Six Signs that the World Has Improved for Those In the LGBT Community
While we may still have a way to go, things are definitely an improving picture for those that make up the LGBT community. While it’s important to be aware of how things could still be better, we look below at the very welcome ways that the world has become a friendlier, more welcoming place, regardless of sexuality and gender.
In 2013 the Supreme Court made a landmark decision, ruling that banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. While there are still restrictions in some states, marriage rights are gradually being extended, allowing an increasing number of same-sex couples to marry.
This move has been reflected in same-sex couples feeling increasingly comfortable about being open, with regards to their relationship status, in public; whereas only a couple of decades ago, a same-sex couple holding hands or kissing in public could have attracted stares and murmurs of disapproval, things have, thankfully, changed. There has been a proliferation of dating sites coming on the scene geared specifically to the LGBT community, another welcome move.
One such online dating site is GayTryst, which is dedicated to helping gay men to find their perfect romantic partner. Have a look here for a GaysTryst review for lots of information on this platform, which currently boasts over one hundred thousand members!
In September 2011, President Barack Obama repealed legislation previously in place that banned those that were openly gay from serving in the armed forces, while last year, the ruling that stipulated that transgender people could not serve in the military, formerly passed by President Donald Trump, was also repealed.
The revision to the later legislation states that there must be no discrimination based on gender or an individual’s identification as being transgender in the selection process.
Protection Under Hate Crime Legislation
In 2010 a law was passed that expanded hate crime on a federal level to encompass assaults that are based on gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity; the law was entitled the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Matthew Shepard was a young gay man who was abducted and brutally murdered in 1998, and Jamea Byrd Jr, an African-American man, was killed by three white men – two of whom were confessed white supremacists – in 1998.
Transgender No Longer Classified As Mental Disorder
Unbelievably, up until as recently as 2012, identifying as a transgender individual meant that you were officially classified as having a mental disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association. This change came about thirty-nine years after same-sex attraction was also declassified as a mental illness.
This is a significant step, and it’s worth remembering that it was only in 1990 that trans people were categorized under the same heading as pedophiles under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There’s still work to be done, though: for example, the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) still categorizes cross-dressing as ‘transvestic fetishism,’ but here is hope that progress will continue to be made over the coming years.
Boy Scouts Can Identify As Gay
In January 2014, the Boy Scouts of America began to accept openly gay members for the very first time. While the association faced some backlash from right-wing and conservative groups and sponsors, the overwhelming reaction to the change was a positive one.
Initially, the ban on gay scout leaders still stood; however, this was lifted in 2015 when the national executive board of the BSA decided that it was no longer ‘legally defensible’ to maintain the policy.
And finally, an increasing number of celebrities have gone public regarding their support for LGBT rights and the LGBT community over the last decade.
Lady Gaga has been vocal over the years about her support, in both her personal life and the lyrics of her songs, and has long been an active figure in gay pride rallies and events: the singer has previously stated that she wants to ‘inject gay culture into the mainstream.’ The star launched the Born This Way Foundation in 2012, a nonprofit anti-bullying organization.
Ellen DeGeneres is credited as being a pioneer for the LGBT community – she’s been an advocate of gay rights since 1990 and came out publically on her television show in 1997. She previously launched a kids’ clothing line for Gap, designing garments aimed at breaking down gender stereotypes.
It’s not widely known, but the actor Brad Pitt donated $100,000 to the 2012 Human Rights Campaign to help their efforts toward making same-sex marriage legal – at the time, the legislation banning it hadn’t been overturned.
While, in general, the world is an improved place for the LGBT community, there is still much work to be done to move things forward and shore up the advances made to date. A recent think tank suggested that the mental health of the transgender community in the UK is at a crisis point and that much more needs to be done to tackle these sort of – often invisible – issues for society to keep making the upward progress that’s needed.