Eliminating Ignorance: The LGBTQ Disparities Project

In many communities identifying as anything other than heterosexual and cisgender is cause for ostracism and prejudice. For many LGBTQ identified people isolation and silence are the only ways to get through those situations.

“The worst part was the fear,” says Alex C., a transgender youth. “Feeling so completely alone with no one else to turn to. I tried to get used to it – to the idea that my body was messed up. I only felt worse. Depression. Anxiety. Suicidal thoughts. When you’re trapped like that, you don’t feel like yourself. You don’t feel like anyone. No dreams, no future, and a past you can barely remember. You detach from yourself. It’s no longer your own life that you’re living.”

In 2012, the Equality California Institute and the Mental Health America of North California partnered to create a report on the LGBTQ community. Titled First, Do No Harm: Reducing Disparities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Populations in California the report contains background history on the LGBTQ community, current problems, and recommendations for those problems.
These recommendations will help organizations make effective decisions on helping the LGBTQ community.

2-years of community based research was used to create this report. The research was used to pinpoint areas that community members felt needed to be changed.

The organizations recently published three fact sheets that breakdown the report into easy-to-read infographflagics:

1. Improving LGBTQ Student Mental Health

“When a child is shunned or bullied by their peers for other reasons… the solution has not been to ask the child to change, but to find interventions which remedy the social oppression,” states the fact sheet.

This fact sheet has extensive information and statistics on youth who identify as LGBTQ. It also states information on transgender youth and their mental health issues. The fact sheet has information on recommendations for improving student mental health outlined in the original report.

2. Suicide Prevention For LGBTQ Communities

This fact sheet focuses on suicide rates and suicide prevention among all age groups in the LGBTQ community. This fact sheet also has links to websites with information on the intersection of racial identities and sexual orientation.

3. Stigma and Discrimination Reduction

This fact sheet tackles information on the LGBTQ community and mental health stigma within different ethnic communities.

The recommendations in this report range from the standardization of sexual orientation and gender identities, to creating safe spaces for LGBTQ people. This report will help smaller organizations to receive government funding for their programs.