I think it is way passed time to talk about the restrictions on donating blood based off of
sexuality and sexual activity. Back in 1985, stemming from panic over the AIDS epidemic, a federal law was passed stating that any man who had sex with another man since the year 1977 cannot donate blood. I hope that this law reads as hypocritical and unproductive because quite frankly it is. The outbreak and rapid spread of HIV/AIDS was and still is popularly blamed on the homosexual community (gay men in particular).
“I’m not a racist/sexist/homophobe, but…”
“My best friend is gay/black/Asian/etc, and he doesn’t care when I use that word.”
“It’s just a joke. You know I don’t mean it like that.” “Oh I’m not one of those people. You know I don’t mean anything by it.”
“You know I don’t mean you when I say that. You’re not like the rest of them.”
This is an issue that has been simmering under the surface of my skin for many years now. I am currently a psychology student, as well as a clinical worker for a nonprofit group home for teens with histories of trauma and behavioral challenges. I know certain systems of therapy and treatment inside and out, having been both a patient and a professional. I study and work with amazingly kindhearted, passionate people who want nothing more than to help others and serve their community.
There has been a group of people historically who have faced tremendous judgment, ridicule, and contempt. They are often ignored, and when they are acknowledged, it is rarely without contention. In a world where patriotism and service are highly rewarded, conscientious objectors (CO’s) are often seen as cowardly and disloyal.
Suicide is a very serious and sensitive topic. Depression is very real and sometimes for some people, suicide seems like the only option they have left. Or the only decision worth making at the time. I am writing this post not to talk about suicide itself, but to emotionally validate the people who experience suicidal ideations or who have attempted suicide.
As the proper young adult that I am, I have interred many life lessons from movies and television. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Most of the time, for somewhere in between. As ashamed as I am to say this, I got into Star Wars pretty late all things considered. So when I heard this one quote from Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, it hit me pretty hard. Yoda quite famously says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Simple, yet poignant. Quite frankly, it is a call to devote yourself fully to a task, to dive right in and let go of your insecurities. If it means that much to you, find a way and make it happen.
I'm a bi female undergraduate student majoring in Psychology, with minors in Women and Gender Studies and African American Studies. I am passionate about issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, and intend to get my masters in social work in order to serve those populations.