The United States Constitution states, “We the People.” During the month of June, also known as Pride month, I often find myself thinking about what this statement means to individual identities as well as national identity. June is not only a month of appreciation for LGBTQ+ love and relationships, but it is also a time of reflection on human sexuality and examining how far LGBTQ+ rights have come thus far.
I am well aware that the Constitution was published in 1778 and that that was a time when people were not as open-minded to LGBTQ+ rights as they are nowadays. Even though we have come a very long way since then, the opening statement of the constitution is still just as meaningful and impactful because it is such a general statement that includes all people. I would even argue that these three little words, serving as the beginning of one of our country’s most important documents, are even more impactful in today’s environment.
I think in these times where society is often more divided on the acknowledgement and rights of all genders and sexualities than not, it is imperative to remember that the foundation of this country was built on inclusion. I understand that it’s easy to say you’re being inclusive without actually being inclusive, and even easier to say that we need to remember that at the end of the day we are all people, but without the acts of being inclusive and validating people’s humanness, these are all empty promises. The best way towards inclusion is to act on these promises so that they don’t end up empty, and first and foremost, to actively remind ourselves of others’ humanity, feelings, and emotions, therefore changing our mindsets to be more inclusive and open to the different ways that people express themselves.
Over time, just like a well-made piece of art, a well-written piece of writing adapts its meaning to the lifestyle and opinions of current generations. “We the People” is a general statement that has applied to all walks of life since 1778, but it is the opinions of the public that give this statement specific meaning and render it still relevant today.
I think that as a community, we still have a long way to go regarding LGBTQ+ rights and developing an understanding of differing gender identities and sexualities. However, amongst the constant, and often hectic change that comes with human rights, it is important to remember that the first step to solving any sort of division, inclusion is of the utmost importance. At the end of the day, despite our differences of opinion and gender and sexual identity, we all fall under the same three foundational words: “We the People.”