Gendernexus — “Survey reveals gaps in services available to Indianapolis’ LGBTQ+community”

Aaron Cantrell, Fox 59, June 17, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — A new report is highlighting the gaps in services available to the LGBTQ+ community in central Indiana.

It looks at everything from issues with healthcare to discrimination in the workplace.

“These results are heartbreaking and demand action,” said GenderNexus Executive Director Julie Walsh.

“People in our community struggle the most with healthcare and mental healthcare,” said Damien Center Chief Donor Relations Officer Stephen McCoy.

The needs assessment survey was developed with input from Damien Center and IYG, along with Indy PrideGenderNexusIndy Rainbow Chamber, the IUPUI LGBTQ+ Center and OutCare Health.

Each organization distributed the survey throughout their respective networks in February and March, resulting in 682 responses from LGBTQ+ community members.

Out of the 682 individuals who participated in the survey, nearly a third rated their overall healthcare as fair or poor.

For those identifying as transgender, half of them felt the same way.

“Half of folks who are reporting in this community have acted on thoughts of suicide, and that’s nine times the national rate,” Walsh explained.

The survey also revealed 38% don’t even feel safe being out at work and only 28% believe the work culture in central Indiana is LGBTQ+ friendly.

“A lot of people in the Cis, straight community think that being LGBTQ is easier now because marriage is legal for same sex couples and this supreme court ruling about employment, but it’s still tough to be LGBTQ in Indiana,” Indiana Youth Group CEO Chris Paulsen said.

Also, many reported struggles with homelessness and 44% reported being harassed or attacked in the last year, mostly in Marion County.

These organizations think the first step to addressing the problem is to build a LGBTQ+ community center.

“It would reduce the disproportionate impacts and the additional intersections of identity, including the racial inequities, ageism for both young and senior population, disability and some of the gender bias that were seeing on low income levels, and the mental/physical health conditions people deal with,” Walsh said.

91% of those surveyed agree.

“We are just like anyone else trying to get by and get along within our uniqueness just to be who we are,” Walsh said.

These organizations are planning a second phase of this survey to see how much of an impact COVID-19 has made on the community.

To read the full survey, click here.

Categories: Action

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