In the last decade, there’s been a ton of progress for the rights of people in the LGBTI+ community. While the many steps forward have been milestones, it can sometimes feel, in today’s political culture especially, that maybe those successes didn’t matter. People are still trying to erase the help and happiness extended to and received by the LGBTI+ community.
So how do you know when your rights are being taken away or when you’re being discriminated against? It’s so important to know your rights and not give up the fight. Here are four basic rights you have as a member of the LGBTI+ community — if you feel that you’re being denied one or more of them, that’s certainly cause to look into the situation more and potentially contact legal representation.
- You Can Find and Keep a Job
You have a right to get a job and keep it, too. People sometimes try to fight this and find ways to fire people in the LBGTI+ community, like the story of Mary Jo Davis and her radiology job. She was qualified and hired quickly, but got fired because she was a lesbian.
Any kind of sexual or gender discrimination is illegal under Title VII, which is why you literally have a right to keep your job. If you face anything close to what Mary Jo did, you have every right to get a lawyer and make sure justice is served.
- You Can Get Married or Divorced
In 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage was legal, marking a major win for LBGTI+ people. Marriage is a basic human right that should never have been denied in the first place. Along with granting people the ability to get married to whoever they loved, the law brought about new laws regarding divorce. Existing laws had to clarify same-sex couples could also get divorced, which means they also have the right to get legal advice for property division, child custody and spousal support.
- You Can Look After Your Health
Certain health struggles are more common with LGBTI+ people just because of the daily discrimination they face. For example, women who identify as gay are actually more likely to be overweight. Getting your body healthy and recovering from the grinding mental effects of being discriminated against, both in the world and online, are important things not to lose track of.
People in the LGBTI+ community also often face discrimination from their own doctors. It is important to know that you have the right to be seen and heard by a medical professional. If you feel that your doctor is not hearing your needs or is refusing to help you, report it and seek another provider.
- You Can Remember Your Voice Is Valid
No matter where or how you face discrimination, your voice is valid. This means that you have the right to find help to stand up for yourself or your loved ones to make sure the cycle of hate ends. Groups like the ACLU fight for LGBTI+ children, student, and adults for a wide variety of issues, so find a representative and talk with them about what you can do to end discrimination in your life.
Today’s society may often feel like we’re all taking a step back when it comes to LGBTI+ rights, and sometimes that’s sadly true. Moves like the recent transgender military ban that are founded in hate and not in facts or reason can be a crushing blow to LGBTI+ people everywhere who felt one step closer to being safe from discriminatory laws. Get to know your rights so you know what to fight for.