The last five years have included some real successes for the LGBT community and some progress for trans communities. The most memorable for many is finally being able to legally marry their husband or wife. However, while I welcome this with open arms, the achievements of this government also present a big risk for the LGBT community. That risk is complacency.
A large proportion of the homophobia that exists in society continues to stem from religious belief. Within this, the active condemnation of homosexuality is often justified as an expression of faith; a religious right where an individual is free to preach - what they perceive to be - the word of God.
I'm tired of students and young people as a collective being constantly ignored or patronised by the state... people forget that if you constantly damage the spirit of a generation and illegitimatise our opinions, it will demolish the hope and drive of those who not only have the potential to make huge positive impact in the UK, but worldwide.
Within the storm of normalised homophobia UKIP have created, it is easy to forget the thousands of young LGBT people who are yet to 'come out'. A sixteen year old Christian who is coming to terms with being gay is likely to be severely affected by the comments made by UKIP councillors, particularly when using the Bible as a platform for hate. This needs to change and it should not be used as a tool to endorsing a discriminatory political agenda.
It is incredibly hard for me to fully come to terms with being transgender and to explain just how I feel but I am growing with each day to accept who I am and taking any steps necessary to get where I need to be physically and mentally. The road is long, and at times painful but support is more than definitely out there if you want or need it...
It's hard to understand another person's preferences. For a straight man it is hard to understand why you wouldn't want a woman, the gender that you are attracted to. To be attracted to another man may seem alien and confusing. But really this is the same in not understanding those that are able to run marathons, solve complex mathematical equations, or any other activity different from yourself. That's just the way that person is.