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.

Trans Youth Wellness Study Needs Participants!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

July 19, 2022

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evidence for Action Program has funded an international study to understand the experiences and needs of transgender and gender diverse young people in the United States as compared to the Netherlands.

This study is a partnership between Children’s National Hospital (Washington, D.C.), VU University (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and US and Dutch experts in trans health and equity.

The study is open to transgender and gender diverse youth who are 11-16 years old. The study is conducted fully online and takes a total of about 3 hours to complete, split across 3 shorter sessions.

Families are compensated $200 for their time.

The questions included in the study focus on strengths, areas of challenge, and hopes for the future. The ultimate goal of this work is to inform improved care for youth in the United States, including greater access to the supports youth may need.

To learn more, please contact the US research coordinator, Abby Fischbach afischbach@childrensnational.org

Can’t Cancel Pride 2022

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

June 14, 2022

Can't Cancel Pride 2022

iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride 2022 – Proud AND Together. A fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ community celebrating visibility and inclusivity for all.

P&G and iHeartMedia join forces again for the return of Can’t Cancel Pride 2022 – Proud AND Together, the third annual fundraising event bringing together the most influential voices in the LGBTQ+ community as well as the biggest names in culture and entertainment. The event is hosted by JoJo Siwa and will focus on the challenges and celebrations of “The Year in Pride,” showcasing twelve months of community and activism and the issues that continue to impact the LGBTQ+ community in 2022, as well as intersectional messages of spirit and strength.

Tune in today for performances by Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Anitta Dove Cameron, Kim Petras, Betty Who, and more

LGBTQ+ Birthing & Affirming Doula Conversations

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

June 8, 2022

Join us at the Loop on Sunday, June 12 from 6-7PM for an affirming, non-gendered conversation about birthing and doula services free from binary language. This event is geared toward the unique pregnancy experiences of LGBTQ+ birthing people, and will be led by Rae Johnson-Bundy & Madhumitha Rajakittu Pudupatti.

Masks are required for the in-person event. Can’t join in person? Feel free to attend our digital simulcast!

Rae Johnson-Bundy, certified Doula Trainer and Mentor, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, Evidenced Based Birth Instructor and a Certified Birth Doula (CD) DONA at Doula Right Thing. As a Birth and Postpartum Doula Trainer for National Black Doula Associates (NBDA), Black Childbirth Educator and Doula she supports and brings awareness to the much needed maternal health care People of Color are facing today.

Madhumitha Rajakittu Pudupatti, National Black Doula Associates (NBDA), Certified Birth Doula at Guiding Hand Doula. As a Woman of Color, immigrant navigating in a different culture, birth professional, and mother herself, she has experienced and witnessed situations not completely respectful to the birthing person. She strives to support birthing people from the experience of a Person of Color, and through her program strives to reach Communities of Color, bring awareness to Maternal Health, and represent POC during pregnancy and bring in the respect they deserve for their values, beliefs, and choices.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Unveils The Loop

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

June 7, 2022

The Loop, Central Pennsylvania's first nonprofit hub

On June 5th, 2022 Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition launched The Loop: Central Pennsylvania’s first nonprofit community hub. Along with the Coalition’s LGBTQ+ center, this space will house multiple other nonprofit agencies led by or serving BIPOC communities including:

  • Patients R Waiting
  • Common Wheel
  • NAACP 
  • Raiz 
  • Latino Empowerment Project
  • Union Community Care
    • Our 1-3 year plan includes a free health clinic focused on LGBTQ+ proficiency, spearheaded by Lancaster LGBTQ+ Health Consortium. 

This space will represent a true powerhouse of individuals and leading nonprofits working with vulnerable populations coalescing to create meaningful progress towards an equitable Lancaster County.

The Loop will represent a fully affirming location where all intersections of our community will be served among the growing services of the Coalition. This will include youth programming, a transgender and nonbinary support group, library and community connection space, case management services, legal support, educational opportunities, and a low-cost health clinic. 

HEART (Homelessness Emergency Assistance Response Team)

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition’s HEART Program is a subsidized communal housing model that provides a supporting home, resources, case management, and skills training so that vulnerable LGBTQ+ community members can truly thrive.

A primary focus and cornerstone of services is HEART’s SEED (Social Emotional Enrichment Development) Program, ensuring that individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless can receive culturally competent case management and referral services. This program was developed to serve the residents of our HEART Program. 

Queer Health Advocacy Alliance

We will be working along with Dr. Lake from Comprehensive Health, Penn Medicine and Dr. Sharee Livingston, representing UPMC & Patients R Waiting to identify and connect LGBTQ+ proficient healthcare providers, while conducting and influencing research for Central Pennsylvania and all intersections of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Even more important as we know: 

  • In 2019, 56% of LGBTQ+ individuals reported facing discrimination in healthcare settings
  • In 2020 this number increased to 61%

Stage Q

Among our many enrichment and educational offerings, The Loop presents Stage Q; a welcoming space for emerging artists to share their talents. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to make this dream a reality with your support. This kind of collective effort from established entities and community stakeholders emboldens our mission toward true equity in action. This is a monumental step towards creating a Lancaster County where we all live full, courageous, and authentic lives. Thank you for your help in making history! 

Participate in the Global Pride Study!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

May 30, 2022

Participate in the Global Pride Study today!

The University of Washington’s Goldsen Institute is seeking LGBTQ+ individuals age 18+ to participate in their Global Pride Study, Global Health, Sexuality and Gender: Longevity Across Generations!

This project is a collaboration of more than 40 scholars from across the globe and is designed to address health and well-being holistically in adult sexual and gender minority populations and to develop the knowledge base needed to guide future international research, practice, and policies for promoting health equity for these communities and populations around the globe.

10 randomly selected individuals who complete the survey and a participation form to enter the drawing will be awarded a gift box of United States Pacific Northwest favorites.

For more information, the study facilitators can be reached at: GlobalPride@uw.edu.

Apply Today for a PA Pride Community Grant!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

May 26, 2022

Apply Today for a PA Pride Community Grant, Provided by the PA Tourism Office

After two weeks of collaboration with the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, we’re excited to share an opportunity for local organizations to apply for a PA Pride Community Grant!

These grants, provided by the PA Tourism Office and administered in partnership with Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, are to provide funding to uplift LGBTQ+ Pride festivals and events across the Commonwealth.

Any organization presenting an event from May 1 to Sept. 1, 2022 are eligible. Applications must be returned by June 3, so apply today!

Many thanks to the PA Tourism Office for their partnership with the Coalition and their previous partnership with Voices Underground who administered their Juneteenth grants. The Office is beautifully aligned with the Coalition’s mission and we’re thrilled to be a partner in this initiative.

The Time for Equality is Now

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

January 12, 2022

Discrimination is still commonplace for LGBTQ+ Americans. Opponents of LGBTQ+ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in states across the country in an attempt to undermine existing protections in adoption, marriage and access to basic public services and businesses. Full federal nondiscrimination protections like the ones outlined in the Equality Act would ensure that all LGBTQ+ Americans can live, work, and access public spaces free from discrimination, no matter what state they call home. 

The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute recently found that national support for the Equality Act is around 83 percent. This is the strongest level of support the bill has ever seen.  We must tell lawmakers that now is the time to pass this legislation. 

Take action today by contacting your senators by email or phone and telling them to pass federal nondiscrimination protections.  It’s so easy – just a few clicks will get it done. 

Get started now.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Opening New HEART House

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

January 11, 2022

We are beyond thrilled and honored to announce that with the amazing help of our community, we are reopening our LGBTQ+ affirming HEART (Homelessness Emergency Assistance & Response Team) house in the next few weeks!

HEART will house five LGBTQ residents struggling with homelessness, housing insecurity, and non-affirming situations, and provide them with programming, job assistance, and loving support. The Coalition will also work with community partners to offer enrichment training, such as budgeting, health resources, and other life skills.

HEART also offers a warm-handoff service to housing and medical services to provide emotional support for program participants. To further ensure resource providers are capable of providing culturally competent services, we provide cultural competency training to community stakeholders and potential partners around serving the LGBTQ+ population.

Now that we have hired a Director of Programming to manage the program and volunteers, HEART will expand to work with persons experiencing homelessness on the streets to help them access safe and inclusive housing, and mitigate their vulnerability to COVID-19 by providing PPE, hand sanitizer and resources.

At this time, we are unable to offer emergency crisis shelter. Applicants must have some form of income and have the ability to manage their general needs and safety. If you are in need of immediate shelter call crisis intervention at (717) 394-2631 or 211.

Apply for Residence »
Information for sponsors »

About the HEART Program:
There is a housing crisis in Lancaster County and extremely limited LGBTQ+ affirming housing. Over 70% of our Pandemic Relief Emergency Fund recipients reported housing and rental assistance as their primary need. Currently there are no fully affirming shelters in Lancaster County and bed availability is scarce.

On February 1, 2021, the HEART Program opened its 6-month pilot low-cost housing location, offering individuals sheltering in unaffirming environments a chance to live in a supportive home. The Coalition helps subsidize rent according to each person’s individual needs and works with community partners to offer enrichment training, such as budgeting, health resources, and other life skills.

New HEART House Needs Supplies!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

December 21, 2021

We are beyond thrilled and honored to announce that with the amazing help of our community, we are reopening HEART house in the next few weeks!

HEART will house five LGBTQ residents struggling with homelessness, housing insecurity, and non-affirming situations, and provide them with programming, job assistance, and loving support.

We are looking for the following items to get everything ready – please reach out to lmurdock@lgbtlancaster.org if you want to help! Thank you!

  • Pots and pans
  • Mixing and measuring bowls, measuring spoons
  • Silverware
  • Kitchen towels (the gayer the better!)
  • Cups
  • Tupperware
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glad bags
  • Cling wrap
  • Ice trays
  • 5 twin beds and frames
  • Extra sheets, blankets, comforters for twin beds
  • Towels
  • Small dressers
  • Bedside tables and lamps
  • Closet hangers
  • Pillows
  • Shower caddies
  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste
  • First aid supplies, including basic OTC meds (Tylenol, hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, tums, etc.)
  • A small couch (and we mean small – it’s a very narrow entryway!)
  • Small TV and TV stand
  • Small bookshelves
  • Curtains
  • Super gay wall art
  • Laundry detergent
  • Soap, shampoo
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Basic kitchen staples
  • Board games
  • Craft supplies
  • Pens
  • Notebooks for groups
  • Any little touches to make it a home!

Steps LGBTQ+ Workers Can Take if They’re Experiencing Discrimination in the Workplace

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

October 29, 2021

Workplace harassment

State and federal legislation prohibits any form of workplace discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual identity or sexual preference. If you identify as LGBTQ+, and have experienced any form of discrimination or harassment against you because of your status as a LGBTQ+ individual at work then you have the right to file a complaint with a state or federal anti discrimination body. Your employer cannot retaliate against you if you decide to take your complaint to a government anti discrimination agency for investigation or file a lawsuit against your employer.

You may have your complaint resolved or receive financial compensation if your complaint of a breach of anti discrimination legislation is upheld.

How LGBTQ+ Workers Face Discrimination in the Workplace

LGBTQ+ employees may face various forms of discrimination or harassment while at work. The acts against them may be from a co-worker, a supervisor, manager or the employer. Harassment because of one’s sexual or gender identity is commonplace and may be in the form of taunts, insults, physical or sexual threats or assault. Intimidation may be verbal, or in the form of written comments made through a social media forum, by text messaging, email, notes or letters.

Direct or indirect acts of discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ workers may include any one or a combination of the following:

Steps When Filing a Claim for Discrimination as a LGBTQ+ Employee

Before taking any action after experiencing discrimination or harassment, ensure you have proof, preferably documentary proof, or an audio recording of comments, insults, phone calls etc. Keep a note of dates, times, what happened, who was involved, whether there were credible witnesses, etc.

If you feel able to do so, file a letter of complaint with your supervisor, HR department or employer depending on your workplace, explaining what you have experienced. Keep a copy of correspondence and any response you obtain.

If your employer does not respond or fails to resolve your complaint, the next step is to file a complaint with either your state anti discrimination agency or department such as a Human Rights Commission, or the federal equivalent, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate complaints of discrimination within workplaces of 15 or more employees. The state of Pennsylvania with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission will also cooperate with the EEOC on a work-share arrangement.

These agencies have a time limit within which you need to file your complaint, which could be 180 to 365 days from the date of the act of discrimination.

If investigators cannot resolve your complaint, then you will normally be given permission to take further legal action of your own. This means filing a lawsuit against your employer based on a breach of anti discrimination laws, such as the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Compensation Possible if a LGBTQ+ Discrimination Claim is Upheld

You may receive financial compensation if your discrimination claim is upheld. You may also have your job reinstated or discrimination reversed. Penalties against your employer in the form of fines or even more serious charges (i.e. if there was a crime involved) may be imposed by the court.

Back pay could be paid out, as well as compensation for emotional or psychological distress caused by the acts of discrimination against you. In more serious cases where you have been the victim of particularly malicious behavior or acts, you may be awarded punitive damages.

Resources Via

  • https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964
  • https://employmentlawhelp.org/wrongful-termination/turned-down-sexual-orientation
  • https://employmentlawhelp.org/wrongful-termination/sexual-orientation
  • https://www.phrc.pa.gov/File-a-Compliant/Pages/How-to-File-a-Complaint.aspx

This post was contributed by Employment Law Help