Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community

  • Just Like You

    The Military Acceptance Project is being honored as a Champion of Change for its work ensuring the safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by the organization's inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.

    Kristen Kavanaugh wrote the following blog post on its behalf.


    Acceptance is a basic human need.

    For far too long, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have lived with that need unmet. This is especially true of those who have served in our nation’s military. But thanks to the Obama Administration, so many service members and veterans can now take steps toward filling that void.

    The Military Acceptance Project is honored to represent LGBT service members and veterans as a White House Champion of Change. We dedicate this award to the countless number of men and women who have served our country in silence throughout history and those who continue to protect our freedoms today.

  • The Honest Passion to Give Back

    LGBT Community Centers is being honored as a Champion of Change for its work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by the organization's video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.

    Terry Stone wrote the following blog post on the organization's behalf.


    I have worked professionally in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for over 20 years and been involved in many worthwhile endeavors. But working with LGBT Community Centers is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Centers are the places where you’ll find honest passion, honest dedication, and the honest desire to make our communities better. And the folks who work and volunteer at centers give not only their time but also their hearts.

    Over 33,000 people walk through community center doors every week. Centers may be totally staffed by volunteers or they may have as many as 300 on staff. They provide services to a very diverse group of individuals: youth, older adults, the homeless, immigrants----the list just goes on and on. They provide mental health services, programs for people living with HIV, addiction recovery programs, computer training, wellness and nutrition classes.  They have book clubs, art galleries, libraries and film nights. They are the Pride celebration organizers. They mobilize the community for our rights and our equality. They help us connect. Centers are the place we go to celebrate; they’re the place we go when we need help; they’re the place we go to come out; and sometimes they’re the place we go to mourn.

  • It Gets Better

    JJ Kahle is being honored as a Champion of Change for her work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by her inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.


    I am humbled by the designation, “Champion of Change,” and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those heroes—both recognized and unsung—who have laid the groundwork. The greatest heroes of all are the beautiful GLBTQ youth I have come to know in my life. They are so strong and brave and they persevere. They have been my greatest teachers. I thank my partner and my boys for their love and support of me.

    I am heartily appreciative of the President’s statement on his belief that all Americans deserve the same rights and privileges, regardless of their sexual orientation. As an educator, I extend this ideal to the belief that ALL students deserve a safe and supportive school environment in which to learn and grow. In our nation’s schools, it is vital that educators be directed and given the necessary training to insure that ALL of our children, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, are safe and can thrive in our schools. It is imperative that ALL schools, private and public, independent and parochial, face this challenge head on.

  • The White House Celebrates LGBT Champions of Change

    On Thursday, July 19, the White House will honor ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things across the country to ensure safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by their inspiring video entries in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.  

    The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

    These Champions of Change have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of LGBT people across the country, and they represent countless other individuals and organizations who are equally dedicated to equal rights for LGBT people. 

  • CIA Celebrates National LGBT Pride Month

    Ed. Note: This piece is cross-posted from the CIA Featured Story Archive.  

    The Central Intelligence Agency’s Center for Mission Diversity and Inclusion and the Agency’s Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees and Allies (ANGLE) co-hosted a panel discussion of CIA senior leaders as part of the 2012 June Pride Month celebration. The panel highlighted the role allies—straight family members, friends, colleagues, and managers who believe in and actively promote equality—play in creating an inclusive workforce for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) employees at the CIA. The discussion also highlighted the theme of the CIA’s Pride Month celebration: “Inclusion for All, Celebrating with Pride.”

    The Deputy Associate Deputy Director of the CIA began the event by underlining the importance of sustaining an inclusive workplace for all employees. “We need to reflect the nation we protect and support equality, fairness, and justice for everyone in our organization,” he said. “We are one Agency, one organization, one workforce.”

  • Building a More Inclusive USAID

    Ed. note: This piece is cross-posted from the USAID blog.

    Earlier this week, Administrator Shah administered the Oath of Office to Peter Malnak, USAID’s new Mission Director to Rwanda.  As USAID works to build a more inclusive agency, Mr. Malnak’s swearing-in took on special significance as it marked the first time a same-sex partner of a new Mission Director participated in the event by holding the copy of the U.S. Constitution.  Mr. Malnak referenced the importance of the occasion in his remarks, portions of which are excerpted below.

    Peter Malnak - LGBT USAID

    Administrator Shah administers the Oath of Office to USAID Mission Director to Rwanda Peter Malnak as his partner John Palmucci holds a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Credit: USAID

  • Defense Department Hosts First Ever LGBT Pride Month Event

    Earlier this week, the Department of Defense (DoD) held its first ever LGBT Pride Month event at the Pentagon, commending the service and sacrifice of gay and lesbian servicemembers and LGBT civilian personnel.   The event follows the full implementation of repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    Defense Department LGBT Pride Event Panel

    Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, far right, speaks during a panel at DoD’s LGBT Pride Month event at the Pentagon, June 26, 2012. (Photo courtesy of DoD, by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley )

     
     

  • One Home at a Time: HUD Works with Illinois to Gain Equal Access for LGBT Americans

    Ed. Note: This piece is cross-posted from the Department of Housing and Urban Development blog and co-authored by Rocco Claps, Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights.  

    When President Obama proclaimed June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, he “called upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.” On a daily basis, Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and the Illinois Department of Human Rights under Governor Quinn’s administration collaborate to make those aspirations reality in Illinois by working to eliminate housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    We have made progress as a society, but there is still discrimination. In 2011, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality publicized the results of a survey of 6,450 transgender individuals. A staggering 19 percent of respondents reported being refused a home or apartment because of gender identity and 11 percent reported eviction because of gender identity. An alarming nineteen percent of the transgender respondents reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives and, when trying to access homeless shelters, over half reported outright denials, harassment, or sexual assault in the shelter context.  Similarly, findings of a 2007 Michigan study indicate that same sex couples face high rates of bias and discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation when trying to access rental housing. And we know that up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

    In a nation founded on the principles of justice and equality for all, this is unacceptable.  Recently, HUD and the Illinois Department of Human Rights have taken important steps to ensure that LGBT persons have equal access to housing.