There are so many different ways that we can speak up about issues that are important to us. Art – in all of its different forms – is something that has been used since the dawn of time as a way of expressing opinions and allowing people to see into different experiences.
When grade 10 student Caroline Leys sat down to write her short play, she was looking to send a message as well as entertaining. She explains:
“I was inspired to write this short play by the people, events and influencers that surround me. Often, when I come back from school, I’ll do my homework and watch YouTube. One of my favourite YouTubers recently posted a brand-new video where he came out to his fans. I loved it, I was so happy he could share something like that with the whole world.
I continued to watch more, from various YouTubers, and found that most of their stories were very positive. At the time, there were a great deal of stories in the news about LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ rallies. That got me thinking that many social media stars have positive experiences with coming out, but many people in this world still have to fight for that acceptance.
That is when I put myself into the position of someone who may not have that support. I also wanted to show that there is an alternate scenario and the LGBTQ community still have to fight every day to be accepted, even sometimes by those closest to them. I believe that everyone can help no matter who you are, everyone can make a difference in an LGBTQ person’s life by joining the fight for equality and acceptance.”
We think that it is so awesome that Caroline is standing up and speaking up for those who might not feel comfortable coming forward with what they are experiencing and those that are simply looking for more support. Check out her play and you might get a little bit more understanding of those who still need to fight for acceptance for being members of the LGBTQ community:
Tyler and his mom are in the kitchen. It’s lunchtime.
MOM: Oh Tyler you can’t tell anyone else!
Tyler stands up from his chair.
TYLER: What do you mean?
MOM: Listen. What you are, it’s perceived as being disgusting; and living where we do, this will not be easy! You will shame this family and hurt your father. He talks so highly of you. You’re his boy, his man! If you come out we will never be able to show our faces in church again.
TYLER: I can’t just pretend to be something I’m not.
MOM: Of course you can! So many people pretend and just never get married. You can still be happy.
MOM: Tyler, I love you no matter what, but your father won’t. You are my son and I love you! Even if this is a sin, you are my blood — and times are changing. Other people just won’t see it that way.
TYLER: So you’re saying I have to pretend for the rest of my life?
MOM: No just until you move out of this house! Oh stop crying. Do it for me and your father!
Parents are sitting on the couch in the living room with Tyler in front of them.
TYLER: Mom, Dad I really need to tell you something, and I need you to listen!
DAD: Well, go on son we’re listening.
MOM: Tyler what are you doing?
TYLER: Well, umm, I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time. Also, I promise that this is not a phase … I’m gay.
TYLER: Mom, Dad please say something. This was really hard for me to say.
DAD: Oh Linda, where did we go wrong? What did I do to have a son — if I can even call him that — commit such a sin? Was it the lack of hunting trips? Did I not give him enough man talks?
TYLER: Dad it’s not a sin. Its love!
DAD: How do you know what love is? You’re a confused and moronic 14-year old boy. Have you been hanging around the Smith’s son? Did he make you do this?
TYLER: No, Luke has done nothing. Why can’t you accept me for who I am?
Dad stands ups facing Tyler.
DAD: Oh you’re damn right I don’t accept this. This is filthy, disgusting!
TYLER: Listen to…
DAD: No, I will not listen to you. Try to explain why you are deciding to tear this family apart!
TYLER: That’s not what I’m doing!
DAD: How am I supposed to ever show my face in church again with a gay son? How am I supposed to go anywhere without being judged by everyone? You are ruining the name of this family!
TYLER: You’re not the gay one. You don’t have to worry about this.
DAD: You are going to hell, going to hell!
TYLER: I’m still the son you raised, the son you love and were always so proud of. Remember when I won the basketball game and caught my first fish? Are all my accomplishments worth nothing?
Mom starts crying.
DAD: I can’t even look at you! Look, you’ve made your mother cry.
TYLER: Do you even care about me? I didn’t make her cry you did!
DAD: What do you mean? She’s crying because you’re ruining this family!
TYLER: No she’s not. I have already told her and she’s crying because of you.
DAD: What, when?
TYLER: This morning. She told me not to tell you because she thought you were going to act like this. I thought you’d be loving and remember me for the person I really am. I guess I was wrong about you, like you are about me.
Dad looks at Mom.
DAD: Is this true? Did you accept this behaviour?
TYLER: This is not a behaviour. It is who I am.
MOM: Robert listen to me. He is our son!
DAD: Is he really? This is not how I brought my son up!
MOM: I can’t even look at you!
Mom runs upstairs.
DAD: Oh stop your crying. Linda come back down here.
DAD: How can we accept this?
MOM: What are we going to do, throw him out?
DAD: Of course not. We are going to remind him about God and who he is intended to be. All he does is school and bible study.
MOM: This is what you’re not getting. He was intended this was. He can’t be changed!
Mom storms out of the room.
DAD: Linda don’t walk out on me. Get back here!
MOM: Oh my lord. Robert get in here!
DAD: What do you want!
MOM: He’s gone. Everything is gone.
Mom picks a note up from the ground.
MOM: “Since I can’t be myself or loved in my own home, I’m going to find somewhere where I am and can be, Tyler”
Want to spread awareness about LGBTQ social issues and help to fight against the discrimination that this community faces? Check out the Wearable Therapy Zero Discrimination Collection.