What LGBT issue do you feel is underreported and/or underemphasized in public awareness?
SFGN’s “Speak OUT” is a weekly feature giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT leaders.
Below are some of their answers:
A national study found that 17 percent of youth aging out of foster care identify as LGBTQ and approximately 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Family rejection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was the most frequently cited factor contributing to LGBT homelessness. The next most frequently cited reason for LGBT youth homelessness was youth being forced out of their family homes as a result of coming out as LGBT. It’s estimated that South Florida’s statistics are even greater.
— Anthony Timiraos, CEO/President, OUR Fund
Gay and Lesbian people are barely represented in government. This means that our issues and protections are relegated to the whim of those not affected by the laws they make. One of the foundations of our country is "no taxation without representation," therefore, we should be represented.
— Meredith L Ockman, SE Regional Director of NOW; VP Florida NWPC & President of S. Fla Women's Health Foundation
The primary emphases in recent years have been on marriage equality, trans visibility/rights, and pushing for corporate and governmental equal protections. In the 1970s-1990s, massive amounts of activism was fueled via cultural avenues, especially for lesbians - music festivals, recordings, film projects, bookstores, publications, radio shows, GLAAD media monitoring, choirs and choruses, etc. I would like to see a rediscovery/revival of - and a re-emphasis on - the countless ways cultural activism changes the course of LGBT history while enriching our lives.
— Toni Armstrong, Founder/Director of BLAST Women of WPB
With all the successes the LGBT movement has achieved we must keep the conversation going on other important issues. Right here in S. Florida there are many who don't have a roof over their head and food in their belly — in particular our youth and transgender adults.
— Robin Schwartz, Executive Director of Aqua Foundation for Women
With advocacy and awareness on the rise for many of the issues that have burdened the LGBT community for quite some time. HIV rates are still on the rise yearly for sexually active gay men. An issue that goes underreported would definitely be alternate forms of safe sex or prevention. The reality of the LGBT community is that many aren't being 100 percent safe every single time. Risk analysis is a personal choice, however introducing education in the alternate forms of staying safe would drastically lower the spread of HIV, if followed properly.
— A.J. Alegria, President of Impulse Group — Fort Lauderdale