As we celebrate Pride Month, we’re shining a light on a few important organizations that work endlessly to support the health and safety of individuals in the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+) community.
According to the Center for American Progress (CAP) National Survey of LGBTQI+ adults, 15 percent of LGBTQ+ Americans report postponing or avoiding medical treatment due to discrimination, including nearly 3 in 10 transgender individuals. This makes LGBTQ+ individuals more vulnerable to health disparities. As a result of this unfortunate reality, LGBTQ+ centered health organizations provide necessary healthcare services and a safe space where they can feel cared for.
While there are more well-known organizations that also focus on this issue, the following organizations work specifically to equip people with these needs throughout every stage of life.
- Ali Forney Center: What started as a small New York organization with six beds in a church basement, turned into a nationally recognized agency that serves over 2,000 LGBTQ+ homeless youths per year across the country. The 24-hour program provides a stable home and comprehensive support to help homeless youth live independently. Health resources range from medical examinations and therapy to emergency housing and education workshops. This organization was built on the legacy of Ali Forney, a homeless gender-nonconforming youth who was forced to live on the streets and then murdered. Their legacy is carried on through the impactful work done by this organization.
- Anti-Violence Project: The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) aims to support victims of the ongoing violence that commonly targets the LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected communities. AVP is focused on assisting survivors of violence through counseling and advocacy. The organization has a long menu of services, including economic empowerment, legal guidance, and community awareness. Originally, AVP was a hotline created by community activists in response to a series of violent attacks directed at gay men in 1980. Now it has grown into one of the largest anti-LGBTQ+ violence organizations in the country.
- SAGE: SAGE is designed to tackle the unique and often overlooked challenges that LGBTQ+ elders face. With over 12 programs, the organization provides services that reach all corners of mental and physical health. To name a few, they offer a free mental health hotline, senior centers for housing and socializing, meals during table events, and a wellness platform for elders to increase financial stability and reduce economic stress.
Whether it is mental health counseling or annual physical check-ups, everyone deserves full access to the resources they need to maintain a prosperous lifestyle. We hope you’ll take some time to learn more about these organizations and lend your support.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based PR agency with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.