Love is such an emotion that makes you happy and sad and sometimes helps to transform your life. Although our society focuses on heteronormativity (involving a man and a woman) to understand gender and intimacy, some couples do not fit into traditional models of marriage and family. For a couple belonging to the LGBTQ+ community, love and connection can immediately mean trust, security, understanding the struggles they might have been through, protection from the world, and acceptance and being accepted for who they are. In this article, let’s see what love and connection actually mean for the LGBTQ+ Community and how they can benefit them.
“The power of love is that it sees all people.” – DaShanne Stokes 
What is Love and Connection in the LGBTQ+ Community?
Love and connection come from emotional bonding. Usually, all couples go through the same relationship stages :
- The rush of meeting someone new
- Building trust
- Managing expectations
- Tackling insecurities
- Working around communication styles
- Dealing with exes
- Thinking and working toward the future
Basically, regardless of who you love, starting a relationship is like diving into a wonderful and complex world.
People, basically, may identify as cisgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, non-binary, etc. So, each person’s experience of love and connection is unique and valid.
Love and connection for the LGBTQ+ Community can mean a sense of belonging and freedom to be who you are. This is important because you might face certain unique challenges, mainly  :
- Acceptance and Rejection: Not all families would be open to accepting their own children for who they are because of the society we live in. There are certain norms we have to follow. Heteronormativity is one of them. So, you might have to learn to navigate through the acceptance or rejection of your family members. This might even impact your self-worth and sense of belonging. A positive response from your family can bring out a sense of love and connection.
- Legal and Social Battles: The LGBTQ+ Community, globally, has been fighting one legal battle or the other. The first one was to get legal status and not be criminalized for being from the LGBTQ+ Community. Then came the legal rights of being together with your partners. The third one was for legal rights to be married. And the fourth one is being able to adopt children. Many countries have crossed all these four stages, but there is a lot of work still left. These victories can really bring out the feelings of love and connection.
What is the Necessity of Love in the LGBTQ+ Community?
Let’s hear the story of Duncan and understand how beautiful love and connection can be for the LGBTQ+ Community .
“I met my husband online back in December 2010, and we hit it off on our first date (I showed up with shopping for Christmas dinner, including a few choice cuts of meat, only for him to remind me he is vegetarian). Needless to say, we’ve laughed, fought, cried, and loved each other ever since.
In 2012 I proposed in NYC on Brooklyn Bridge, and we were married in the UK and South Africa in 2014/2015, respectively. Together we have built a life full of support and love, one we are incredibly proud of.”
Growing up, we have been told that LGBTQ+ love is shameful. It, perhaps, has led to years of endurance and internalization of worthlessness, brokenness, and shame.
For the LGBTQ+ Community, love and connection are important for a lot of reasons :
- Self-Love: Loving and accepting yourself is the most important part of being a part of the LGBTQ+ Community. It begins with understanding and acknowledging yourself for who you are. Once you have done that, you can learn to embrace it and thrive in your identity. That way, you can find your self-worth and face any challenges that come your way.
- Romantic Love: Everyone wants to be loved and have a companion who understands them for who they are, isn’t it? Romantic love, if you see, comprises of three elements: Passion, Commitment, and Intimacy. Like everyone, for you coming from the LGBTQ+ Community, it can mean forming deep and meaningful relationships where both you and your partner can express your thoughts, insecurities, and love openly and freely.
- Chosen Families: Many times, the LGBTQ+ Community goes through hardships with their families. They may never accept you for who you really are. So, a good way to survive is to find a family that you choose for yourself. They can be your neighbors, friends, or other members of the community. And, as you’ll see, these chosen family members might just become more important to you than your own families.
- Bonding with the Community: Being a part of any community can give us a lot of strength. So even for you, being a part of the LGBTQ+ Community can give you the opportunity and strength to share your experiences, struggles, and successes. Through you, someone might get inspiration, or you might get inspiration through someone else’s stories. It would be a safe space for you to be open and honest.
- Visibility and Representation: When you get represented and visible, there is a calming sense of belongingness that can wash over you. There are many people from the LGBTQ+ Community who come forward in front of the media, in politics, for rallies, etc. When you see such people like you, you will feel less isolated and more connected.
How Does Love Strengthen the LGBTQ+ Community?
Love is the glue that holds people together. So, for you, as a part of the LGBTQ+ Community, love can bring a lot of strength in many ways :
- Validation and Acceptance: You might notice that finding love can give you a sense of validation and acceptance. These feelings may otherwise be lacking in your life. Having a sense of validation and acceptance can help you be who you are and fight society to change their thought processes as well.
- Emotional Support: As I already mentioned above, as a person from the LGBTQ+ Community, you might go through certain challenges. So, when you have a partner who understands and supports you, it can bring out an emotional bonding.
- Increased Social Connection: When you belong to the community, you might find it hard to find people you gel along with. When you do find a loving partner, they can help you meet new people who can be accepting and supportive of you. Plus, you might even be able to advocate for the community.
- Improved Mental Health: As a part of the LGBTQ+ Community, you might face anxiety and depression. Therefore, finding love and being in a relationship where you are understood and supported can help you to release all the sadness and improve your mental health.
- Legal Protection: When you are in a committed relationship, you can get healthcare benefits and the right to inherit properties, etc. This can be really beneficial for you coming from the LGBTQ+ Community if you are already facing discrimination and legal issues.
- Increased Visibility: As I already mentioned, love can help you to increase a higher sense of visibility and acceptance. That way, you can help the community gain more recognition and break all notions of the society that don’t support you. This can help you be a part of making the society more inclusive.
How Can Love Be A Tool for Social Change in The LGBTQ+ Community?
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights and no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom, and no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk 
The LGBTQ+ community plays a key role in creating positive social changes across the globe. The world today has reached a point where if you see a heterosexual couple holding hands, you will not pay much attention. But, if you see someone from the LGBTQ+ community do that, it would become a political, path-breaking gesture.
Love within the community can enhance society in a lot of ways :
- By showing love to the LGBTQ+ community, you can help increase empathy and understanding in society.
- You will be able to increase tolerance in the society, end the discrimination, and make it more inclusive and equal.
- Through love, you can attract more allies and other people who are too afraid to come out to their friends and families.
- You will be able to gain emotional strength and cut down on your feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression.
- It’s possible that you could give strength to the families of your peers to be more accepting of their children for who they are.
- Through love, you can change the history of your country and work toward everyone getting legal rights in the community.
Love Is Love!
Love is an important emotion for everyone. For you, as a part of the LGBTQ+ Community, it can mean a lot more. It can give you the strength and the courage to fight the battles going forward. You might even be able to find a family outside of your family, along with an emotional connection. For people who have not had the acceptance for themselves or who are scared of coming out to their families, you can be that person who encourages them. It’s also possible that you could lead your country to being a more inclusive and open society. All through love and connection!
If you belong to the LGBTQ+ Community and looking for help in order to find love and connection, you can reach out to our expert counselors or explore more content at United We Care! At United We Care, a team of wellness and mental health experts will guide you with the best methods for well-being.
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