What is the secret of happiness? That’s an answer we all search for. Finding happiness is often the number one goal in someone’s life, especially for the LGBT+ community, dealing with rejection, prejudice, and homophobia are the biggest obstacles in Gen Z’s lives.
Fulfilling happiness may come in different forms and with multiple areas to cover, but how is LGBT+ Gen Z reporting to this multifaceted question? The meaning of happiness differs from person to person, from generation to generation.
Generation Z is the first one to grow up without knowing what it’s like to live without the internet, being the digital natives, they are very collaborative individuals who care about others, they are social, value flexibility, relevance, authenticity, mental health, etc.
Does happiness come from external sources or from within? Well, that depends, can be from both. This generation is self-driven, so fighting for their beliefs, rights, and inclusivity is a key factor in their happiness. Working in an inclusive environment is important for this generation, a research study made by MyGwork showed that 66% of LGBT+ Gen Z students would leave their job or not even apply if they couldn’t be out, indicating that it’s highly important for them to be working with pride. This highlights the fact that discrimination is still a big impediment in the lives of the LGBT+ community.
Freedom and individualism, are very important fundamentals of their happiness. Acceptance from family and peers, freedom to express and affirm your identity, and feelings freely, without the fear of being judged or harassed by being genuine yourself. The power of genuine expression through aesthetics and personality are the factors that make us welcome and accepted.
Being accepted by others and having the freedom to express one’s identity openly and honestly may be crucial components of happiness for certain people. Youth who identify as LGBT+ do so much more frequently now than in earlier generations (Human Rights Campaign, 2012). The younger age at which LGBT+ youth come out or reveal their identity to friends and family is a sign that societal acceptance is growing.