For the final CA post, I began thinking about what made the most impact on me as a person or what benefit could I take from this class overall. I decided that the most influential concept we discussed in class is LGBT rights and understanding more about the letters that make up LGBTQI+. The topics we discussed really gave an insightful look on how the whole LGBTQI community lives, not just the gay community that I’m a part of. Understanding more about transgendered people and the struggles they face that are very much different from the struggles other people of the community face really helped me understand how sexual identity and diversity meet to form a complex and, honestly, scary as hell battle for basic rights. When we had the discussion panel come in and give us first-person accounts on their lives and how they dealt with their struggles both within and outside of the LGBT community, I began to realize that there are people out there much like me. Some of the stories from the gay male in the discussion panel I could relate to. He mentioned growing up in a rural area with little outside or urban influence, much like myself. I can image that we faced some of the same struggles coming out to our friends and family at different points in our lives and, eventually, to everyone. The first-person accounts from each individual on the panel were so varied, coming from different walks of life and different parts of the country. However, one thing really stood out to me: we’re all in this fight together. We aren’t out sharing our stories for the purpose of hearing ourselves talk. We do it in hopes that one day we don’t have to tell our stories. We don’t have to be labeled. We can simply say our name or be ourselves without the fear of being labeled as butch, dyke, femme, queen, fairy. It’s within our power and, to an extent, our duty to get out and eliminate the stereotypes, break down the barriers that exist between LGBTQI communities and heterosexual ones. We have to take a look at it from a social point of view. Society’s view on LGBTQI people is changing. We’re becoming more accepted in more places. For some members, such as gay and lesbian people, that’s pretty cut and dried. For some, though, the battle is much more involved than that. Transgendered and intersex people have a very different battle to fight. Not only are they born a certain way, there’s a much more complex element than simply liking the same sex. Regardless of the situation, LGBT studies is something that is very interesting to me. I feel that as a gay man it’s something that shouldn’t be let go until there’s equality both in marriage and in society altogether. The LGBT studies section of our class made a huge impact on me and helped drive my energy to get out there and get the ball rolling in the fight for equality for all.