Letter: Stop hate toward those different from you

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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June is here and brings Pride Month, something I enjoy because with it is an opportunity to support and learn, just as with Black History Month and Women’s History Month. Social media, including our local sites, bring negative comments and hate, which I struggle to understand. Why is there such fear and anger in celebrating a community that is often shunned and abused? Why is there so much anger toward a group that is different from yourselves?

We are all human. We are all part of this southern Minnesota community. We all work here, spend our money here and care for our family and friends here. We should also let our LGBTQ+ family and friends be acknowledged and celebrated especially during Pride Month, a time that is extremely important for them.

I have attended Pride events in Rochester, Mankato and last year in Albert Lea’s first. They all have one thing in common and that is a feeling of pure positivity! I am a straight, cisgender, 61-year-old woman and can feel the joy experienced by all attending the events. It is a feeling I cannot describe, and it absolutely reinforces the need to work harder to embrace our LGBTQ+ family, friends and neighbors. As a mother of someone who is part of this community, I have seen firsthand the effects of stigma and discrimination directed toward them, and it cuts me deeply, especially when it comes from persons in this town and surrounding areas, where I myself grew up.

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Please, take the time to attend and/or learn more — this includes our local legislators, who seem to often forget that the LGBTQ+ persons who live here are also their constituents and deserve their recognition and respect! To truly believe that we the people are equal and free, then we must stop fear, anger and hate directed toward those who are different from ourselves. We are all human, and have more commonalities than difference.

Peggy Olson
Albert Lea