PRIDE MONTH LGBTQ+ HEALTH JUSTICE
• June 2020 •
Together with many others in the world, L.A. CADA’s Board and staff are heartbroken at the shocking murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Our agency grieves with Mr. Floyd’s family and community, and we understand the rage this injustice it has provoked across the county.
As an organization committed to progress and equity, L.A. CADA condemns systemic prejudice, racism, and violence in all its forms. In our corner of the world, we work daily to create parity in the way behavioral health disorders are addressed. L.A. CADA stands against our country’s treatment of addiction as a criminal justice matter because it has a disproportionate and devastating impact on the communities of color we serve. We believe in policies to treat addiction and mental health issues as a public health concern and continuously advocate in favor of behavioral health treatment – not jail sentences.
L.A. CADA stands in solidarity with those seeking truth, justice, and racial and social equity… As an agency with a long and successful history of working with persons on society’s margins, L.A. CADA is committed to participating in changing a system that has made black lives harder, more dangerous, and shorter, on the average, than white lives. L.A. CADA embraces diversity, and is committed to restorative justice, health equity and the individual authenticity of all we are privileged to serve.
Today, L.A. CADA stands even more resolved to ensuring that families and communities of color are fairly and adequately served. We want to listen to and lift up the voices of Black and brown people in L.A. County. With introspection, community input, and advocacy work, L.A. CADA will help enact the structural changes that must take place to prevent more heartbreak caused by racism and inequality. May our grief and rage become building blocks of justice.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated every June to honor the June, 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York. That demonstration was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in America, and the beginning of a long struggle toward LGBTQ+ justice and equal rights – one of the early bricks in the wall. Those building blocks also include countless community members lost to hate crimes, HIV/AIDS, and suicide. So, as we celebrate the progress that has been made over more than half a century, L.A. CADA also looks at the work still to be done.
A 2019 study by the Cornell University Center for the Study of Inequality was the largest-known literature review on the topic of LGBTQ+ health. It revealed that in 95% of studies, there was a direct link between anti-LGBT discrimination and LGBT health harms. Discrimination clearly has far-ranging effects on LGBTQ+ health, and the consequences are compounded for vulnerable populations, including people of color and low-income LGBTQ+ adults and youth.
Specifically, the Cornell study showed:
- Discrimination increases LGBTQ risk for poor mental and physical health (depression, anxiety, suicidality, trauma, substance use, and cardiovascular disease);
- Discrimination creates a hostile social climate for LGBTQ individuals, taxing their coping resources and contributing to minority stress through internalized stigma, low self-esteem, expectations of rejection, and fear of discrimination;
- Racial and socioeconomic discrimination exacerbate the harm caused by discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Fifty-one years after Stonewall, America still needs better health, social, legal, and economic justice for LGBTQ+ persons. L.A. CADA is working toward that goal. Our agency is providing new LGBTQ+-affirming programs, including participation in the first-ever Rainbow Court” in L.A. We work to enhance protective factors against the harms of LGBTQ+ discrimination using community and family support. L.A. CADA also actively supports the establishment of positive social climates, inclusive practices, and anti-discrimination policies.
Learn more about: the Cornell University LGBT Study