Support LGBT People in Rural America!

As legislative sessions start to wrap up, we’re taking stock of both inspiring progress made and heartbreaking setbacks. While we have been able to defeat anti-equality measures that target vulnerable communities including women, minorities, people of faith, and LGBT people, we also know that 26 states still lack inclusive nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, and this administration is staunchly committed to eliminating protections at the federal level.

For LGBT people in rural areas, the lack of protections can be devastating.

To shine a spotlight on this unique impact, MAP, in partnership with the Equality Federation, the National Black Justice Coalition and the National Center for Lesbian Rights released Where We Call Home: LGBT People in Rural America, which examines the structural differences in rural life and their impact on LGBT people in rural areas. LGBT people in rural communities are both more vulnerable to discrimination and less able to respond to its harmful effects.

MAP also released several supplemental resources to help advocates and allies take action, including a recommendation series for policymakers, healthcare providers, educators, employers and more.

And to increase the on-the-ground support for LGBT people in rural communities, we’ve created a new community resource flyer designed to be printed and posted in public places for rural LGBT people and allies to access. The community flyer provides a space for local service providers to fill in local, LGBT-supportive resources, as well as online and telephone supports. The flyer links to this page on our website www.lgbtmap.org/rural-lgbt-resources.

Now is your turn to take action. How can you help support LGBT people in rural America?

  • Share these resources on social media using #RuralLGBT.
  • Print, fill-out and hang the flyer on community resources boards where LGBT people can access it in your rural town or region.
  • Share the flier and the recommendations with organizations or groups that could help get the flyer into the hands of rural communities to print and display.
  • Donate to support MAP’s work to advance equality for LGBT wherever they live. www.lgbtmap.org/donate

May Is Older Adults Month

Older adults play an important role in our society, and enhance the vitality and richness of our families, neighborhoods, social networks, and lives. That’s why, every May, the Administration for Community Living leads a national observance of Older Americans Month. This year’s theme: Connect, Create, Contribute.

Although largely invisible until very recently, LGBTQ older adults make up a significant—and growing—share of both the overall LGBTQ population and the larger 65+ population. MAP recognizes that by engaging and supporting all community members we build a stronger society. We also recognize there are challenges for older Americans, especially those in the LGBTQ community, who face unique issues stemming from stigma, isolation, and discrimination. While confronted with the same challenges that face all people as they age, LGBTQ elders also face an array of unique barriers and inequalities that can stand in the way of a healthy and rewarding later life. Two MAP videos highlight just a few of the many challenges older LGBTQ adults face:

Our Nursing Home ad, released in partnership with SAGE and the Open to All coalition, illustrates the devastating harms many LGBTQ Americans face because of discrimination. The video features an older gay man and his family on the first day he moves into an assisted living facility. When the director of the facility learns the man is gay, he refuses to allow him to move in.

Our video, Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults, which was created to supplement the report of the same name, follows Jackie and Tina, two women born in the same town during the same year, and whose lives take very different turns and takes a look at their unique needs and experiences.

Older Americans Month is an important reminder to celebrate all of the members of our community. Please join MAP as we join in the discussion and share suggestions, resources, and materials that provide valuable insights and data into the lives of LGBTQ older adults.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
The following sharable resources offer an overview into the lives of LGBTQ older adults.