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Support for the LGBTQIA+ Community

A message from Advocates President and CEO, Diane Gould

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Diane Gould, LICSW
Advocates
March 8, 2022

Advocates mission and vision is to build communities in which every person has a full life, and there is social, economic, and health justice, a place for all of us to thrive and opportunities for everyone to make a contribution.

Last month, the Governor of Texas told state health agencies that medical treatments provided to transgender adolescents, widely considered to be the standard of care in medicine, should be classified as “child abuse”, and called on licensed professionals and members of the general public to report parents of transgender youth if they are providing their child with gender affirming medical care. The state Attorney General joined the Governor in directing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents who help their children access such care.

In Florida, state lawmakers recently passed a House bill that bans any instruction about sexuality or gender from kindergarten through third grade.

Much closer to home, Waltham’s Little Queer Library on Trapelo Road, a local Free Library that provides books on LGBT issues, has had their books stolen for the third time in a month.  The owners of the library believe this may be linked to the ongoing Waltham School District debate about whether to ban two library books with LGBTQIA+ themes. 

These incidents are not isolated. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 18 bills targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people were enacted into law in 2021 alone.  The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth, is tracking more than 150 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, most targeting the ability of transgender children and adolescents to play sports, access affirming medical care, and use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Such measures and intolerable acts of oppression run counter to our mission and values. We stand in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual + community.

The recent launch of our LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group, newly renamed “Shades of Pride”, reflects our strong commitment. Shades of Pride meets monthly and is available to our employees. If needed, we invite staff at Advocates to connect with your supervisors and Human Resources, or visit KGA’s website, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), for additional support.