The Fight is Not Over

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(photo source)

“The beauty of standing up for your rights is others will see you standing and stand up as well.”
-Cassandra Duffy

By: Will Pelletiers, HELP: MLP Public Health Fellow

Current events sweeping the nation and the world have made 2015 feel far like a far-off dream. It may feel as though same-sex marriage is just a fact of our world now; however, Pride Month reminds us that only a few years ago the right to marry was a mere unreachable dream for many in the nation. It took millions of individuals with different backgrounds, skillsets, personalities, and professions to change the status quo. The times we take for granted now were fought for by our peers, colleagues, and by many who we do not know; including last week and before last century. Battles were fought not only for the right to marry, but also to serve in the military, work in public education, and to not be classified as mentally ill. Each of these efforts is part of a larger movement, but each encounter still took enormous amounts of bravery and passion.

It remains far from easy to live in the world as an LGBTQ+ individual. Only 29 countries have legalized same-sex marriage, the most recent being Costa Rica, which became the 29th only one month ago. It is clear the work of Stonewall and the Pride Month movement is far from over. In our own country, members of the LGTBQ+ communities face egregious acts of discrimination, violence, trauma, and systemic oppression leading to tragic outcomes, including high risk of suicide. In 2019, at least 26 transgender and gender non-conforming people were victims of fatal violence, most of whom were people of color, and in 2016, 49 people lost their lives during the Pulse nightclub shooting, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history at the time.

This year’s Pride Month occurs during the COVID-19 pandemic and a worldwide protest in support of Black Lives Matter and racial equity and against police violence in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black communities is a stark reminder of the impact the HIV pandemic had on the gay and trans communities and communities of color. These unique circumstances remind us that we must continue to challenge the status quo, so that future generations will live in a better society.

HELP: MLP stands firmly with and values our community partners whose primary missions are to support the LGBTQ+ communities. Although this year’s Pride Month events have been frustrated by the pandemic, celebrations and events are taking place virtually. PhillyPride is supporting the Black Lives Matters movement and Philly Black Pride is offering virtual community events throughout the year.

Resources

Delaware County Resources for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex Youth and Their Straight Allies (LGBTQQIA)

Provides a list of resources for Delaware County, PA residents.

Penn LGBT Center Community Resource Guide

Provides a comprehensive list of resources, including support, legal, health and wellness, recreational, spiritual, economic, and professional services in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and nationwide for LGBTQ communities.

Office of LGBT Affairs of Philadelphia

Phone: 215-686-0330.

The Office of LGBT Affairs works to foster equal working and living conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and to advocate for LGBTQ issues in all areas of City government. The office aims to:

  • Develop City policy regarding civil rights issues affecting LGBTQ people.
  • Help enact policies and programs to meet the City’s diversity and equality goals.
  • Coordinate among City departments, agencies, and offices to improve LGBTQ access to services, and to promote equality and safety for LGBTQ people.
  • Support the growth and development of the City’s LGBTQ communities and serve as liaison between the area’s LGBTQ communities and the City.
  • Provide education about the needs of the LGBTQ community.

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR)
In Philadelphia, a criminal act that is motivated by prejudice or bias against someone because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is considered a hate crime (Philadelphia law also covers people based on gender and disability). Federal and Pennsylvania laws only cover hate crimes that are based upon race, color, religion, national origin, or ancestry. In 2017, the PCHR issued a report, Addressing Racism and Discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Community, outlining a series of priorities for action.

Contact the PCHR for help at 215-686-4670 or pchr@phila.gov to report, get information, or to file a complaint.

Attic Youth Center
The Attic Youth Center creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth (ages 13-23) to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community. Offers free counseling and groups.
255 S. 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-545-4331

COLOURS Organization Inc.
Support, prevention, and education services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer adults and youth of color.
1211 Chestnut St, Suite 910
Philadelphia Pa 19107
215-832-0100

Gay & Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative (GALAEI)
GALAEI is a queer Latin@ social justice organization. Since 1989, the organization has provided social services and referrals around HIV/AIDS and sexual health, organizing, and networking. GALAEI operates the Trans Health Information Project (TIP), a peer-led program designed by and for trans-identified and gender nonconforming people. TIP provides outreach, sexual health counseling, HIV prevention and testing, health and safety workshops, assistance with legal name change, support through transition, and other resources.
149 West Susquehanna Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19122
267-457-3912

Mazzoni Center
Mazzoni Center provides comprehensive health and wellness services for youth and adults; services include primary medical care, mental health counseling, substance abuse services, HIV counseling and testing, support groups, case management, legal, health education, and outreach.
Main Office
21 S.12th St.  8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.563.0652
Primary Medical Care
809 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.563.0658

Morris Home
Morris Home supports trans and gender variant individuals as they develop the knowledge, skills, and supports necessary to promote sobriety, manage emotional and behavioral difficulties, choose and maintain safe and healthy lifestyles, and develop healthy relationships.
5037 Woodland Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143
215-729-3045

Philadelphia FIGHT
Philadelphia FIGHT is a comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk.
1233 Locust St, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia PA 19107
215-985-4448

Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP)
A program of Philadelphia FIGHT, Y-HEP works to reduce the spread of HIV and STDS among adolescents and young adults in the Philadelphia area through outreach, education services, and activities.
1417 Locust St. 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-564-6388

William Way LGBT Community Center 
The William Way Community Center seeks to encourage, support, and advocate for the wellbeing and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities through services, recreational, educational, and cultural programming.
1315 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-732-2220

Lutheran Settlement House
Lutheran Settlement House is a non-profit, community based social service organization that serves over 14,000 women, men, and children each year through four program areas: adult education and employment, domestic violence, senior services, and homeless services.
1340 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA. 19125
215-426-8610

Valley Youth House
Valley Youth House provides prevention and intervention services, counseling, life skills and behavioral health services to abused, neglected, and homeless youth and their families.
42 South 15th St
Philadelphia PA 19102
215-925-3180

Project H.O.M.E.
Project HOME empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty through affordable housing, employment, healthcare, and education.
1515 Fairmont Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-232-7272

The Support Center for Child Advocates
The Support Center for Child Advocates rallies for victims of child abuse and neglect with the goal of securing safety, justice, well-being, and a permanent, nurturing environment for every child. They house a special LGBTQ Youth Project that provides access to justice, representation, safety and hope to youth of all ages who are in the Philadelphia child welfare system and who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
1617 JFK Blvd Suite 1200
Philadelphia, PA 19103
267-546-9200

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s