CTLN Opinion+: Leah Juliett

Community engagement manager at Triangle Community Center discusses social injustice issues LGBTQ+ community face

Welcome to this week’s episode of CTLN Opinion+ where we talk about issues the Latinx and underrepresented communities face in Connecticut. We spoke with Leah Juliett, community engagement manager at Triangle Community Center about the issues the LGBTQ+ community face and the impact of the pandemic and social injustice have had on their community.

Due to the pandemic causing everyone to work virtually it has been a catalyst to cyberbullying, tech abuse, and job abuse. “It is more important now than ever to build security systems through legislation and social programs to protect the LBGTQ+ community,” stated Juliett in explaining the impacts of the pandemic on social media. Social media has allowed people to be more interconnected with one another and has allowed people with malicious intents to oppress others due to their background.

Domestic violence, food insecurity, and sexual assault cases have been exacerbated during this unique time. Mental health has never been more important and the impact of politics and of past administrations on their influence on marginalized communities has created a bigger fear factor for these groups. Fear is not freedom as it unnecessarily divides our communities.  

More people are spending more time online which promotes more malicious activities on dating apps and abuse. Our allies’ job is to stand up and use their voices to speak up for their LGBTQ+ allies. “The foundational issue is that people outside of the LGBTQ+ community believe that LGBTQ+ inequality and inequity was cured with the Obergefell vs Hodges court case legalizing same-sex marriage. This simply isn’t true. The most vulnerable people are transgender people as trans people face substantial social injustices. It is up to our allies to recognize these issues. It doesn’t matter if you can get married if you don’t feel safe in your community,” stated Juliett. The legalization of same-sex marriage did not fix the issue of misrepresentation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the professional world as many companies have a misrepresentation of LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Pride month isn’t just about recognizing the LGBTQ+ community, but also about raising awareness on issues and fighting against inequities. TCC provides counseling, emergency food services, and gender care services to anyone that requires them. We have to go beyond the Pride parades as that does not best serve the people within our communities. Those who can not attend Pride parades or events are mostly due to low socioeconomic status, insecure housing and employment, and fear of domestic violence. Lack of community can contribute to a lack of belongingness which can contribute to mental health issues. That is why TCC focuses on belongingness with the events they create as they serve everyone! The issues all companies face are the lack of inclusion. It is one thing to get more minorities in the pipeline and it is another thing to have minorities feel like they belong and that their voice matters. 

The Latinx community has a big presence in the LGBTQ+ community. A resource called the Latino Equality Alliance promotes educational awareness on the intersection between the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities. TCC tries to focus on intersectionality with the LGBTQ+ community and any community in Connecticut. The training institute of Fairfield County is a resource TCC uses to educate the importance of the LGBTQ+ in all realms of society. These resources help dismantle stereotypes held by other people and promote the safety of all identities. TCC strives to go far beyond the boundaries of Fairfield County and Connecticut. 

The most important thing that we can all do is to listen, hear, and understand people who are different from us and uplift the voices of the underrepresented. If we don’t amplify the voices of those that are marginalized then they will continue to be enslaved in fear and no voices are free if all voices aren’t free! 

Resources mentioned in the video and shared from the guest: 

Triangle Community Center empowers and advocates for LGBTQ+  people in Fairfield County and Connecticut at large through programming focused on health, community and learning.

TCC Service Line: https://www.ctpridecenter.org/tcc_serviceline

Latino Equality Alliance: http://www.latinoequalityalliance.org/

Young Adults Space: https://www.ctpridecenter.org/yas

Counseling: https://www.ctpridecenter.org/counseling

New Haven Pride Center provides educational, cultural, and social enrichment for the LGBTQ+ community, its allies, and members, to make a positive contribution to the entire community of Greater New Haven.

Circle Care Center is Fairfield County’s home for LGBTQ-inclusive medical care and sexual health.

GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

GLAAD Spanish-Language and Latinx Media work to advance meaningful representation of LGBTQ Latinx people. They offer resources for media professionals working in any medium, from newspapers and magazines to websites, movies, games, and other forms of media.

National Center for Transgender Equality advocates changing policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York  provides quality, compassionate care from an informed consent model for transgender patients. Planned Parenthood is committed to improving the way transgender people receive health care in the Greater New York region and proudly works together with the transgender community to lead the way in eliminating barriers to care.

Latino Equality Alliance advocates for equity, safety, and wellness for the Latinx Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + community. LEA is located at Mi Centro LGBTQ Community Center in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. 

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Trans LifeLine is a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.

Tyler Clementi Foundation fights to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.

Trans Housing Coalition (THC) is a Trans-led and founded organization that began as a photography and grassroots crowdfunding project (The Homeless Black Trans Women Fund) aimed at getting chronically homeless Black Trans women off the streets.

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