LGBT Life Center is joining Mentally Healthy Norfolk month by hosting a forum to discuss the unique pressures LGBT individuals face – from President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender military members to workplace discrimination and more.
“In Virginia, it is legal to fire someone, deny them housing and deny them public accommodation because of their gender expression or sexual orientation. And recently, the transgender military community in Hampton Roads, and all transgender military personnel, were put on notice that the Trump administration will no longer allow them to serve their country, despite the fact that an estimated 15,000 transgender troops have been serving for years. LGB and transgender individuals live with these fears every day because federal protections don’t exist,” explained LGBT Life Center CEO Stacie Walls-Beegle.
The LGBT Life Center’s forum is open to the public and will take place at LGBT Life Center at 248 W. 24th st. from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will feature Dr. Frank Kirchner, a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and yoga teacher, Angela P. Callahan, counselor and owner of Serenity Counseling in Portsmouth, VA, and Rev. Ronald White, an openly gay multi-vocational Bishop at the Acceptance Worship Center of Hampton Roads.
As a part of Mentally Healthy Norfolk Month, which spans throughout the month of October, this event strives to foster open discussions about important mental health issues such as depression, stress, anxiety and suicide.
- 1 in 4 Norfolk citizens suffer from mental illness, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are often at a higher risk due to social stigmas and absent or weak support systems.
- LGBT youth are almost 5 times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Alarmingly, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt, while 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25. Guest speakers will talk about their work in the LGBTQ+ mental health sphere and how LGBTQ+ individuals, the medical community, and allies can be supportive.
LGBT Life Center offers affordable, sliding scale mental health care to HIV positive individuals, as well as to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals based on their ability to pay. Counselors are very sensitive to LGBTQ and HIV issues and see over 200 individuals and families every year.
For more info or to invite your friends, here is the event on Facebook.