Become your own best friend and advocate. Assess the organizations and groups in which you currently participate - civic, educational, religious. Ensure you are not harming your own future and that of everyone you love.

Assess an organization with this question:

Can individuals participate equally at all levels in the organization regardless of gender and without exception? This is particularly critical for the 45% of you reading this passage who are heterosexual females, and the 45% who are heterosexual males. If an organization does not support either your equality or the equality of females you love and respect, do not support that group no matter what justification your mind tries to generate to explain all the time, effort and/or money you have poured into the organization so far.

If you are using the socializing aspects of an organization as an excuse to participate, remember the phrase - "with friends like these, who needs enemies" - to remind yourself that if they do not support equality, nothing can make them your friend.

Homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation are manipulative tools that organizations use to perpetuate sexism, gender subordination, and social control over males. For example, women who assert their equality have their sexuality derogatorily questioned and attacked, as if asserting one's own claim to equality as a human being is somehow inappropriate for human beings if they happen to be female.

Similarly, men who assert their individuality have their gender and sexuality derogatorily questioned and attacked with taunts and labels of sissy and fag, as if standing up for yourself and being true to yourself instead of cowardly caving to peer pressure makes you less masculine rather than more self assured and more masculine in the best sense of the word.

Objectively, where does the United States stand?

It may shock you to learn that more than 80% of the United States does not meet the basic requirements of a democracy, and the United States remains one of the largest human rights violators on the planet, for instance, sometimes siding with corrupt countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran when it comes to violating human rights for women and children.

So, how can this be? The United States system of government operates on a system that relies on political primaries for major parties. This means extremists increasingly win primaries and moderates do not even make it to the election for the populace to have a choice. The rhetoric, grandstanding, and scapegoating of minority populations (like gay Americans) only expand with time, creating a nation governed by unbridled majoritarianism rather than principle. Over the last decade, it has become increasingly meaningless for Americans to sustain such governments or the rule of law. America began in 1776. It is only 236 years old, and the last 17 years have seen much of it succumb to the same forces that have destroyed democracies worldwide. The rhetoric of unity as well as liberty and justice for all is simply too far removed from reality for too many Americans.

When you consider that 100+ million Americans, one-third of the country, currently suffer inequity directly or indirectly from ongoing human rights violations against the gay community, it is not surprising at all that much of the nation is not merely broken, but undeniably fails to meet the basic requirements that even the founders set forth to be sustainable.

STEP 6: Hold Top Human Rights Violators Accountable

STEP 1: State Groups
STEP 2: Topic Groups
STEP 3: Help Out Community Groups
STEP 4: Understand Democracy and Human Rights