Timeliness and Universality

On the surface

Question 1 explores the LGBTQ community’s ongoing struggle for equality. Despite the nation’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, thirty-two states still do not have clear, fully-inclusive LGBTQ non-discrimination laws, resulting in discriminatory practices in the areas of employment, housing, access to public areas, federal funding, credit, education, and jury services. Exacerbating the problem, a new movement is emboldening states (e.g. SD, TX, OK, AL, etc.) to legalize the blatant discrimination of LGBTQ people under the guise of “religious freedom.” America’s historic and persistent discrimination against the LGBTQ community has contributed to its substantially higher rates of bullying (55% of LGBT students have been cyber bullied [1]) and suicide (the rate of attempts is 4 times greater for LGB youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth[1]; nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt[2]; suicide is among the leading causes of death among adolescents [1]). Since 2014, the LGBTQ community has been the target of more hate crimes than any other minority group in America[3].


On a deeper level

Question 1 offers satirical commentary on political campaigns that capitalize on people's fears, the cruel cycle of prejudice breeding prejudice, the sensationalizing of scandals in the news media, and how overt (and even subliminal) messages from today's conservative rhetoric continue to instill a dangerous and sometimes suicidal self-hate within the young LGBTQ population. The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign clearly demonstrates the enduring use of fear-mongering in politics; the passing down of hate from generation to generation is found all too often in both politics and in families; the perpetual coverage of scandal after scandal exemplifies the media’s sensationalistic, ratings-driven model; and family members continuing to express the belief that homosexuality is sinful, regardless of how positive and loving the sentiment’s intentions may be, inadvertently fosters self-hate among LGBTQ children.

On a universal level

Question 1 reveals how we are each filled with our own contradictions, and how we can at times feel the need to protect ourselves by presenting a facade, much like the “closeted politician." Question 1 encourages people to be honest with themselves and others, and challenges them to use their power to contribute kindness to humanity.


[1] United States Center for Disease Control
[2] Grossman, A.H. & D'Augelli, A.R. (2007). Transgender Youth and Life-Threatening Behaviors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors. 37(5), 527-37.
[3] United State Federal Bureau of Investigation