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Emphasizing the Importance of Creating a Welcoming Organ Donation Community

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

By Kate Sullivan

In our most recent webinar, SODA stressed the importance of multicultural organ donation, debunking myths that diverse donors were not welcomed in the organ donation community. SODA continues to emphasize both the importance and need for diversity among organ donors.While Pride month has ended, SODA continues to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. In this post, we will discuss the importance of the LGBTQIA+ individuals in the organ donation community.

Here at SODA, we want to emphasize that no member of the LGBTQIA+ community should be discouraged from registering as a donor due to their sexual orientation. A common myth in the organ donation community is that an individual’s sexual orientation determines both the feasibility of being a donor as well as their fitness as a potential donor. Numerous sources debunk this myth by welcoming the participation of the LGBTQIA+ community as an individual's sexual orientation is not a determining factor when registering as an organ donor.

Donors of all genders, gender identity and sexual orientation are welcomed and encouraged to become registered donors. In addition to sexual orientation not being a determining factor in someone’s choice and ability to be a donor, gender identity does not hinder someone’s ability to be a donor. An individual who is undergoing gender transition or is non-binary is able to be a donor.

In 2013, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act) was passed. This act enabled those who are HIV+ to be organ donors for recipients who are also HIV+. With hundreds of individuals who are HIV+ on the wait list, this act has and continues to expedite the transplant process.

SODA chapters make a continuous effort to represent the LGBTQIA+ community in the organ donation community. Every semester our students host events to educate their communities about organ donation and the importance of registering as donors. While SODA National recognizes how myths about the LGBTQIA+ community as organ donors contribute to a lack of diversity and representation within the organ donation community, we strive to be a welcoming and inclusive organization. As a result, we continue to educate ourselves and be vocal for the need of diverse donors.

SODA wants to remind individuals that the organ donation community is one that is welcoming of all. In order to continue to save lives and make a life changing impact, everyone’s participation is necessary.

The information written above was collected from several reputable sources. To learn more about how you can join SODA’s team to make a difference in the organ donation community, click here. To register as an organ donor, click here.

To read more about what is discussed in this post, click the links below to access more resources on LGBTQIA+ organ donation.

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