Pride Wars

by ionarosemccabe

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Normally, my blog consists of pretty pictures or my opinions on various collections gracing the catwalks. Having said that, there will be the odd occasion where I feel the need to write about something that has REALLY inspired me and nothing deserves a mention more than same sex marriage being declared legal across the whole of the United States. This is an amazing step in the right direction for gay rights and I couldn’t be happier for all my friends benefitting from this monumental change in politics and society.

However, there is still a long way to go and discrimination of homosexuality is surprisingly still current. Just take a minute and imagine yourself as a gay man.  One thing you have always wanted to do is join a dance class. You put it off for years but eventually pluck up the courage to enquire at a local dance school only to be met with ‘Sorry, this is a women’s only class’. Your hopes are shattered instantly and you feel as if you won’t ever get the chance to engage in something you love for fear of being rejected or judged.  This is a scenario that happened to a close friend, although rather than take the knock back lying down, he persisted until he found a class right for him.

Just last week a conversation arose with another friend who informed me that gay men are required to be celibate for a year before they are even considered to donate blood and they were not allowed to give blood at all before 2011. This was something I was unaware of and it completely baffled me.

So a straight person can sleep with multiple partners without protection and be considered right away for giving blood, whereas a gay man could be using protection all the time and cannot? Surely there is a pretty tight ‘quality control’  testing process that happens after donating blood that will apply to everyone involved anyway? There is this big misconception that gay people are more promiscuous than straight people which is reinforced by this ridiculous rule.  Basically, ANYBODY should be thoroughly checked over before they give blood and ANYBODY can contract HIV, so this condition should really apply to EVERYBODY if it is to exist. These are just two instances of many I have heard which happened in the UK, a place where same sex marriage is legal, so why is it that other outdated regulations still exist?

One thing I would really like to see in the future is same sex marriage legalised in Hong Kong – a place I lived for two years and consider my second home. It is a shame that a place so free and liberal in many ways has not yet succumbed. Hopefully after the U.S., it will follow suite and support a community of people that made living in Hong Kong the best.

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