LGBT ISSUES: Acceptance Vs. Tolerance

It’s 2018 and the year of 2019 is on the horizon. Our present world in the past few years has legalized marriage equality and a many young LGBT people see a hope in the future that those before them couldn’t even imagine. I life out of the shadows. A normal life.

But as LGBT Americans, like myself, move forward on this new hope to create our lives and be able to live our lives in peace we can’t be naive and believe that everybody is on board with such ideals. Being an American Black person I’m not naive that racist people exist and continue to raise their children to do the same. I’m not naive when I see blatant misogyny towards women in society either. But I also believe this America, and while we are fighting for our freedoms we also need to give people the freedom to be who they are…( no matter how backwards that may be. ) Which is why I believe tolerance should be something that is strived for and not so much acceptance. Give me a second and I’ll explain why.

No matter what group you identify with it seems everyone wants someone else to accept them. I think social media has created this NEED to be accepted. But honestly, that’s not reality. Acceptance is something you can’t force and it’s definitely something that doesn’t happen overnight.

ac·cept·ance/əkˈseptəns/noun

  1. 1.the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.” charges involving the acceptance of bribes” synonyms: receipt, receiving, taking, obtaining More
  2. 2.the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.

When you accept someone or something, you allow it into your life completely. People that I personally typically accept become my friends… they know me and I know them. Tolerance, on the other hand, is different. You’re not particularly in my life insomuch you’re just a part of the many aspects of my life.

tol·er·ance/ˈtäl(ə)rəns/noun

  1. 1.the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

When I tolerate something. I don’t have to agree with it. I just acknowledge it exists and respect its ability to exist. So, for example, I accept my friends and I tolerate some of my co-workers (no names need to be said).

The Problem

In this politically correct world, we’ve moved from people preaching tolerance to people demanding acceptance. Demanding acceptance is like saying:


“YOU BETTER LIKE ME OR I’LL POST YOUR NAME ON TWITTER AND GET YOU FIRED!”

Demanding acceptance whether it be sexual preference, racial, gender identity, weight, or whatever from people who typically may not accept you will only backfire and cause those other people to feel stifled and to retaliate in an even more hateful manner.

Why would anyone demand someone else to like them anyhow? We don’t really need that. What we need is tolerance. What we need is for people to have the freedom to believe what they want and live their lives as they want without someone else interfering on their personal freedom or beliefs.

“So you’re saying we should tolerate racist, sexist, religious bigots?”

Actually, more or less yes. Racism didn’t end with Martin Luther King Jr. and homophobia didn’t end when marriage equality was legalized. Those people will still exist. Trying to get those people to accept you is a waste of energy. (Use that energy to accept yourself.. that’s another blog) I tolerate bigots and racists exist but once they move into action to interfere in my life that’s when we have problems. So if they wanna wave their confederate flag (at home) and hate gay folk…that’s their right. But when they decide that it should be expressed in front of my house, expressed online to demean and attack, or they want to keep me out a job because of my race or sexual orientation, then it’s impeding on my freedoms.

The Solution


“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” 

-Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

It’s simple. When you tolerate people, you may not like them but you respect them as human beings and treat them as you would like them to treat you. Anything less is disrespectful. You see if we all practice tolerance then everyone can live peacefully. When people go beyond tolerance, then they go on the offensive. Intolerance is the only thing that can not be accepted. 

Montré Bible is a five-time published author and is releasing his new novel Sons of Heaven on Amazon.com Dec 21, 2018

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