LGBT, so what does this mean to people? A friend and I were discussing this one day at the Pride Parade in NYC. He is one of my good friends who happens to be gay. I have known him for quite some time. We were talking about all the different versions of abbreviations that stood for what each person was depending on gender; however, than we both brought up a very good point. What is it about the letters that are focused on so much? It is so much more than labels or a description. It means acceptance and being YOU.

In today’s society, though we have come a long way, the fight is far from over. There are so many that are still not accepting of being different in their sexual orientation among other stigmas and prejudices. People believe they are making a choice, which can be reversed or that GOD will change them. GOD IS about acceptance, as far as I am concerned, he loves all of us. I was never taught to hate when I walked into a church or read about in ANY religion for that matter. I doubt GOD is in the universe picking and choosing who does right or wrong, because I feel we might all be in a great deal of trouble. Like seriously…all grounded for life.

Isn’t unconditional love what is promised? People who hide behind religion and fear believe those in the LGBT community are committing sins and are going to burn in hell. They use religion to be biased in politics as well when you are supposedly to check that at the door when making decisions. It is called separation of church and state. A political decision should not be based on one’s person beliefs, rather looking at a proposition as a whole and doing what is right…not singling those out from the rest of the world. They are no different than all the other beautiful and unique individuals out there that each deserve to love and live like the rest of the world. This is called human rights…in case some have forgotten how hard we have fought in the past for things, or what the definition is.

Is the world going to end because people of the same-sex who are married and want the same benefits as all married couples? Is lightening going to strike down into the streets and the apocalypse will come the moment they say I do? Will giving them health insurance might just make the streets crack and rise up in a fiery burn? If people want to be ridiculous, than let’s be ridiculous. None of those things are going to happen. Who are they hurting? Is your life going to be affected? If not, than it should not be of any concern to you what new laws come into play. There are so many things we SHOULD be concerned about in this world. Horrible things. One of them is definitely not this. God forbid we create more diversity and love in the world, which is what we should be aiming for.

Let me also add that divorce rates are through the roof. Are we condemning those who get a divorce to an island? If so, we might as well all join the beauty of the LGBT community as there will be very little heterosexual people left.

Going back to religion, let’s think about what we have seen recently on social media and in the news. I have read about people threatening to kill gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals, I have read about threatening to burn themselves alive, and I have read about people threatening to divorce, see sarcastic remark above, if they allow people in the LGBT community to marry. Does this sound hypocritical to anybody else but me? Does anybody actually know anything about the Bible? Have they read it back to back? I am first to admit I have not, and I am a person of God and faith. I believe. I am also first to admit I am far from perfect or being completely innocent; however, apparently some people feel they are.

Let’s go over this. Is killing yourself by burning yourself alive not suicide? That is considered a sin and unforgivable according to the church. Supposedly you go to hell. Divorce, yeah I am sure GOD is hugely fond of divorce for any reason including childish ones like, “well if someone tells me to jump off a bridge, than I am going to do it…neener neener. I hope that sounds exactly how I wanted it to sound. Asinine! P.S. I am divorced. I also touched holy water in a church since then and I didn’t burst into flames…

If we learned anything about GOD, he is about love, forgiveness, and acceptance. No matter how religious anybody might be, they have done something they should not have if we truly look at the Bible and read through it completely. For example, tattoos. We should not be marking our bodies as they are considered our temple. This much I remember when someone said this to me after my first one. Ok, and my twelve tattoos later (and some piercings)… I have seen many religious people with tattoos, give me a break. You can’t pick and choose what is convenient for you when you feel like it. I am sorry to burst any bubbles here, but that is not how it works. Get off your floating cloud of bullshit because…WELCOME TO REALITY!

I am not religious per say, but I am a very spiritual person. I believe it is more important on how you live your life, being a good person, doing your best, and having faith than it is sitting in church for your sins while going against everything that it stands for when you walk out the door. I once had a guy tell me how drunk he was going to get because on Sunday he would be forgiven for his sins. Really? I do not think it that is the deelio. This is my point. Ignorance! I will not deny failing to live that flawless and perfect life thus far, but who really can? Can any of you make that statement? If you can hallelujah because your halo is straight while mine might be slightly off…just saying. It is just a little tipsy as I will never claim to be perfect!

Not for nothing, I do not believe we have to audacity to sit here and I say we are better than another. We are different and we all have special skills and abilities, but is that better? I believe it is also about doing good things and giving back. What would Jesus do? Ask yourself that question. If you get discrimination, hate, prejudice, bullying, cruelty, and negativity in your minds, than you better start praying.

How often do we pray when it is convenient for us in times of need and forget the rest of the time? Just a question…really think about it.

Why am I focusing some of my energy on religion? Because that is the foundation of reasoning behind so much of this subject.

The point? Let’s stop being so judgmental of others as if we can do no wrong. It is not acceptable to judge others by any means when, unless again, you have never done wrong, we have all have needed to look in the mirror.

LGBT means lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender right? Not so simple, nor the way I see it. It means human beings with human rights. This is what I see when I look at those letters. I do not see a label. Loving someone of the same sex might be different compared to those who love of the opposite sex; however, than people who love dogs instead of cats must be out of control. Holy shit, that just blew some minds. It is the same damn thing. They aren’t an alien race that we are allowing to have the rights of human beings. They are human beings who just want to live and be like everybody else…accepted with kindness and compassion.

LGBT means just that… love, kindness, and acceptance. It means family and friends. It also means getting bullied or harassed. Sadly, it also means suicide. This is what happens when they suffer cruelty from others. This is what happens when they feel they live in a world where they can’t be accepted and loved like everybody else all because of who they love.

I feel as if every day I am reading about another teen or adult who took their life. Youths are out in the street with no place to go because their parents have rejected them. The unthinkable can be happening to them and the people who can stop it do not. If we find any of this acceptable in any way shape or form, than we are doing far worse than we ever thought possible when it comes to morals and values in today’s society. Maybe we have not come as far as we thought, because it certainly feels like going backwards at times. It almost feels as if we are getting lost when we should be finding our way in a world of modern thinking.

Nobody should have to be ashamed of who they are or what they stand for. The majority of my friends are part of the LGBT community, and I am a very big activist personally and through my organization Bullies Keep Out; however, I do not introduce my friends according to a phrase or letters. I do not say, “This is my friend from the LGBT community” or “this is my friend and he is gay”. Who does that? The second we start to refer to others as labels, we lose a piece of who we are and they lose a piece of who they are.

There is so much more to us as individuals beneath the surface. This is what is most important, which will exude onto the outside. When I look at those letters I just see a reference, but it means a whole lot of beautiful people out there in the world.

LGBT does not mean letters of the alphabet or initials. Again, it does not define a human being. It means that someone might not be the same as you, but who really is the same as you? There is only one YOU!

Please be kind and love big. Everybody living in this world needs support. Always be reaching out to others. They do not have to be people that you know. This is how we make new, amazing friends that we otherwise would have never knew existed.

One final thought… Guess what else it means? BOOM! It means a 5 to 4 vote that ALL 50 states passed nationwide that same-sex marriages can no longer be banned. It means #LoveWins

Those who threatened divorce, start calling those lawyers. Just saying…you said it!

Dana Jacoviello is a writer/celeb interviewer/podcast host, activist, advocate, freelances in entertainment/social media & correspondence/PR/Media/Events, Psychology major, student affiliate of APA and NYSPA, Founder of Bullies Keep Out, co-host of a web-series and host of La Bella Vita, participated in a 30 Day Challenge as an expert in healing and recovery in personal growth/emotional well-being. Dana also works with cyber-bullying and is a motivational mentor/coach, with a strong interest in networking, healing, recovery, yoga & meditation. Please join Dana on her latest anti- bullying campaign/project