The 10 Percent: Documentary raises awareness on LGBTQ+ discrimination in America


In today’s society there are people living under the illusion they are equal in many regards to those around them. But they are not.

It’s likely members of the LGBTQ+ community makes up some of that population.

This concerns me.

A seemingly second-class attitude toward the LGBTQ+ community is unfair.

The treatment entails rights being denied to members of this large and growing community. The biggest of those rights is marriage.

As a member of this community I am unable to marry my partner.

Certain companies deny me and my partner medical rights because we are not “married” in the classic sense of the word. The same medical rights are given to straight couples. I know someone who wasn’t allowed to be with his dying partner because he was not considered next of kin.

In some states, as a gay man, I am even forbidden to adopt children.

Recently I have seen multiple politicians speak on this issue, Republican to Democrat; conservative to liberal, yet what I have not seen is the answer to the problem.

One possible solution to this has been brought up by Ryan James Yezak.

His answer is to make the world aware of this inequality via a documentary. Yezak’s in-progress documentary is called “Second Class Citizens.”

The documentary is to be the story of multiple LGBTQ+ people and their life experiences as, what they consider, “second class citizens.”

Yezak is currently seeking donors and story contributions via YouTube to continue his work.

A promotional video entitled, “The Gay Rights Movement” is already on the video-sharing website.

In it, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts poses a question.

“How can we as people who make the laws say to a small group of fellow citizens, you know, there is something about you that some people don’t like, so you are ineligible to work, you can be fired and you cannot get a promotion?” Frank asks.

I would certainly like to know the answer that question.

Surely the answer cannot be a bigoted statement.

“Some people say domestic partnership is the same as marriage that is a version of the separate but equal argument of the past,” said Washington Governor Christine Gregoire as the video continued.

My sexuality is not a disease or a dysfunction.

It is part of me.

And that doesn’t give anyone the right to tell me I am lesser than anyone else.

We need to come together and treat everyone with respect and equality.

“We are not a nation that says don’t ask, don’t tell. We are nation that says out of many we are one,” said United States President Barack Obama regarding the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last fall.

Obama summed up this issue well: We are one of many, but no one is greater than the other.

Allowing the perpetuating view that members of the LGBTQ+ community are second class citizens — through government action especially — is creating the notion that this community isn’t valued. That we are, indeed, second-class citizens.

That’s not the case.