If you’re planning on attending Zenkaikon, Lancaster’s premiere anime/sci-fi convention, be sure to stop by the Coalition’s table! We’ll be hanging out with cool cosplayers at the LGBTQ+ Couples and Ships cosplay meet in the Independence Room from 1-2:30, so swing by for some swag and pics!
Join us Saturday, May 13, 2023 at the Imperial Blue Ballroom and Imperial Terrace for a celebration of Queer identity and community, and how far we’ve come as a collective force in Lancaster!
This year’s theme is STARDUST RHAPSODY. Come dressed in your galactic best! Calling all dashing space rogues and laser sword lesbians; this year’s outfit concept/motif is GLAM GALACTIC! Keep an eye on our Insta for outfit and theme inspiration leading up to the event! Michelle Johnsen will be on-site assisting with photography all night long. Our featured DJ will be MAJOR VIBES.
Awards Ceremony ticket holders will join our Galactic MC Chi Chi Mizrahi at 6PM on a journey through the stars, honoring changemakers in the Lancaster community. At 7PM, dinner will be provided (and we will reach out to ticket holders to receive your meal choice). We’ll open the evening with an awards ceremony honoring local community trailblazers, then feast and sip on the night’s signature cocktail; DIMENSIONAL SPACE DISTURBANCE. Explore new nebulas at our dance party, where we’ll inspire the future of Queer community and found family! After 10:30PM, everyone’s invited to our cosmic jamboree in The Imperial restaurant, featuring a live mix by DJ Stygian!
Masks are highly recommended for this in-person event.
PHOTOSENSITIVITY NOTICE: While the awards ceremony will not feature flashing lights, the dance party may include flashing lights. If you have photosensitive conditions, please keep this in mind.
COVID-19 POLICY: Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition values every life in our community and desires to continue to protect the lives of those who are immune-compromised or otherwise at high risk for COVID-19.
- We are asking all attendees to show proof of vaccination or negative Covid test from within 72 hours before the event
- Please wear masks indoors unless you are actively eating or drinking
We look forward to seeing and celebrating with you!
Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition will celebrate Queer identity, found family, and the progress we’ve made at our 2nd GAYLA at the Holiday Inn Lancaster on the evening of Saturday, May 13th.
Our theme this year is STARDUST RHAPSODY. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their celestial best starting at 6:00 pm. Michelle Johnsen will be on-site assisting with photography, MAJOR VIBES will provide the tunes, and an exclusive signature cocktail and mocktail will be available all night long. Awards ceremony ticket holders will join our Galactic MC Chi Chi Lazaro once again as we honor changemakers in the Lancaster community.
At 10:30 pm, everyone is invited to our cosmic jamboree at The Imperial!
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for this in-person event. Masks are highly encouraged, especially ones that are on-theme!
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.
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 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
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.
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
If you have any questions, please call the HIV League at 828-467-4025.
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!
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.