Knowing what I now know about the structural inequalities that oppress non-heterosexuals, intersex people, the trans community, people of color, working-class and impoverished peoples, fat people, women, people with disabilities, the elderly, non-christians, immigrants, and sex workers (note that these are not mutually exclusive or exhaustive categories) no longer provides me with the luxury of political apathy. Ignorance truly is bliss, as now learning about these blatant inequalities essentially requires me to use my voice to do what I can to end these oppressions, or at least to make others aware of their prevalence in contemporary U.S. society/across the globe.
The question should not be why do I as an individual fight, but why do so many who have the privilege to use their voice remain silent? Those who live in the U.S. live in a culture where it is increasingly cool to not care about politics, people, and the rest of the world. We become so hyper-focused on the individual that we fail to see the bigger picture of how society discourages critical thinking, and active participation in politics and activism. Those in power have a vested interest in silencing oppressed people so as to further perpetuate the status quo to keep the wealthiest wealthty and the working class uneducated and enrolled in the military (to fight the wars of the wealthy).
I fight because I have to. So many are not required to because they experience white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, etc., but those of us who are not lucky enough to receive such cultural blessings do not have the luxury to remain silent (or the luxury of supporting the republican party, for that matter).
In a capitialist U.S. society where I am told that my worth as a person is based on my income, I am economically disadvantaged in countless ways for not being heterosexual. If I choose to work towards the goals of the capitalist system, I will not succeed (and be viewed with respect) unless I either pass as straight or work to end the inequalities that LGBT people face to an alarming degree. Even if I do not choose to work towards the goals of the capitalist system, I am still burdened with the plight of ending economic and social inequalities (which include inequalities faced by the LGBT community).
Either way, I don’t have much of a choice, do I?