Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Second Puerto Rican Pro LGBTT Health Summit: Stigma and its Impact on the Health of LGBTT Communities

Posted on by The Network for LGBT Health Equity Reposted at,

San Juan, Puerto Rico - The Second Puerto Rican Pro LGBTT Health Summit: Stigma and its Impact on the Health of LGBTT Communities, is a platform for initiating meaningful dialogue, expanding knowledge, and proposing proactive actions to understand and address diverse LGBTT realities. In honor of LGBTT Pride Month in Puerto Rico, this year’s Summit will focus on the impact of stigma on the quality of life of LGBTT communities. Stigma is a major underlying cause of health disparities in LGBTT communities, influencing the attitude and services of healthcare providers toward LGBTT patients and perpetuating discriminatory practices that lead to reduced LGBTT access to healthcare.

The Citizens Alliance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Allies Health
(ACPS-LGBTTA) invites the public to attend the Second Puerto Rican LGBTT Health Summit to be held on Saturday, June 30th, 2012 from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm at the Amphitheater of the School of Nursing, Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Río Piedras.
In preparation for the summit, on Friday morning, June 29th, two four-hour training sessions will be held on the following topics: 1) Cultural sensitivity for health professionals; and 2) Protecting individual health and well-being using social media, a particularly relevant topic for LGBTT youth. Both trainings will be held at the Puerto Rico Cancer Center at the Medical Sciences Campus of UPR.

“The Summit seeks to bring together diverse sectors of society to raise awareness about health disparities and the social, cultural and environmental factors that impact our health. In particular, we seek to engage community leaders, students, health professionals, and government officials in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the mainland U.S. about strategies for improving health outcomes in LGBTT communities,” said Juan Carlos Vega, Coordinator of the Second Summit.

The Summit is supported by several organizations, including: the National Latino Tobacco Control Network, the National Network for LGBT Health Equity, The Schools of Nursing and Dental Medicine and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, the Legacy Foundation, the Latino Commission on AIDS, PR CoNCRA, Lambda Legal, the Medina Press and the Institute of Samadhi Yoga Institute. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at More information on the logistics and contents of the Summit can be found at our website: or our Facebook page:

The Shame of Pride

Posted on by rickyhill  Reposted at, and
Written by Ricky Hill, Doctoral student, instructor, dandy
Cross-posted from OK4RJ: Oklahomans for Reproductive Justice
It’s the most beautiful time of the year, y’all.

This is the time of year where queers all over this lovely country of ours put on their shortest of shorts, their most glittery of glitter, their most bronze of bronzer, and work on making their hair as high as humanly possible. We primp, we preen, we curate the most fabulous ensembles in hope of catching the eye of that gender fucking Femme who works at the only bookstore in town that carries Curve (that’s still a thing, right? Okay, Original Plumbing, then).This is the time of year that we all wait so patiently for: The time of year where we are allowed to be bold and brash.

The time of year where we put on our rainbows, grab fistfuls of money, and dance in the streets.
That’s right, queermos. You know it, you love it: PRIDE!

It’s Pride Month! The one time of year when we’re allowed to walk down the streets in gold lamé without fear! The one time of year we get to be seen in the daytime! The one time of year when you can assume everyone wants to fuck you without looking like a narcissist! And y’all, you know Pride is good, because it’s one of the seven deadly sins.
But with Pride comes one of my least favorite things in the world: Pride Festivals.

You think I’d love them, because they’re chock full of free shit, gaymo performances, daytime drinking, and sweaty dancing. But you know what? You’re wrong. To me, Pride Festivals have become one of the most hypocritical events to happen to queer communities in recent years.

I know, I know. That’s maybe a controversial opinion to have, but hear me out.

Pride is something positive that originated out of something super shitty. It’s a self-affirming visibility project built up as a response to physical and psychic attacks on queerness. That part I can get behind.

The issue I take with Pride Festivals across the country is the rampant sponsorship put up by addictive and dangerous products. Don’t act like you don’t know.

Let’s look at Oklahoma City Pride as an example.

(This is the part where I make a disclaimer about using Oklahoma City as an example. This is not about blasting OKC’s Pride. I think that the organization has an amazing mission, and the amount of passion and drive it takes to pull something like Pride off is commendable. This is about larger issues related to equity and justice when we’re talking about LGBTQ communities, and is applicable to pretty much ALL Pride celebrations nationwide. Okay? Okay.)

Who pays for Pride? Not like you don’t already know from the mega floats that appear in the parade, or the banners hanging up at every bar. But really, who? Based on what I can tell, it’s almost all booze companies who foot the bill.

Page 29 of Oklahoma City’s Pride Guide lists the festival sponsors who are responsible for making Pride fiscally possible. Who are listed in the top five? Coors Light, Boulevard Brewing Company, Miller Lite, Tecate, and Bud Light.

Yup. Those are all big alcohol companies.

Interesting, especially given the fact that LGBTQ folks have higher addiction rates than the general population. And we’re not talking like, a little bit higher. The Pride Institute estimates that about 45% of our community participates in problem drinking behaviors.

45%!!?? That’s almost half!

(Fun Fact: We smoke like we drink, too.)

So, with epidemic-like numbers like those, don’t you think that we’d be trying to decrease risky behavior rather than encourage it?

I think so. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to demand that our community’s health and well-being be taken into consideration when putting together this festival. Where are the members of the Oklahoma City Pride Board when these sponsorship decisions are being made? For an organization whose mission statement is “to provide leadership to meet the needs of the LGBT community through awareness, health, and educational services,” I think they need to really be held accountable to that. We’re not doing anyone any good if we’re only paying lip service to mission statements.

So, queers, it’s time. Let’s start pushing back. Let’s celebrate what Pride is really about: Be a movement, not a market!

Ricky would like to wish all of you a very lovely Pride month, and looks forward to dancing with you soon. Follow Ricky on Twitter: @prettyrickyroo

Thank you, Ricky for this important message. Kristen

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last Known Gay Holocaust Survivor Has Passed Away

gad beck holocaust gay survivor dies, last gay holocaust survivor dies, last gay holocaust survivor dead, gad beck dead

Gad Beck, left.
BERLIN – Gad Beck, an anti-Nazi Zionist resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died on Sunday in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens’ home six days before his 89th birthday, which would have been on June 30.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

On a German talk show, he said, “The Americans in New York called me a great hero. I said no… I’m really a little hero.”

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the wartime effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin, who had declined to separate himself from his family.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Damn. It sounds like homeboy lived. That kind of puts whatever squabbles you may be going through today into perspective, doesn’t it?

Honor Mr. Beck today by reading the rest of his heartbreaking, inspiring story, and then putting some positive energy out into the world for his partner of 35 years, Julius Laufer.

Posted by Unicorn booty. Reposted at,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SAGE and NCTE Release Comprehensive New Resource on Transgender Older Adults

SAGE and NCTE Release Comprehensive New Resource on Transgender Older Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 1, 2012
Contact: Judy Evans, SAGE, 212-741-2247 x237 /
Vincent Paolo Villano, NCTE, (o) 202-903-0112 (c) 202-631-9640 /

Download Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice
[NEW YORK, NY] Today SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice, a new resource on the current state of transgender aging. Transgender older adults face unique challenges including overwhelming disparities in health and health care access, employment, housing and more. The report recognizes the importance of examining these factors as they directly affect the financial security, health and overall well-being of older transgender individuals.
"Transgender individuals face many challenges associated with aging, including declining health, diminished income and the loss of friends and family. Yet they also face additional challenges such as discrimination and hostility when accessing the services meant to support older adults," said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. "Now, with this report, policymakers and aging service providers will gain a clear picture of the current state of transgender aging, and a roadmap of what they can do to improve policies and practices to ensure that transgender older adults age successfully."
The report includes a detailed literature review, profiles of personal experiences of transgender elders around the country, and more than 60 concrete recommendations for policy makers and practitioners. The Advisory Committee of the Transgender Aging Advisory Initiative identified four priority areas for policy advocacy to improve the lives of transgender older adults based on their expected impact if accomplished, as well as the expected feasibility of accomplishing them within the next 1-2 years:
  • Achieve inclusion and nondiscrimination in aging services by classifying LGBT older adults as a group with "greatest social need" and reauthorizing protections of older Americans to include LGBT people.
  • Promote best practices in long-term care by developing LGBT competency trainings and providing tools for long-term care facilities while including respect for the gender identity and expression of residents in specific guidelines.
  • Protect privacy in Social Security programs by updating the Social Security Administration (SSA) policies to permit individuals to change their gender designation without intrusive medical information while eliminating gender as a data field in SSA's automated verification programs.
  • Build a foundation of knowledge by including questions about gender identity and sexual orientation in federally-funded population-based surveys.
Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE Policy Counsel, said, "Transgender older adults want to live healthy and independent lives and maintain dignity as they age. But this population faces unique challenges that the aging field as well as the LGBT community need to pay attention to."
SAGE and NCTE will continue to advocate for these policy changes to ensure that older transgender adults have access to the necessary services and are treated with respect.
For more information or to speak to Harper Jean Tobin or Michael Adams, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 /
To download Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults, or to learn more about the issues covered in the report, visit or

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 24 local SAGE affiliates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at or
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.

Today, CenterLink and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released a comprehensive report which details the critical services offered by LGBT community centers, as well as a national overview of centers across the country. The 2012 LGBT Community Center Survey Report: Assessing the Capacity and Programs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Centers surveyed 79 LGBT community centers nationwide.

Despite the slow economic recovery, LGBT Centers manage to provide vital resources to 1.7 million people annually. The report details the many ways in which community centers are a lifeline in the LGBT community, offering a variety of much-needed resources including Physical and Mental Health Programs, Information and Education Programs, Legal Services and Programs, Social and Recreational Programs, Community Outreach and Civic Engagement, Computer Centers, and more.

I hope you take the time to read the full report, which is available online at or


Terry Stone

Executive Director

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

LGBT Rights and Racial Justice Report

The Opportunity Agenda conducted research on the intersection of LGBT rights and racial justice. The report also looks at the roles ethnic and new media are playing today in both perpetuating and challenging negative stereotypes. The report includes four studies:

  • What Americans Think about LGBT People, Rights, and Issues: A Meta-Analysis of Recent Public Opinion;
  • Coverage of LGBT Issues in African-American and Latino Print and Online News Media: An Analysis of Media Content;
  • An Analysis of Online Discourse about LGBT Issues in African-American and Latino Communities.

Each study has its own Findings section, but there are themes common to all. These commonalities found throughout the study suggest that although each type of media merits its own specific, culturally sensitive strategy, coordinated strategies may also be appropriate and effective. We therefore present some highlights:

  • Pro-LGBT spokespeople predominate in both the African-American and Latino print media by a wide margin.
  • The storylines in all three types of media tend to focus on LGBT-specific issues like marriage equality, homophobia, and the “down low lifestyle.” Few articles place LGBT people and issues within a broader societal context.
  • There is some narrative overlap. The clash of values between equality, human rights, and dignity on the one hand, and morality, “natural law,” and God’s will on the other is present in both the African-American and Latino coverage. Both communities are wrestling with this apparent contradiction.

Funded by the Arcus Foundation, the research on the intersection of LGBT rights and racial justice also rely on the authorship of Loren Siegel, Elena Shore, and Fission Strategy. To read our recommendations drawn from the report, click here.

Reposted at

Monday, June 11, 2012

HHS Sec. Sebelius on Affordable Healthcare Act

At the heart of this administration is a core belief in equality. This belief means ensuring that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans have the same protections and opportunities as their family members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Among the many areas where we are working to ensure that fairness for LGBT individuals is health care.  All Americans, no less LGBT individuals, deserve the right to accessible, affordable, quality health care. Observing LGBT Pride Month in June spotlights our commitment to addressing the special health needs of LGBT Americans and reducing health disparities for them and members of other vulnerable communities.

Studies have shown that health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity are due partly to lower rates of health coverage. LGBT individuals have encountered discrimination in the health care system for decades, and many studies have shown that they are affected by chronic disease at a higher rate than other Americans.

The Affordable Care Act has already made significant progress toward ending some of the worst insurance company abuses and toward helping ensure that LGBT Americans have access to coverage when they need it most. For example, the Affordable Care Act ends lifetime dollar limits on benefits, allowing for long-term comprehensive treatment of chronic diseases.  In addition, the federal website,, designed to help all consumers find the health insurance best suited to their needs, makes it easy to locate health insurers that cover domestic partners.

The Affordable Care Act will give all Americans, including LGBT Americans, improved access to health coverage through an expanded, stronger Medicaid program and new affordable Insurance Exchanges, marketplaces for quality, affordable health insurance. And as of last fall, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of pre-existing health conditions – a protection that will extend to every American in 2014.  Similarly, insurers will no longer be able to turn someone away just because he or she is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Additionally under the new law, many Americans, including LGBT individuals, can now get vital preventive services, such as mammograms, HIV testing, and other cancer screenings, with no co-pay or deductible.

The Department of Health and Human Services continues to address the specific health concerns of LGBT Americans, by working to incorporate data collection on LGBT populations into national health surveys and issuing rules requiring hospitals to allow same-sex partners the ability to visit each other in the hospital.

Our efforts haven’t stopped with health care.  When confronted with the tragic suicides of LGBT teens around the country who had been bullied, this administration launched a historic effort to stop the bullying of LGBT children and youth in their homes, schools, and communities. We’ve also launched a new website called, a one-stop shop where kids, teens, parents, and educators can go online to learn about preventing and stopping bullying.

During Pride Month, we celebrate our accomplishments while focusing on the work still to be done. Our department is committed to improving the health and well-being of all Americans, including LGBT Americans, and we look forward to continuing this work during Pride Month and beyond.

For more information about how the Affordable Care Act is giving LGBT Americans more control over their health care, see factsheets and brochures.

Reprinted at,

New Podcast:Teen Pregnancy Prevention for LGBT Youth

Recent studies have shown that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth may be twice as likely as their straight peers to experience an unwanted pregnancy.

In NCFY's latest podcast, Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, and Andrew Barnett, executive director of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, talk to NCFY about why and how teen pregnancy prevention programs can include LGBT youth. Listen to the podcast:

Reposted at,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Psychiatric Patients Languish In Emergency Rooms

By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio   May 31, 2012
This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes Colorado Public Radio,and Kaiser Health News.
Last fall Kathy Partridge got a phone call from a local emergency room, telling her that her daughter, Jessie Glasscock, was there -- and was OK. Glasscock had gone missing overnight. She was away at college, and had a history of manic episodes. Police had found her in a dumpster and brought her to the ER for her own safety. It was a huge relief for her mother – but she was completely surprised by what happened next.

A billboard in Colorado shows the wait time for a local emergency room (Photo by Eric Whitney/Colorado Public Radio).

"It sort of seemed like, well, they'll stabilize her, help her get back on her meds and she'll pick up her pieces. Instead, I went down to this emergency room and just found her by herself, basically locked in a closet," Partridge said.

The "closet" was actually an exam room, but Partridge explains it was small, windowless, and the only furniture was a stainless steel bed. Her daughter waited there, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, without treatment or a decent meal for 24 hours. Partridge was shocked to learn there was no place for her daughter to get treatment. "There was not a single psychiatric bed to release her in in the entire state of Colorado," she says.

The hospital eventually admitted Glasscock, but long waits like hers are all too common at hospitals nationwide. A study published this month in the Annals of Emergency Medicine by Dr. Anthony Weiss with the Partners Healthcare in Massachusetts found psychiatric patients in its hospitals waited an average of 11.5 hours before being treated or released.

"It's very difficult to see patients waiting in the emergency room for, in some cases, really, days," Weiss said. "The fact that is in many ways their first introduction to mental health care is, in my mind, very, very devastating."

Weiss says there's a bottom line reason many hospitals don't even have psychiatric wards anymore. "The reimbursement for mental health care within the country is amongst the lowest across the different disease states. And so it's not in some cases economically viable to support these types of units," Weiss said.

One hospital chain is going against the trend. Denver's HealthOne hospital chain is opening a new psychiatric ward with 40 beds. It'll be one of the first Colorado has seen in years.

It isn't that HealthOne wants more psychiatric patients. It wants to compete for the shortest emergency room waiting times in Denver. Dr. George Bussey is HealthOne's Chief Medical Officer. He says psychiatric patients with no place to go can really slow things down.

"ER wait times are often a function of how many people are in your waiting room, and how many available beds you have," Bussey said. "And if you have, for example, a 30-bed emergency department, but you have five patients who aren't being moved out of beds, you've effectively turned yourself into a 25 bed emergency department, at which point you begin to get the back up."

Emergency rooms can bring hospitals a lot of business. HealthOne might lose money on its new psychiatric unit, but stands to recoup its losses if it can provide speedier service in the emergency room. HealthOne says the new ward’s main purpose is to provide better care for all their patients, and fill a gap in local health care.

Kathy Partridge is encouraged. But she recognizes that one new psychiatric ward isn't going to cure Colorado's lack of access to mental health treatment. Her daughter is back on her feet now, but her emergency room experience motivated Partridge to help start a committee at her church that looks for ways the health care system can be more welcoming to people who need psychiatric help.

This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes Colorado Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Retirement communities for LGBT seniors can be hard to find

Robert Hulshof-Schmidt  Portland GLBTQ Issues Examiner, Reposted at,

As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age they bring with them a new series of challenges and opportunities. One of these is the significant number of openly gay and lesbian retirees looking for supportive communities and care facilities. Because the boom generation was just entering its 20s as Stonewall galvanized the LGBT community, they include the first real wave of out and proud retirees.

While these men and women are part of larger communities, many have sought cities and states of residence that are more supportive of gays and lesbians. Unfortunately, the retirement and elder care industries do not currently provide a similar model for senior living. Even if the retirees do not want exclusively LGBT neighbors, they want to be sure that they are safe and welcomed as they make their moves. More importantly, if they become less independent, they want to be sure that their caregivers are gay friendly and embracing of diversity.

While many states and cities prevent housing and care discrimination based on sexual orientation, that does not guarantee a happy living or care situation. As a result a handful of LGBT-oriented retirement communities have begun to emerge. The Gay Retirement Guide lists many of them. Unfortunately, most of the listings are either "planned projects" or facilities that vaguely describe themselves as "gay friendly." As many LGBT travellers have learned, hotels that use that label vary widely in just how embracing they are. Making a residential decision requires an even clearer commitment.

One of the best established facilities is Rainbow Vista in Gresham, Oregon, just outside of Portland. The Solipsistic Me has a good overview of this community, including information from the general manager and an enlightening interview with one of the residents. His experiences clearly indicate how important it is for the retirement and care industries to quickly adapt to make more safe and embracing options as the number of LGBT retirees booms.

New Resource Offers Up-to-Date Information on Health Information Law

"Those in the fields of law, health care, consumer protection, information technology, public health, and insurance now have a single destination for up-to-date information on health information law and changes in the legal and policy landscapes that affect its implementation.

Researchers at Legal Barriers, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, have developed—a website designed to serve as a practical, online resource regarding laws governing access, use, release, and publication of health information.

The site addresses the legal issues that arise as health information moves fully into an electronic phase, as well as how the revolution in how health information is created, collected, and exchanged affects classic legal issues such as privacy, confidentiality, and liability for the quality and safety of health care. is an especially useful resource for those involved in regional quality improvement collaboratives, as it enables users to see and understand the ways in which state law intersects with federal requirements and programs."

Reposted at

“Lick It!”

How many licks does it take to quit smoking?
Main Street of New Mexico's largest Gay Pride celebration will be smoke-free for the second year in a row.
Following on its success last year, Fierce Pride (an LGBTQ health advocacy organization) will again make the Pride celebration at Expo NM more convenient to all attendees by making Main Street smoke-free. This year, non-smoking parents, grandparents, and children will be able to participate in the celebration without being exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke.  Smoking will be allowed in designated areas off of Main Street.

Fierce Pride organizers have worked for several years to rid the family-friendly event of smoking. “Pride is an opportunity for celebration and for community dialogue,” says Fierce Pride Coordinator Rebecca Dakota. “It is a chance for the LGBTQ community to affirm cultural movement towards being healthier, including embracing being tobacco-free.”

The “Lick It!” campaign focuses on supporting tobacco users to quit tobacco by using the site or the 1-800-QUIT NOW telephone quit line.  Both are free and provide services in both English and Spanish.  Many smokers require several “quits” before they are completely tobacco-free;  hence the “How many licks does it take?” tag line for the campaign.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that social stress, frequent patronage of bars and clubs, higher rates of alcohol and drug use, and direct targeting of LGBTQ consumers by the tobacco industry may be related to higher prevalence rates of tobacco use among some LGBTQ people.

“Tobacco companies justify their targeting of the LGBTQ community as strategic marketing and LGBTQ people in New Mexico are about twice as likely to smoke as non-LGBTQ adults,” says Dakota. “We know that cigarettes are no solution to the stress of marginalization that LGBTQ people in this country experience.  And with high smoking rates, we also have more disease and death from tobacco-related causes.  So we’re all about reducing that stress and saying ‘no’ to tobacco.”

“Fierce Pride wants to leverage that support for smoke-free environments and really tell these tobacco companies that they have no place on Main Street,” says Dakota. “This is what we know LGBTQ people want for their health and for the general health of New Mexicans. Thanks to the cooperation and vision of Albuquerque Pride there’s a great deal of hope.

Fierce Pride is a community-led project working to reduce health disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, transgender, queer, and questioning communities in New Mexico.  Fierce Pride operates under the auspices of the non-profit Media Literacy Project and can be reached at

 Hakim Bellamy,
Strategic Communications Director

Reposted at

Friday, June 1, 2012

Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,

Ohio remains one of top reporting states National Report
shows highest murder rate ever recorded

To download the full Report please visit NCAVP. Reposted at

Ohio — 2011 marks the twenty-second year that BRAVO and NCAVP have documented hate violence statistics in Ohio. There was a 37% decrease in the total number of reports taken in 2011 from 260 reports to 111. This is in part due to changes in the way anti-violence work is funded, allowing more individual assistance and support to clients, and also assisting them with criminal justice and recovery services. Because of the redistribution of funds, BRAVO has less money available for outreach, marketing, and travel — resulting in a net drop in reports though the level of service delivery to those who did report increased.

Despite the drop in reports of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in the region, the demographic breakdowns for victims remain consistent. The victims of these incidents remain largely young (43%) under the age of 29 (48 survivors and victims), majority white (over 60%, 68 survivors and victims), while the gender of victims is predominantly men (57 or 51%) and women (47 or 42%) and 14% transgender. 2011 remains consistent with the last several years, showing an increase in the number of incidents reported against transgender individuals by 14%, from 7 to 8 cases.

Long-term incidents trends remain consistent, with assaults and menacing complaints remaining relatively stable. Vandalism and property damage remain a problem in Ohio, with 5 reports of vandalism and 1 report of property damage reported in 2011. Threats and intimidation-related offenses continue to be a pervasive problem in Ohio with 66 reports of threats in 2011 consisting of 24% of total hate violence reports. Verbal harassment increased by 51% between 2010 and 2011, from 47 to 71 reported cases, and reports of discrimination increased by 15%, from 27 to 31 reported cases. There is a particularly concerning increase (4%) in cyber harassment and telephone harassment. As electronic media and social networking become more popular in society and in the LGBTQ community, the abuse and harassment of individuals through these means has also increased. Physical violence is increasing, a dangerous trend that has unfolded for the last 4 years. In 2011 24 victims (22% of cases) reported injury and 18 of them (16%) were injured severely enough to require medical attention. Sexual assault within the context of a hate incident continues to be of concern. Eight such sexual assault incidents (3% of cases) were reported in 2011.

According to BRAVO President Emerita, Chris Cozad “Unfortunately, there is still a lot of hate out there in the world. LGBTQ people are still targeted regularly, the sad reality is that as society gets more violent, and so do these attacks. The fact that we are still not safe in our homes and work places drives home the point that LGBTQ people are still perceived as second-class citizens. We are often subject to attack, and in many places there are no protections under local/state law. In the State of Ohio LGBTQ people are subjected to legal discrimination every day of our lives.”