As a Gay Man, This Is Why I Fight for Abortion Rights

Reproductive rights are inextricably linked with gay rights. People of all sexual orientations and gender identities need abortions. In addition, the same states introducing cruel and unjust abortion bans are also attacking bodily autonomy through legislation that targets LGBTQIA+ people.

During Pride Month, we’re celebrating the resilience, strength, and activism of LGBTQIA+ communities.

Jared, a gay man who works for Whole Woman’s Health, shared his story with Rewire News.

Sixteen years ago this month, I started the process of coming out to my friends. My allies. My friends, all women, accepted me without question. Living in a small rural town in West Virginia, the stigma associated with being a gay man had often felt like an unbearable burden: the fear of how my family, friends, teachers, or pastor may react, and the potential shame that could follow.

The stigma and shame that was forced upon me as a teenager is much like the stigma and shame that is unjustly forced upon people that have had an abortion. The fear of judgment from those closest to you, the condemnation that comes from the public who have differing ideological views, and, in some cases, the deeply personal attempt to reconcile between what is best for you and what your religious or political affiliation says is wrong.

It may be hard to see the through line between reproductive rights and marriage equality, but the lines are made clearer every day. Make no mistake: The same forces that are working tirelessly to ban abortion are ready to overturn marriage equality the first chance they get. In fact, they are now willing to say this out loud.

The same people who stand next to us at a pride parade deserve to have us stand next to them when their rights are called into question. We are unequivocally in this together.

You can read Jared’s Op-Ed here.