Early in the 1980s, the United States faced an HIV/AIDS epidemic. Not much was known about the emergent virus, except the misconception that it was a “gay plague.” The original disease was called Gay-Related Immune Deficiency, but soon, as cases outside of the gay community started to sprout, the disease was referred to as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration issued the first blood donor deferral policy, which prohibited men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood if they have had a single sexual encounter with another man any time since 1977. According to the American Red Cross, the U.S. is in a constant shortage of blood; with someone requiring a blood transfusion about every two seconds, the ban could pose an obstacle to saving more lives, not to mention that it is inherently prejudiced.
According to an Oct. 19 Buzzfeed article, actor Anthony Rapp revealed that actor Kevin Spacey made sexual advances on him when Rapp was only 14 years old. With Spacey’s eventual coming out as a gay man, one wonders if the homophobic bigots will commence pressing the case that LGBTQ people are a threat to children.
Throughout this year alone, the media — or, more specifically, the New York Times — has done an unprecedented job in exposing people in positions of power who turned out be concealing egregious secrets about their sexual misconduct in the workplace. The series of exposés have given the voice and courage many women, who are minorities in different working fields, have needed for such a long time already to call out their abusers.
With President Donald Trump planning to remove DACA, students need to feel safe and welcomed on campuses.
In light of Hurricane Harvey, the University could have made a greater effort to accommodate affected students.