Our 9-year-old son had come home excited that his school was having a blood drive. If we donated blood, we'd be rewarded with tickets to Legoland. As two dads, we suddenly found ourselves thrust into an unexpected conversation with our son about the FDA ban that prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
I fear that marriage equality is a more palatable issue to discuss than the disproportionate impact of deadly violence for people of color, transgender women, transgender people of color and gay men. And it terrifies me that the idea of "ultimate victory" will leave some of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters behind.
On July 11 a National Gay Blood Drive will be held in the hope of raising awareness around this issue. Gay and bisexual men are urged to bring friends who can donate to blood banks to show just how much more potentially could be given -- up to 219,000 pints each year, according to a 2010 report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.