As a sexual assault survivor, I know all too well the challenges we as LGBTQ people face accessing culturally competent services and care. When attempting to recover from something so painfully horrific, coming in contact with law enforcement, mental health services, or healthcare providers who are anti-LGBTQ or simply aren’t well versed in our community can frankly retraumatize you all over again. This year the isolation of COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders meant to keep us healthy and safe can have unintended consequences resulting in an increase in sexual assault and domestic violence adding on yet another layer to the issue.
Over the last 6 years, San Diego Pride, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, the Center for Community Solutions, and other partners have been working together to ensure our region’s service providers are better equipped to meet the needs of our community’s survivors and to create space for LGBTQ+ survivors to connect with each other and community resources. Some of this work has looked like op-eds and public education to destigmatize survivors as we work to prevent violence and end victim shaming and blaming. Other work has included ensuring that LGBTQ-serving organizations are better trained on sexual assault and domestic violence centered trauma-informed care, all while elevating the LGBTQ competency of survivor-focused organizations.
Now in its third year, the #MeTooLGBTQ Conference has been moved online so that this important work can continue while keeping us all as healthy and safe as possible. This three-day conference is the only one of its kind in the country outside of higher education and has become an important part of the long-term fight to end sexual and relationship violence. This project was built by and for LGBTQ+ survivors, and the conference continues to grow thanks to our incredible community partners. It’s further proof that our community can take even the most toxic of situations, work together, and make something beautiful and healing. That’s how Together We Rise.
With Hope & Pride,
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride
MeToo LGBTQ Virtual Conference
When: Thursday, October 15, Saturday, October 17
Learn more about the conference and register here.