Author: Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

At The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, we are committed to building a supportive and enriching community abundant in opportunities for LGBTQQIA+ individuals and those with a stake in creating a more inclusive Lancaster County.

Urban Rural Action to select 28 volunteers to prevent ‘targeted violence’

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

January 9, 2023

LGBTQIA+ knuckle tats

Residents of Adams, Dauphin, Franklin, and York counties all are involved in the community push

Twenty-eight residents of south-central Pennsylvania will serve as Pennsylvania Uniters in a federally-funded program to address targeted violence.

Under the auspices of nationally-based Urban Rural Action (URA), Uniting to Prevent Targeted Violence in South-Central Pennsylvania begins Feb. 18, in Gettysburg, its founder and executive director Joseph Bubman, told the Capital-Star. 

He was identified by Time magazine in 2020 as one of 27 People Bridging Divides Across America.  Adams, Dauphin, Franklin, and York counties are slated for involvement in the initiative. 

Bubman has been involved with community organizing efforts in Franklin County since 2018. The organizing teams include Adams County coordinators Kierstan Belle and Chad Collie, Dauphin County coordinator Logan Grubb, Franklin County coordinator Michele Jansen, and York County coordinator Erec Smith. 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships under its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention mission, each county will have $10,000 in program funds to support their efforts, drawn from a two-year project budget of $770,000, according to Bubman. 

The DHS program “works to help prevent incidents of domestic violent extremism, as well as to bolster efforts to counter online radicalization and mobilization to violence,” according to URA’s website.

The grassroots effort “brings together Americans across divides to tackle our country’s most urgent challenges, one of which is targeted violence,” Bubman said. 

“Our goal here in Pennsylvania is to form ideologically, racially, generationally, and geographically diverse cohorts that we bring together repeatedly over many months to build relationships, strengthen collaboration skills, explore different views on issues, and work together to address urgent challenges,” Bubman explained.

Each of the participating counties will have 7-member volunteer teams facilitated by their respective county coordinators. 

Bubman said the group organized the local anti-violence project “because targeted violence is a critical problem that faces our country, and it’s getting worse.” 

Pennsylvania’s effort is one of many URA sponsored activities, each project reflecting what local organizers define as important.

“For example, we’ve focused on public health in New Mexico, and consensus-building for incarceration reduction in other states,” Bubman said.

“We think that there are many interrelated social, economic, and political dynamics that contribute to violent actions against others. We will help the Uniters analyze those causes in a systematic way as part of this program, and then help them design projects with their community partner to address those causes,” Bubman continued.

In response to the question: What about the issue of targeted violence interests you? one applicant wrote: “My sister is a member of the LGBTQ community and has been the victim of physical violence and intimidation because of her sexuality. Her experiences have helped form my sense of social justice and the need for communities that support each other. I have always believed that we achieve more when we raise each other up than when we tear each down. A simplistic view, I know, and certainly not profound, but there is truth in it. History is full of tragedies created by the act of ‘othering’ marginalized groups in attempts to gain power and control.”

There comes a point when that narrative has to change, and it’s this type of work that brings that change. Targeted violence against others “degrades our society” Bubman said.

Although it’s not involved in the project, Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition recently received a $25,000 grant from Pennsylvania’s Security Fund Grant Program to pay for improvements to“the safety and security of our current housing locations and our health clinic opening in early 2023,” according to Karen Foley, the coalition’s executive director.

“We live in a time of increased targeted violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and families, as well as focused attacks on our basic rights,” Foley said in recent newsletter, noting that “concern for the safety of our staff and volunteers has slowed our progress with initiatives and programming.”

One aspect of the region’s project will involve training in media literacy and how to critically evaluate media reports is part of the effort. 

“Being able to separate out data-based claims from what someone may, for example, think and feel about groups against whom violence may be targeted is part of our training,” Bubman told the Capital-Star. But getting involved is not all policy wonk games. “We change it up with chocolate truffle tasting,” he said chuckling.

Bubman concluded by observing that although homicides in the U.S. go up and down, “there’s been an uptick in targeted violence, a steady incline in the country.” 

By focusing on a specific set of risk factors that lead people to target people because of their group identity, Bubman said,” We can make more progress using volunteers.” 

This article by Frank Pizzoli originally appeared in the Pennsylvania Capital Star and has been syndicated with permission.

Celebrate the Holigays With Us, and Get Your Vax as a Plus!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

December 16, 2022

Holidays are complex for the LGBTQ+ community. To address the need for community around the holidays, AND offset the increased risk of gaythering, we are partnering with Union Community Care on two COVID booster/flu Vaccination clinics placed intentionally before the Winter holidays before New Years Eve celebrations!

Nurse Practitioner Erica Lehman will be donating her time to run the clinic and Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition will use grant funding from Union Community Care to host “Holigay” parties with performances and DJs.

Clinics will be held on the next two upcoming Wednesdays; December 21 and December 28, from 5PM to 8PM at the Loop, 117 E Chestnut Street, Lancaster PA 17602.

To sign up, please call Union Community Care at (717) 299-6371

“As a trauma therapist I am increasingly concerned about the constant confusion and quite frankly, the insanity of our current culture.

Rules around keeping people safe from COVID or the variants flying around are arbitrary at best and definitely not rooted in protecting vulnerable, marginalized communities.

We want to find ways to be proactive and protect our community members while tending to our other great need: community support.”

K. Foley (she/they), Executive Director

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Receives $25k Safety & Security Grant from the State of Pennsylvania

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

December 16, 2022

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition is extremely thankful to the State of Pennsylvania’s PCCD’s Nonprofit Security Fund Grant Program for awarding us a $25,000 grant to improve the safety and security of The Loop, our HEART Program housing locations, and our LGBTQ+ Health Clinic opening in early 2023.

We are a grassroots organization that works to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ people in Lancaster County. We do this by providing education, advocacy, and support to our community and to local businesses and organizations looking to make a positive impact.

“We live in a time of increased targeted violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and families, as well as focused attacks on our basic rights. Our headquarters is located in the heart of Lancaster City. The concern for the safety of our staff and volunteers has slowed our progress with initiatives and programming, but this grant will give us the ability to swiftly implement a person-centered security model that is rooted in working to ensure that all intersections of our community feel welcomed and protected.

We commit to making choices that shift how security is often used in a way that can feel threatening to targeted communities. The biggest failure in that approach is that it is often used to intimidate and justify discrimination.

We will use innovative methods that continue to involve input from our community. And just like equity is a process and not a destination, we will continue to reevaluate our security protocols so that they are not only protective, but inclusive and welcoming to all.”

K. Foley (she/they), Executive Director

Dr. Adam Lake on World AIDS Day, and HIV/AIDS Stigma

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

December 7, 2022

In talking with others I often get the sense that many people think of HIV and AIDS as something in the past. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, we have more people living with HIV than ever before, in large part thanks to effective medications, which have become more tolerable, and easier to take than ever before.

We also now have medications that can prevent HIV, which can certainly put minds at ease for people who might be at risk of HIV. World Aids Day is also a time when we remember people who have died from HIV and AIDS. Because of the deep stigma surrounding this disease, sometimes even family members don’t know the people that they love are living with it, or have died from it. In a time when HIV is both so easily treatable and preventable, one of the main barriers is stigma.

So if you’re reading this, the one thing that I want you to do is think about what comes to mind if you imagine somebody love being diagnosed with HIV. Do you want to know where they got it from? What did they do? Do you worry about being close to them again?

Just like any disease, we should be rallying to support those who live with this. As soon as we associate a disease with immorality, we heap stigma on top of stigma. This is no good for anyone. HIV thrives in the dark.

So this World Aids Day, I ask that you be a light in the dark, and leave no place where HIV can hide.

Scholarship for Students Living with HIV/AIDS

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

December 7, 2022

The HIV League Scholarship is the only national scholarship for students living with HIV. We’re so excited to boost the news that they have just announced that they are accepting applications for the 2023 round of scholarship applications until January 31st at 11:59PM Eastern Time.

The criteria to apply for this ninth round of scholarship funding are as follows:

  • You are living with HIV/AIDS
  • You will be enrolled in an institution of higher education as a full-time or part-time student for at least one year beginning with the Fall 2023 semester
  • You are going to an institution of higher education in the United States or a United States territory. American citizenship is not a requirement

We only have one type of scholarship this year, and it is listed below:

  • 1 year $3,500 scholarship for full-time and part-time students

Please find all of the materials you will need to apply at www.hivleague.orgwww.hivleague.org/scholarship, or at the application link HERE

If you have any questions, please call the HIV League at 828-467-4025.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition to Participate in the 2022 Extra Give

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

November 15, 2022

Give Extra to Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, November 18 2022

Give Extra to Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition on November 18th

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition will participate in the 2022 Extra Give on Friday, November 18th! Make sure to Give Extra to Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition throughout the day to help support our continued efforts to create a truly equitable Lancaster County, and to develop The Loop; our new hub for safety and community in Downtown Lancaster.

We’re planning to celebrate four years of Extra Give participation with an event-packed day full of celebration and opportunities to see the impact of your donations. Here’s what we’re planning throughout the day:

7-9AM: Morning Rush Hour at Square One
Start off the morning right with coffee, snacks, and even a selection of beans at Square One Coffee Co. 10% of proceeds will go to Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

9AM-2PM: Information & Swag Table at Clipper Stadium
Hang out with our very own Program Coordinator Glitch SteelHeart and learn about the Coalition’s services, programming, and training opportunities for individuals, organizations, and more! Score some swag while you’re there to represent our local Queer community!

6-11PM: Extra Give Gaming Livestream on Our YouTube Channel
Join us online starting at 6PM for hours of Queer gaming fun with several different hosts! We’ll start off with classic and modern PC, PSX, and PS2 games until 8PM, then power on our imaginations for a live tabletop gaming experience from our LGBT RPG group! Keep an eye out for the possibility of special prizes and shout-outs on stream!

7-11PM: Community Celebration & Raffle at The Loop
RSVP now to celebrate another year of progress and giving in our community party at The Loop! Enjoy live music from DJ GiGi, and stick around ’til the end of the night to join in on a raffle ticket fundraiser for a unique piece of artwork by Lancaster artist Jeff Sibbett!

We’re so excited to see you there, and to thank you for everything you’ve helped to make possible. Make sure to Give Extra to Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition on November 18th to support community, authenticity, and love!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Marks Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR)

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

November 14, 2022

Every year on or around the 20th of November trans people worldwide gather for Transgender Day of Remembrance to remember those we have lost to violence in the past year.

Year over year, the average number of trans deaths is on the rise. Since October 2021, at least 315 trans individuals have died due to murder or suicide. This figure does not include closeted individuals, those whose trans identity was erased in their obituaries, and many more who we must honor and remember.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition will host a digital installation piece honoring the names, identities, and histories of trans community members we’ve lost, which will be installed in our courtyard at The Loop; 117 E Chestnut Street. Join us on November 20th to ensure that those we have lost will not be forgotten.

Funny That Way Viewing & Panel

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

November 10, 2022

Join us for a viewing and panel discussing Julia Scotti: Funny That Way at 6 PM on Wednesday, November 16 at the Ware Center!

With breathtaking emotional honesty, this tender, funny, and powerful portrait of transgender comedian Julia Scotti explores the unrelenting courage and humor it takes to be Julia. This film tracks Julia’s triumphant journey as comedy becomes the shared language of identity, healing, and joy.

From 6:15 to 6:50, join us for a community panel discussion of the film, followed by a screening at 7 PM. Stick around after the screening for a LIVE Post-Show Q&A with filmmaker Susan Sandler and Julia Scotti herself via Zoom! Panelists include:

  • Joanne M. Carroll (she/her/hers), Executive Director, Trans Advocacy PA; Co-Chair, Keystone Conference; Commissioner, PA Commission on LGBT%Q Affairs and Member of Penn Central Conference of the UCC, Open and Affirming Ministry Team
  • Rachel “Glitch” SteelHeart (she/they), Program Director here at Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition
  • Dr. Blaise Liffick, Director of Operations, Silent Witness
  • J Whitlow (he/him), Director of Campus Life, Millersville University

Reserve your FREE ticket by phone at 717-871-7600 or online at artsmu.com, or pick one up at the door one hour before showtime!

SLAY Event October 28th [Cancelled]

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

October 17, 2022

The Monsters are Coming Out of the Closet

Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel this event. Stay tuned for future announcements! Tickets are now available to join Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition in our celebration of Queer identity, found family, our upcoming fourth anniversary, and the spooky season at our SLAY event at the Imperial Terrace on Friday, October 28th! Doors open at 7 PM

They say Halloween is Queer Christmas, and we’re ready to celebrate! Support the Coalition and celebrate our THIRD ANNIVERSARY and FIRST EVER Halloween fundraiser bash: SLAY!!

Dine on a spread to die for on the Imperial Terrace, sip on signature spirits, pose in your freak it dress for Michelle Johnsen Photography, and slay the dance floor with DJ GIGI!

We’re featuring surprise guests, spooky prizes, and swag for days, darling.
ALL are welcome :jack_o_lantern: Gaybies and minors must be accompanied by a guardian

Tickets are available for purchase here.

In order to protect our vulnerable immunocompromised population, masking is highly recommended for this in-person event. Attendees must be vaccinated against Covid-19.