If you prick us, do we not bleed?

In Israel, a likely parliamentary candidate proclaimed he was a “proud homophobe“.

In Ireland, The Alliance for the Defense of Family and Marriage released a hate-filled, fear-mongering, homophobic pamphlet filled with lies, half-truths, and misinformation in the hopes of convincing people not to support same-sex marriage (you can read the pamphlet in full here. Note the absence of any citations for their claims.)

In the United States, Iowa Republicans are working to ban same-sex marriage.

During a trip to the Phillipines, Pope Francis expressed his deeply held (but not evidence-based) belief that same-sex marriage threatens the family.

Around the world, trans women and men face high levels of transphobia and are subjected to acts of violence that often result in their death (here is a list of 700 documented examples since 1970, with the bulk of the murders occurring between 2000 and 2012).

So much time, energy, labor, and money is being spent-across the globe-to fight FOR bigotry and discrimination. Whether its politicians working to deny us our rights, bigoted transphobic assholes killing someone for being transgender, or religious leaders openly expressing their homophobia, one thing is clear: LGBT people the world over are routinely dehumanized. This dehumanization has a negative, and often deadly impact on the lives of LGBT people. Denying our humanity makes it easier for bigots to justify their actions. I hate to break this to you, bigots of the world:

We are just as human as everyone else on the planet.

We eat, sleep, breathe, shit, pee, and think. Because we are just like you.

We experience love, sadness, joy, hostility, sorrow, frustration, glee, and every other emotion. Because we are just like you.

We work, shop, drink, and fuck. Because we are just like you.

When you cut us, we bleed. When you cut off our oxygen, we suffocate. When you wound us sufficiently, we die. Because we are just like you.

Like other human beings:

We are celebrities.

Ellen DeGeneres is a lesbian woman with a successful talk show.

We are athletes.

Michael Sam is a gay man who still wants to play in the NFL.

We are novelists.

Sapphire is a lesbian author whose novel, Push, was adapted into the critically acclaimed film, Precious.

We are poets.

Miles Walser is a trans man who performs slam poetry.

We are comic book creators.

Artist/writer Phil Jimenez is a gay man who has worked for both Marvel and DC comics on multiple high-profile assignments.

We are public officials.

Madhu Kinnar is India’s first transgender mayor.

We are actors.

Openly gay actor John Barrowman has appeared on Dr. Who and Torchwood.

We are world leaders.

Elio Di Rupo, former Prime Minister of Belgium, was the world’s first openly gay head of state.

We are television presenters.

Openly gay tv presenter Jesús Vázquez  was also the first spaniard to be selected as the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency.

We are chefs.

Anne Burrell, a lesbian woman, is a popular USAmerican chef who has appeared on multiple Food Network shows.

We are activists.

The late Bayard Rustin, a gay man, was an important figure in the USAmerican Civil Rights Movement.

We are musicians.

Laura Jane Grace, a trans woman, is the lead singer of punk rock group Against Me!

Our needs.

Our words.

Our actions.

Our desires.

Our thoughts.

Our aspirations.

They are no different from those of other human beings. The similarities we share with the rest of humanity far outstrip the extremely minor differences. So please stop treating us as the ‘other’. Stop treating us as some subhuman species unrelated to humanity and undeserving of dignity. We deserve and demand the same rights as everyone else. We deserve and demand the freedom to live our lives free of oppression, discrimination, and violence. We deserve and demand to be treated as full human beings.

Not goddamn dog food.

If you prick us, do we not bleed?