The Center for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Philanthropy is the best organization at supporting LGBTQ people in the Arizona Community. This charity is a small portion within the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF). It spreads the funds it raises throughout many charities in the region, aiding the lives of LGBTQ people. They help with the struggle of discrimination, bring awareness to the health and homelessness of LGBTQ people, and transgender rights.
The Arizona Community Foundation has been a prominent organization in Arizona for many years. It was founded in 1977 by Bert Getz and Newton Rosenzweig and has been donating money to smaller groups ever since. On its website, it states that the mission is to “Lead, serve and collaborate to mobilize enduring philanthropy for a better Arizona,” (“Mission, Values, & History”). The foundation has been promoting and supporting humanitarianism in Arizona since its founding by donating to nonprofits. The types of charities the foundation donates to covers a wide range, providing support to many different causes. Aware of the support needed, ACF advocates for minorities in the effort to unite the people living in Arizona. On the ACF website, “In the words of the UNITY Pledge, the Arizona Community Foundation is ‘committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, inclusion, fairness, and equality’,”(“ACF Supports Equality, Signs UNITY Pledge”). ACF has donated millions of dollars to support a variety of organizations, which includes LGBTQ charities. In fact, ACF has been donating to LGBTQ charities since 2005, but the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy was only created in 2013. The center has goals to “enhance support for LGBTQ-related nonprofit organizations,” (LGBTQ Philanthropy”). The center has confronted many of the problems that LGBTQ people face on a day-to-day basis by doing this.
Many LGBTQ people who are out face forms of discrimination, there are several forms of it and they experience it differently. Some encounter harassment, in public or workplaces, some face physical assault, and others deal with access issues in an abundance of locations. In Arizona, there are no laws protecting people from being discriminated against based on sexual orientation. On the center’s website, “In 32 states, LGBTQ people can be fired from their jobs, denied housing, and denied services based solely on sexual orientation or gender identity,” (“Non-Discrimination Policy”). In more than half the country, one can be fired based on how they identify and the center is fighting against workplace discrimination by raising funds. The money is then evenly distributed throughout nonprofits throughout Arizona to fight for equality and for the cause. The proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act that many are fighting to pass in the United States Congress would benefit transgender people in all workplaces across the country. This act would protect LGBTQ people from losing their jobs, but it has been vetoed by the reasoning that there would be either too few or too many cases. Whether there were to be a plethora or a lack of cases the act is still important because LGBTQ people deserve equality as well. It is prejudice to be fired over an aspect on one’s life that does not affect the workplace which is why charities continue to fight for the act; the ratification of it would improve the lives of millions. The funding from the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy contributes to the support of the beneficial laws and acts to protect the LGBTQ people in America.
Although LGBTQ people are more likely to have mental health issues, they are less likely to get medical help. Compared to people that identify as straight, LGBTQ individuals are three times more likely to experience mental health conditions (“Prevalence”). The likelihood of LGBTQ people facing discrimination is much higher than a heterosexual person because the medical professional could have opposing views. The chances of suicide for an LGBTQ person is much higher as well. In an article about LGBTQ mental health, “LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and engage in self-harm, as compared to youths that are straight,” (“Prevalence”). The rates of suicide between LGBTQ and heterosexual people are alarmingly different, and since LGBTQ people have a lower probability to receive medical help, it is life endangering to have untreated mental health issues. Without therapy or medication, illnesses such as depression can cause physical brain damage. This is why the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy raises funds to support LGBTQ health. Their funds go towards charities and programs that provide awareness and encourage seeking medical help when needed, as well as occasional check-ups to maintain good health. This is important for everyone, so people should not be deprived of medical help due to their sexual orientation. The money raised and donated by the center is beneficial and important for the health of many.
Youth homelessness is a prevalent problem, especially with LGBTQ children. LGBTQ youth holds almost the majority of homeless kids. Although only 7% of youth in the United States are LGBTQ, they make up at 40% of the homeless youth population (LGBTQ Youth and Homelessness). Millions of children are homeless and living on the street or in shelters in the United States and a large portion of them are LGBTQ. This lack of housing is unfair, homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia and are large portions of the reasoning for homelessness. Most often a child is homeless as a result of family conflict and LGBTQ youth homelessness often results from family rejection. On the Human Rights Campaign website, “4 in 10 LGBTQ youth say the community in which they live is not accepting of LGBTQ people,” (“View and Share Statistics”). Almost have of LGBTQ youth lives in an environment in an unaccepting community that could be potentially dangerous. These unsafe environments lead to homelessness and a lack of knowledge about life. The Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy is aiding this problem of homelessness by donating money. In 2016, the Center Donated about $32,000 to 7 charities to prevent LGBTQ youth homelessness (Ideas Into Action Annual Report 2016 p. 17). Some of the benefiting charities provided housing for the youth, while others taught about independent living and self-sufficiency with the money they received. These projects not only gave children a place to sleep, but also improved their lives by teaching important life skills and providing information that will be beneficial in their futures. The Center’s donations have the ability to better some LGBTQ people’s lives.
The transgender community tends to have many struggles, body image issues and lack of representation are just a few of the many problems they face. From the day of birth, society forces gender roles upon infants, but gender is a social construct. For example, the color pink has been connected to the girls and blue to boys. Although colors are assigned to genders, they have no correlation. Everyday routines have become gender-based and force people to identify as male or female, but not everyone feels as comfortable as the gender they were assigned. Transgender people face issues including body image after transitioning, stereotypes such as using their identity to enter a certain bathroom and assault someone, and other social constructs which can psychologically hurt them. In fact, “Transgender people have the highest rate of suicide,” (“Working with Body Image Issues in Transgender People”). Problems such as body image issues can contribute to high rates of suicide, they create pressure and struggles that heterosexual people do not have to face. Transgender people have no voice in many aspects of their lives. With very few transgender politicians, there is little support within the government for equality and protection. Decisions are often made for them which can worsen their lives because of the lack of representation. One example is the bathroom bill, which determines which bathroom a transgender person can enter. In some states, they can choose, but in others, they have to enter the bathroom of the sexes they were born. In an article about the bill, the author states, “Transgender students are more likely to get harassed or attacked when required to use a gendered bathroom,” (The Transgender Bathroom Controversy: Four Essential Reads). Going into an assigned bathroom can create a hostile environment for transgender people because they have a chance of getting attacked or beaten. The lack of understanding and representation can be dangerous. This is why the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy is supporting transgender rights. On the Center’s website, it states, “The Center works to advance life-saving change for transgender people, ensuring they can live without limits in Arizona and have a voice at the table,” (“Give to the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy). The center has provided generous amounts of money to represent the community and they donate to charities and to campaigns that improve the lives of transgender people in Arizona. The transgender community faces many struggles that others do not have to encounter making their lives more difficult.
In conclusion, the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy is the best charity for raising funds for the LGBTQ people of Arizona the center provides funds to different parts of the community and overall provide support for LGBTQ people. They constantly raise funds for many charities in order to give back to the community and provide different types of resources for everyone. The work they do is very beneficial and they constantly help many people.
Chantry, Kaitlyn. “The transgender bathroom controversy: Four essential reads.” The Conversation. 2017 http://theconversation.com/the-transgender-bathroom-controversy-four-essential-reads-72635. Accessed 31 August 2018.
“Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers.” Center For American Progress. 2010, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2010/06/21/7980/gay-and-transgender-youth-homelessness-by-the-numbers/. Accessed 15 September 2018.
“Growing Up LGBT in America: View and Share Statistics.” Human Rights Campaign. www.hrc.org/youth-report/view-and-share-statistics. Accessed 31 August 2018.
Hunt, Jerome. “A State-by-State Examination of Nondiscrimination Laws and Policies.” Center For American Progress Action Fund, 2012, Washington, D.C. https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2012/06/pdf/state_nondiscrimination.pdf. Accessed 15 September 2018.
Katz, Shirley. “Working with Body Image Issues in Transgender People.” Good Therapy, 2011, https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/body-image-transgender/. Accessed 15 September 2018.
“Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Communities and Mental Health.” Mental Health America, http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/lgbt-mental-health. Accessed 15 September 2018.
“LGBTQ Philanthropy.” Arizona Community Foundation, https://www.azfoundation.org/Donors/CentersforPhilanthropy/CenterforLGBTQPhilanthropy.aspx. Accessed 31 August 2018.
“LGBTQ Youth and Homelessness.” The Covenant House, https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-issues/lgbtq-homeless-youth. Accessed 15 September 2018.
“Mission, Values ; History.” Arizona Community Foundation, https://www.azfoundation.org/About/Mission,ValuesHistory.aspx. Accessed 31 August 2018.
“National partnership tackles homelessness, health of LGBTQ youth.” Idea Into Action Annual Report 2016. Arizona Community Foundation and Affiliates, P 17. 2016. https://www.azfoundation.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Publications/2016_ACFannualreport.pdf. Accessed 15 September 2018.
“News Article.” Arizona Community Foundation https://www.azfoundation.org/About/NewsEvents/ViewArticle/tabid/96/ArticleId/141/ACF-supports-equality-signs-UNITY-Pledge.aspx. Accessed 15 September 2018.