The LGBTQ Equality movement has made great progress over the years, but for many, equality is still out reach. Same-sex marriage is legal, but in many states employees can be fired for being out at work. This community continues to struggle with higher than average rates of poverty, homelessness, discrimination and more. And for some, including immigrants, people of color, and those who are transgender, the rates are even higher. This discussion continues in part 2 (The Status of LGBTQ Equality).
Rea Carey, Executive Director of the LGBTQ Task Force joins Robert Traynham to discuss the Status of LGBTQ Equality and her organization's efforts to create change.
Visit the LGBTQ Task force on the web, on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.
Interview recorded on May 17, 2017. Part 1 of 2.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: For much of American history, being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender meant living a closeted life. And while the atmosphere is much more accepting today, the LGBT community continues to struggle with many issues including discrimination, homelessness, and poverty, just to name a few. Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I'm Robert Traynham. With me is Rea Carey. She is the executive director of the National LGBTQ Taskforce. Rea, thank you very much for joining us.
Carey: Thanks for inviting me, Robert.
Traynham: Let's talk about the issues that are so important in our community. Most importantly, I believe, is discrimination. Fast-forward to 2017. How far have we come as a community?
Carey: Well, it depends on your perspective in some ways. If you grew up in the '˜40s, '˜50s, '˜60s, or '˜70s, we've come a long way. If you are newer to this movement, we have a long way to go. And both are true. In some ways, we have made a lot of progress. People are able to be more out in many workplaces, but not all. People are able to get married. But as we know, marriage did not solve all the problems for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. So, in some way, we've come a long way, but I so appreciate your introduction because I think it's so easy for people to have read the news over the last couple of years, see our progress -- in particular, on marriage equality -- and think, "Ah, things are going better." But when we look at issues like homelessness or poverty or even immigrants, there are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people who are facing tremendous challenges.
Traynham: You know, it's the soft underbelly, as I call it, where, yeah, it's out there, but we don't know a lot about it in terms of awareness. I'm not sure a lot of people know that there's a pretty high suicide rate in the LGBTQ community and/or homelessness and/or poverty. Can you walk me through some projects and/or programs that you have at your organization to help combat some of the stigmas, also some of the unfortunate situations that we find a lot of our brothers and sisters are in?
Carey: Well, I'm so glad you use the word "stigma," because it's something that still exists today, whether you're a teen at school who's afraid to come out and how your peers or your teachers might react...
Traynham: Or your family.
Carey: Or your family, certainly. Many young people, unfortunately, are still kicked out of their homes simply because of who they are. And that still exists in the United States.
Traynham: And does that lead to the homelessness rate to a certain degree?
Carey: It certainly does. It certainly does. Also, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families, particularly people of color, are at much higher risk for poverty in this country and homelessness. So they're -- You know, we've done surveys, particularly with transgender members of our community. Every single area of their lives, there is discrimination -- in healthcare, in housing, in education, in their place of worship. And so, for so many people, there are no -- there is no safe refuge.
As the Special Olympics celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, we take a look back at the early days, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver created a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Today, there are 4.9 million Special Olympics athletes from more than 172 countries.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
The National Council of La Raza has been advocating for the Latino community in the areas of health, education, immigration, and housing, since 1968. As this organization's fiftieth anniversary approaches, NCLR has undergone a name change to UnidosUS.
Zandra Zuno Baermann, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing for UnidosUS joins Robert Trayhahm to share some history of the organization, current priorities and a look toward the future.This discussion continues in part 2 of UnidosUS.
Interview recorded Sept 6, 2017.
"As women continue to lag behind men in attaining leadership positions, the need for more women leaders in communities increases. Lisa Bowman, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of United Way Worldwide shares a discussion on her organization's efforts in empowering young girls and women through access to mentoring and leadership programs. Bringing powerful women leaders together can create a sustainable and strong community.
In 2017, the American Psychological Association reported that social isolation and loneliness are major health threats that will continue to grow. This impacts the LGBTQ community, especially for those who are closeted or restrain their authentic identity in the workplace. As more Americans continue to identify as LGBTQ, how can the business world adapt?
Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, discusses the need for businesses to foster a culture of authenticity and belonging for all employees.
LGBTQ Americans have seen many advances in recent years but benefits of those advances have not been spread equally. There are marginalized groups within the LGBTQ community contending with high rates of poverty, HIV infection and discrimination.
Kierra Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, discusses inequities that exist within the equality movement.