DACA/Dream Act: One estimate from the Williams Institute suggests that around 36,000 LGBTQ people are enrolled in the DACA program. These Dreamers have been able to pursue higher education, improve their economic security, and live safely with their families because of DACA. For LGBTQ recipients, the consequences of rescinding DACA are particularly dire since they would be at risk of not only being deported to countries they haven’t set foot in since they were children but where their lives could be in jeopardy. Deportation can be a death sentence for LGBTQ people in many parts of the world. Same-sex relationships are criminalized in nearly 80 countries worldwide. You can help our LGBTQ Dreamers by telling Congress to pass the #DreamActNow.
Healthcare: Since 2013, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped LGBTQ people and families get access to quality, affordable health insurance. Thanks to the law the uninsured rate for low- and middle-income LGBTQ people has dropped by an overwhelming 35%. That means more people in our community have access to medically necessary services they need, from life-saving HIV drugs to gender affirming health care. Deciding on health insurance can be confusing, which is why 80% of LGBTQ people want help from someone who understands their questions about same-sex coverage and transition-related care. Luckily, you can get free, LGBTQ-friendly help from experts thanks to our friends at Out2Enroll. Make an appointment today. Open enrollment has been shortened for this year – it begins November 1st and ends December 15th. Be sure to #GetCovered.
#MeToo: Last weekend on Twitter and Facebook, people around the world posted two words: “Me too.” They hashtagged these words to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, and to de-stigmatize speaking out. Some told personal stories, some didn’t. Why do survivors of harassment often stay quiet? There are many reasons. Fear of being disbelieved, scrutinized, shamed, ridiculed. The ordeal of having to defend yourself against your aggressor and having to explain what happened over and over again. Not wanting to be the victim.
Sexual violence affects every demographic and every community – including LGBTQ people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), LGBTQ people experience sexual violence at similar or higher rates than heterosexuals. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects (NCAVP) estimates that nearly one in ten LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) has experienced sexual assault from those partners. Studies suggest that around half of transgender people and bisexual women will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. If you identify as LGBTQ and have experienced sexual harassment or assault, you have the right to receive support and services. Call 212-714-1141 or visit the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
Gun Violence: In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2017 the LGBT community found itself in the crosshairs of one of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando represented a gruesomeness that no one in the community - or the nation - had ever experienced. On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Los Vegas Strip, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Among those were a gay couple from Utah. Cameron Robinson died and his partner Robert Eardley was severely injured but expected to survive. LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by gun violence and hate-motivated crimes in general. Transgender women face epidemic rates of murder and violent crime. Hate crimes are on the rise throughout the United States, with 20 percent of hate crimes reported nationally targeting people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Over 120 gun violence prevention groups and allies have created a Campaign Against Assault Weapons to ban #WeaponsOfWar to keep families and communities safe. We invite you to join the campaign by signing the petition.