SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, AND BIPHOBIA

Palmetto Community Care and Truesdale Medical Center
Richard Reams, Director of Development and Marketing
Sarah Harbin-Coleman, Therapist
843-747-2273
rreams@palmettocare.org

SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, AND BIPHOBIA

As professionals serving LGBTQ+ individuals in the Lowcountry, we request participation of local media, businesses, schools, and organizations in observing International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) on May 17, 2022. This global day of action was established in 2004 to commemorate the 1990 declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, and is observed by 130 countries and United Nations agencies.  Media, teachers, authorities, businesses, and the public are asked to raise awareness to the marginalization of LGBTQ+ individuals and the minimization of harmful, phobic experiences in their daily life which range from minor social interactions to harmful policies in the workplace to becoming victims of acts of violence and homicide.

The theme for this year’s IDAHOTB is “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights.”  Homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia are apparent in medical care, policy, daily life, and culture around the world, resulting in endangerment of LGBTQ+ individuals’ personal lives, bodily safety, and opportunities.  The IDAHOTB is a call to celebrate everyone’s freedom to love, to live, and to express their identity without fear of discrimination.

Why it Matters

The Williams Institute reports that in 2021, 50% of US LGBTQ+ employees were not out to supervisors, and 26% were not out to anyone in their workplace.  In 2022, over 50% of US transgender college students report mental health impacts due to transphobia in higher education, and over 30% report bullying or assault.  The national unemployment rate for LGBTQ+ individuals is 9%, with 22% living in poverty. The risk of discrimination increases significantly for LGBTQ+ people of color across all metrics; the proportion of lesbian, bisexual, and queer girls of color in foster care is four times greater than the general population (see The Williams Institute report linked below). With more than 13 million LGBTQ+ individuals over the age of 12 in America, these percentages reflect an intense number of people who experience insecurity because of homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia daily.

In South Carolina, there are over 130,000 LGBTQ+ individuals, and over 80% of SC residents report that they have experienced or witnessed discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ South Carolinians live in every city, raise families in our state, and work in every professional field. In addition to being proud members of the LGBTQ+ community, these individuals are also proud to be South Carolina educators, public service employees, bankers, doctors, chefs, and many more.

How to Take Action

Organizations can make an intentional effort to take part in this global observation in the way that most benefits LGBTQ+ members of the organization and community.  This may include:

  • Policy review and change, including establishing safe spaces and company pride events, standardizing parental leave policies, listing pronouns in company email signatures, ensuring HR policies are inclusive in both language and intent, and zero tolerance for organizational or individual discrimination
  • Webinars or trainings, including guest speakers or moderators. Local trainings are available from the Alliance for Full Acceptance (affa-sc.org) and We Are Family (www.wearefamilycharelston.org). Online resources are available from these resources and more:
    Human Rights Campaign – www.hrc.org
    The Equality Institute – www.theequalityinstitute.com

National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center – www.lgbtqiahealtheducation.org

My Pronouns – www.mypronouns.org

This statement is released with joint intention by the following professionals:

Brad Childs, Chief Executive Officer, Palmetto Community Care

Richard Reams, Director of Development and Marketing, Palmetto Community Care
Sarah N. Harbin-Coleman, LPC, Truesdale Medical Center and Park Circle Counseling

Alliance For Full Acceptance                                        Charleston Black Pride
Holly Whitfield, Executive Director                           Dr. Regina Duggins, EdD, Founder/President
Jeffrey Elliot Fleming, President                                 Ron’Rico Judon, Vice President

Charleston Pride                                                               We Are Family
Loraine Cook-Holcombe, Chair, CEO                         Domenico Ruggerio, Executive Director
Jim Shulse, Vice Chair, COO                                          Chandler Massengale, LMSW, Mental Health Coordinator
Kimberly Brown, Secretary

Samantha Diamond, LPC, CCTP, Harborside Counseling
Haley Duncan, LPCA, Bright Sky Counseling
Lauren M. Edwards, Partner, Condon Family Law & Mediation; Board Member, We Are Family
George Goldston, LMFT, Therapy with George
Megan Göttsches, ADC-P, Lantana Recovery
Crystal Hank, Licensed Psychologist, Crystal Hank Counseling LLC
Emily Howard, LPCA, Therapy Studios
John Hyatt, LMFT
Kristina Kenny, LPC ADC
Rev. Colin Kerr, Parkside Church
Michael Luciano, Linkage-to-Care Navigator, Peer Services Coordinator, Palmetto Community Care
Alandria Mustafa, LPC, Sula Counseling
Heather Parkhill, DNP, Medical Director, Truesdale Medical Center
Jordyn Pritchard, Director of Community and Communications, Second Presbyterian Church
Jarmel Smith, Prevention Program Manager, Palmetto Community Care
Eric Sullivan, LPC, LMFT, Proud Counseling

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