50 years ago this month, the Stonewall Uprising marked the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States. After 50 years of effort to promote dignity, equal rights, and compassionate treatment, the LGBT community continues to face discrimination.
A recent survey of LGBT youth found that 42% believe they will not be accepted by their community, are twice as likely as their peers to suffer physical assault, and that 92% have been exposed to negative messages about being LGBT at school, on the internet, and from peers¹.
Read a Related Post: WorldPride NYC: Celebrate at These 5 Events
In the current political climate, hard-won LGBT rights are in danger of being revoked. This past April, the Department of Defense implemented a ban on transgender military personnel, spearheaded by the White House. The Trump administration also issued a rebuttal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals finding that trans people have protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, pulled visas for unmarried same-sex partners of diplomats, and consistently made anti-LGBT appointments to key governmental positions².
As the path to equal rights grows more difficult, the number of U.S. citizens that identify as LGBT is growing, from 3.5% in 2012 to 4.5% in 2017. Over 11 million adults identify as LGBT today and rely on the social, emotional, legal, and medical support that LGBT non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide.
To support the LGBT community in NYC, get involved with an organization that advocates for equal rights.
Support the LGBT Community in NYC
The LGBT Center was founded in 1983, at the start of the AIDS epidemic, to provide the community with mental and physical support that was withheld by the Reagan administration. From its headquarters on West 13th Street, the Center helps protect and enhance the quality of life for LGBT New Yorkers.
To support the Center, attend an event, or volunteer in their archives, join a committee or perform community outreach.
OutRight Action International
OutRight Action International is a non-profit organization that researches, records, and promotes the advancement of LGBT people globally. Partnering with governments and advocacy organizations, the organization promotes inclusion, spreads awareness of unjust policies and human rights violations, and spurs governments to protect LGBT rights.
In New York, OutRight is the only organization with a permanent presence at UN headquarters, which provides them with a platform to consult and advocate for LGBT rights throughout the world.
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
The Callen-Lorde Community Health Center provides the LGBT community with a safe, welcoming space where they may receive affordable health care and support services. They also conduct research studies to improve care and adapt future services to the evolving needs of LGBT people.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an NYC-based organization, that defends the rights of all people throughout the world. The organization documents human rights violations, exposes injustices, and partners with institutions to improve justice and equality for all.
Advocating for LGBT rights is one of the core endeavors of HRW. By exposing and reporting violations and abuses, and promoting legal protections and government policies to advance the dignity and just treatment of LGBT people, HRW works to elevate the status of LGBT people everywhere.
For June 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, New York will host WorldPride – a 30-day celebration of LGBT citizens of the world. In the current political climate, LGBT people in your community need support, so get involved with one of these four organizations and become an advocate for equal rights.
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