What really needs to be done to achieve full LGBT equality

The LGBT community has made amazing strides recently, but what really needs to be done to ensure everyone's truly equal? Unfortunately, it probably doesn't involve cute guys dancing in their underwear.(x

The LGBT community has made amazing strides recently, but what really needs to be done to ensure everyone’s truly equal? Unfortunately, it probably doesn’t involve cute guys dancing in their underwear. (x)

We’ve made some amazing strides for marriage equality in the past few years. But while marriage equality is a huge key in the fight for LGBT rights, it’s not the only thing we need to be fighting for. Even if marriage equality became a reality tomorrow, there would still be a lot more work to be done in terms of full equality.

Here are just a few of the things we’re still fighting for.

Blood Donation

Since 1977, any man who admits to having had sex with another man will not be allowed to donate blood. Even if it happened one time, the participants were safe and neither partner has HIV or AIDS, if a man admits to having sex with another man at all, they are banned from giving blood for life. Since 1997, the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers supported a change to the ban, and in 2010 the Washington D.C. City Council passed a resolution calling for a chance to the ban. However, the Food and Drug Administration has the final say and has yet to implement a change.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

LGBT* people face unlawful discrimination daily. Only 16 states have laws that protect LGBT people in the workplace and sometimes those laws aren’t even enforced. And employment is only one aspect of discrimination—LGBT people have a harder time finding housing, same-sex couples are often prevented from visiting partners who have been hospitalized and most anti-discrimination laws fail to acknowledge the unique needs of minorities within the community, like trans* people or asexual individuals. LGBT rights need to be acknowledged as a constitutional right in order to ensure these laws are completely fair and enforced. With the so-called “gay discrimination laws” that have been making headlines recently, this is more relevant than ever.

Trans* Issues

While there have been many recent strides in protecting the rights of LGB people, the trans*gender community is often overlooked. Trans* people struggle with everything from finding a safe restroom or dressing room, to finding a health care provider that understands their unique needs. Including trans* voices in our community’s current efforts for equality, as well as addressing needs specific to the trans* community—like trans* people’s super-high unemployment rates—is necessary to ensure that every member of our community is truly equal.

These are just some of the many issues that LGBT people continue to face, in spite of increasing acceptance of marriage equality. There is some debate regarding how to go about addressing these issues, but being aware of the issues is the first step. Now that you know some of the things we have to fight for, you can join the conversation and the movement.

What do you think would be the best way to address these issues? Are there other important issues that you feel are overlooked by the movement? Let us know in the comments below or in your own post.

The short URL of the present article is: http://lgbteen.org/5fPW5

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