I believe my generation is more progressive than previous generations. Not because we are wiser, but simply because we have the ability to connect to the entire world with a simple click of a button. In the past, our parents relied on the information from relatives that lived in the north, the pulpit and neighborhood meetings to provide them with insights to the greater world. This limited perspective often bred fear in people from different places who looked, lived, loved and identified about sexual orientation differently. Subsequently, previous generations were not as open as I find mine to be.
For example, we welcome technology, connecting with other, communities and countries, which allows us to step outside of our comfort zone. Thirty years ago my father would have feared traveling to another country because of the unknown. Two years ago, I was allowed to accept a scholarship and travel with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp to tour Europe for three weeks with a choir. This past summer he chaperoned a trip with my school choir, Detroit School of Art to South Africa.
Openness to people who feel, look and love differently also sets my generation apart from others. Often students from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning and Allied (LGBTQA) community could not safely attend schools free from bullying or judgement. I have learned that national statistics on bullying among the LGBTQ population reflects a decline in students fearing personal safety in school, as long as schools openly address their fears.
Many years ago, a school like Detroit School of Arts did not exist. Now, with the advent of such schools, members of the LGBTQA community can safely and openly able attend. This is largely due to the overall attitude of acceptance and tolerance of all our differences that is embedded at schools such as Detroit School of Arts. We may be the only school in Detroit Public Schools-Community District that maintains an ongoing Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Group. This group was not only created but is run by the students. To start this brave conversation is one that our generation can have without hesitation and be proud of. Previous generations would have asked themselves, Is it politically correct? I would venture to say, that the changing attitudes and beliefs among schools and parents are partly due to the increased public exposure, awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ population.
The Book of Isaiah says, ...and a little child shall lead. I liken my generation to ͞the child.”Consequently, I believe my generation is more tolerant, accepting and willing to enable the conversation to continue than previous generations. Such progress will lead older generations to broaden their acceptance of this community in a positive way. Thereby, bringing families and communities closer.