People who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender do not have a lifestyle, a choice, nor are guilty of an unforgivable sin. People who judge us solely on the basis of our identity use a false premise as the basis of their arguments. They interpret a few verses of scripture and social traditions to cast us out and insult us as being "the other."

I was accosted by a sincere young man at OutRaleigh who was convinced that it was his mission in life to save me from my sin. He did not invade my personal space at first or make broad condemnations. His manipulative plan was to engage me in conservation and slowly wind towards his statement of judgment. Unfortunately, my years of discrimination triggered a hostile reaction when he brought up the fallacy of "love the sinner but hate the sin" and got in my face. He claimed to love me but used his interpretation of the Bible to slander me with hateful statements of condemnation.

I can understand his belief. That was the way I was raised. It took years of Bible study, prayer, and life experience for me to accept myself for who I am. I also have come to realize that the great divide we have in this country today along the lines of sexuality, politics, religion, nationality, and race cause us to split into a mindset of "us" versus "them." Rather than unite as Americans to try to solve the real problems we face of drugs, inequality of opportunity, greed and immorality, we debate our differences. Our differences are what made us a great nation, the melting pot of the world.

The LGBT community is as diverse as the heterosexual community, and we do not seek special privileges or rights. We simply want to live as who we are without discrimination, hate, and violence imposed upon us by those who fear us. Yes, we're different than the majority in this country, but the majority of the people in this world are not white. If they were to impose their majority privilege upon those of us who are white, where would we be?

The United States was created out of division among the states and formed on the basis of democratic compromise. Our founders found a way to learn how to live together without killing each other about differences in religion that plagued Europe for centuries. Unfortunately, they did not address the issue of race, and we fought a great war over that issue, It was the only war within our borders even though we've fought many wars across the world.

When are we going to learn how to live together?