History of the LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force
The LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force was founded by LGBTQ+ survivors, responding to their own experiences of the lack of services and care for survivors that were not cisgender, heterosexual women.
Founders of the Survivor Task Force include Liat Wexler, Walter Castaneda, Christopher Sheehan, and Fernando Lopez. These transgender, non-binary individuals and cisgender men had the shared experience not only of being survivors of sexual and relationship violence but also of being turned away or treated inappropriately by services for survivors. As GBTQ+ people, they recognized that the services for survivors of sexual and relationship violence were overwhelmingly set up to serve cisgender, heterosexual women, and too often failed to appropriately serve LGBTQ+ folks.
These survivors connected with local San Diego agencies and organizations, including Center for Community Solutions, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, and North County Lifeline, to begin the conversation about building a path forward to ensure better care for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and relationship violence.