views as me, I do hope that one day society can embrace interpersonal difference and abandon prejudices.
Any criticism is greatly appreciated!