There is a revolution happening right now and, like every great revolution, it is spearheaded by the youth. The modern world is a curious climate. With the internet in nearly every person’s pocket, we are communicating on a global level. This connection is a blessing and a curse. We are able to connect with people to form communities, but we are also vulnerable to attack. In a post-politically correct society, more and more young people are striving for more ethical lifestyles and a system that is accepting of all.
The new rebellion is no longer about causing senseless havoc but choosing who we love and how we love without accepting regulations from a generation that has abandoned us.
It’s been a rocky journey, shuddering to a stop, then speeding off without preamble. Reflecting upon when I first discovered my bisexuality is a strange experience, if only for imagining myself setting off into the wilderness on a mystical adventure to find my sexuality. I wish it had been that whimsical. I ‘came out’ during my second year of senior school, and year eight kids were not embracing. The teachers weren’t much better. A byproduct of attending a Catholic school, but the first teacher I approached about establishing a support group for LGBTQ students quickly shut that idea down with red-faced mumblings about it being “inappropriate.”
Other LGBTQ peers in my age demographic had different experiences.
A friend of mine named Teddy recounted how he came out at a similar point in his life. Despite knowing he was gay, he identified himself as bisexual to ease the transition and found solace amongst female friends. Most—though not all—of his male friends were supportive and even protective. The gesture was kind, though it also warned him that there would be a negative reception to who he was in the future, something that materialized once again in the form of school students. However, he credits his friends for their support and the strength and resolve it gave him.
But, that’s the younger generation. What about the older generation who weren’t privy to the community chatter of the youth and the rising tide of change? While some LGBTQ peers report painless experiences when coming out to family, some do not. In fact, many speak of keeping it a secret from their parents altogether but coming out to the rest of the world, leading an almost double life. Other friends report similar experiences in the workplace, particularly the male-dominated manual labour industry. It is a heartbreak and a knock-back for the revolution.
These were different times, though, a recent memory when the Internet was young and people were still coming to terms with Facebook. The world has rapidly become digital in a crescendo that has coincided with some of the most controversial political events of the last decade. In a post-Trump world, LGBTQ people have rallied together. The internet has provided a platform for people to gather while never leaving their homes. There’s a plethora of information at people’s fingertips. In ways we are falling asleep, but in other ways we are waking up.
It is a strange place to find a revolution, but the web isn’t the true home of this movement.
You see it’s heart in the rainbow face paint and wide smiles of a pride parade. There is a feeling that something is changing and it won’t be stopped, because how could anything derail a revolution so fierce in it’s right to exist? And it is not just in the parades or the societies. It is the young teenager who feels completely safe and comfortable coming out in their community. It’s not even needing a dramatic coming out story at all.
It is imperative not to confuse the lines between idealism and reality. Do young people feel safe and comfortable coming out in modern society? There’s a digital world where teenagers have their sexuality displayed in their Twitter biographies, unapologetic in who they are. The revolution will not be stopped. The beauty of having a movement with the youth at the forefront is that the people who will be inheriting the world can build something better from the ground up. And even if we’re not all the way there yet, we inch closer and closer everyday.