For individuals who are a part of the LGBTQ community, there are a myriad of challenges that are being faced on a daily basis that the rest of us know very little about. Some of the biggest challenges include:
Safety/Violence: For many people, especially young people, they do not feel safe expressing their gender identity or their sexual preferences. Too many times, this leads to incidents ranging from homophobic slurs to physical assault. Many people fear for their lives on a daily basis and never know when they will be verbally or physically attacked.
Quality of Life: There are basic quality of life concerns that members of this community deal with everyday. Some of the most common examples include denial of services from vendors who have personal convictions against same-sex relationships. This ranges from being able to get a meal at a restaurant to being denied the sale of a wedding cake. This causes unnecessary anguish and turmoil, which those of us who are heterosexual seldom think about due to our heterosexual privilege.
Special Note on Marriage Equality: Until very recently, marriage equality was one of the largest challenges that the LGBTQ community was facing in our society. Due to the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage is now legal in ALL 50 States! It should be noted that this is a major step forward for members of this community, after a long and hard fought battle. Some of the newly won privileges that same sex couples can now enjoy include freedom to file joint taxes, hospital visitation, and access to family health coverage among a myriad of other benefits.