Continuing our conversation with Kendall McElhaney, the final part in this two-part series on LGBTQ issues around the globe will dive into the importance of continuing the conversation and finding community.
Often outsiders might find it difficult to start the conversation or accidentally offend someone when asking about someone’s hidden diversity.
McElhaney said that just like TCKs have liminal identities, those in the LGBTQ communities also want to express their identity.
“Individuals who have this really, really strong identity but not many people know it until you have that conversation.” McElhaney said that this could be the same for TCKS also.
McElhaney said she enjoys writing for Culturs because it is a way to bring awareness of LGBTQ issues and events happening around the world to a community of understanding. It’s important to have a community that shares the same interests as you, supports you and makes you feel safe- and Culturs is fostering the same idea.
McElhaney identified as being part of the LGBTQ+ community and explained that the plus is to ensure that no one is being left out. She laughed when describing the infinite amount of letters attacked to the end of the acronym and said the longest she had ever hear was LGBTQQIA- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersects, asexual or ally.
One important part about making sure to include everybody is that LGBTQ+ issues span the globe. McElhaney follows news, blogs, and sources from all around the world and notes that there are outlets and resources to bring people to the conversation.
McElhaney said it “alleviates internal strife if you don’t know how to identify,” because having a community acts as a safe zone.
She also said that she is thankful that there are resources out there for people struggling and that she wishes she had known about them when she was 15 and coming out with her identity. Her goal is to provide a voice to the voiceless and to encourage everyone to find support that they can physical be a part of because that is the support that will make them feel worthy.
Her advice for people who want to help or be supportive to the LGBTQ+ community- be at the table. Bring up what’s ever important to you and engage with others about it. If you are passionate about something, be at the table and ready to make these issues known to the world.