No one should be defined by a label

Why do we use the word gay to define a person? No one should have a label. People should be able to live their day-to-day life and not be treated differently just because they are gay, bisexual or transgender. The United States has made progress to accept people for who they classify as. In the past, people were not able to “come out” as a certain sexuality. You had to hide it, or if you came out you would not be accepted and not be treated fairly. I don’t care who you are or what you classify as sexually, I will still treat you the same as I would treat anyone else in daily life: with respect.

I believe that people should not be categorized by their sexuality; people should be more than just that. For the example: the shooting in the Orlando, Florida nightclub Pulse on June 12, 2016. The shooter, 29-year-old Omar Matteen targeted the nightclub Pulse and decided that he didn’t accept people that are gay so he decided to start a shooting massacre. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 because he was intolerant of their sexual preference. Matteen’s targeting of the lesbian and gay community was really extreme actually and no one should go that far singling out the LGBTPLUS community.

People should just accept people for who they are and not give them a label. I wish everyone would take time to educate him or herself before they assume things about the LGBTPLUS community. If you have questions that you are unsure of, make sure to ask someone; just don’t go around spreading hate about stuff that you truly don’t know about. Wouldn’t you rather feel good about supporting another person that may not be the same sexuality as you, but still a person nonetheless?

Being a young person, growing up in a world that is more accepting of the LGBTPLUS community than what it used to be, it has made me more accepting of others and their differences. This country recently legalized gay marriage, and my hope is that we move forward and not backwards, accept people for who they are and not treat them any differently. Because love is love. Accept it.

Editor’s note: Rachel Joyal is a seventh-grader at Negaunee Middle School. She is a member of 8-18 Media. For more information, call (906) 226-7874, or email at