“While Pride month is a time of celebration for so many, we know there is a long way to go. ”
Washington, DC, June 24, 2021 —This month, we at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing the nations nearly 3,000 local health departments, celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride, honor LGBTQ+ history and the efforts of LGBTQ+ leaders who pushed for equality at their own personal risk. We also want to recognize today’s generation of LGBTQ+ leaders and advocates working to eliminate all discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, including the many local health officials and staff who are dedicated to this work.
While Pride month is a time of celebration for so many, we know there is a long way to go. LGBTQ+ persons still report facing discrimination in areas including housing and employment. Transgender individuals in particular face a growing number of state laws that prevent them from leading their daily lives as other individuals. Moreover, FBI data show an alarming growth in violence against LGBTQ+ persons including continuing deadly assaults against transgender persons, particularly transgender persons of color. Discrimination and threats of violence lead to the significant health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ persons.
As public health professionals, we know we must continue to work to address these barriers and inequities. Based on social justice principles, NACCHO encourages local health departments to act on the injustices at the root of health inequities impacting LGBTQ+ individuals, families, and communities and honor diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. This work includes promoting the rights and health of LGBTQ+ communities through policies and practices that protect against discrimination and by offering culturally competent health services.
Additional ways local health departments can take action include:
- Educating other local government agencies, community-based organizations, healthcare providers, schools, and other stakeholders about health inequities and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ individuals, families, and communities and support them in developing and implementing strategies to ensure programs and services are LGBTQ+ affirming.
- Developing and implementing programs at the local level designed specifically to address inequities in health status among LGBTQ+ individuals, families, and communities.
- Advocating for policies and ordinances at federal, state, and local levels that are inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression and prohibit all discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
For more information, see NACCHO’s LGBTQ+ Health Policy Statement here.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.