Photographed by Maria del Rio.
As progressive as our nation has become over the last couple years, there are still long, long strides to take in the fight for equal rights. In fact, we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Take the battle against homophobia. It remains one of the most saddening issues and is still very sobering and unfortunately very real in our present-day culture. Hateful words and attitudes displaced on the gay community not only internally stab those taken aim at, but now, studies show that it has actual, physical implications on the attacker.
According to The Atlantic, anti-gay prejudice behavior can shave years (about two and a half) off any given life span. In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health and conducted by Columbia University and the University of Nebraska, researchers interviewed 20,000 straight people (from 1988 to 2002) and collected their thoughts on homosexuality with questions like, “Do you think sexual relations with adults of the same sex is wrong sometimes, or always wrong?” among others. They then compared these findings against the Death Index and found that homophobic individuals live shorter lives due to high cortisol levels, which are driven up by stress and thus, more likely to trigger cardiovascular-related ailments. Talk about a lose-lose all around. (The Atlantic)