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  • Day Arnold, BSND

LGBTQIA+ Food Insecurity: A Call to Action During Pride

June is a month of joyful celebration that surrounds us with color, safety, and love. Bringing awareness to the LGBTQIA+ community's unique challenges, Pride is a critical need. Despite substantial social progress over the past decades, queer people still live at a disadvantage compared to non-queer people, and this includes inequitable access to food.

While food insecurity is an issue faced by the general population, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) reports that 15 percent of LGBT adults and 19.3 percent of people who identified as another sexual orientation (e.g., intersex, asexual) reported not having enough to eat, compared to 10.4 percent among non-LGBT adults. This gap in food access grows when taking race and gender into account:

Many of our communities have a significant queer history, and a thriving queer present, filled with art, music, and creative expression. However, without access to basic needs like nutritious food, many in the community face disproportionate challenges. LGBTQIA+ community members, like other minorities, often face discrimination and stigma within their homes and social environments. They also experience higher rates of poverty and have less access to employment opportunities, social support, and healthcare services. The intersection of these factors contributes to higher levels of food insecurity.

Our queer neighbors are some of the most vulnerable in our community. With queerness becoming increasingly targeted at the legislative level in the United States, protecting and nourishing the queer community has grown increasingly vital. It is essential to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and work towards achieving food equality for all.

Access to services is sometimes blocked due to fear and the marginalized treatment of many members of the LGBTQIA+ community. You need to feel safe to ask for help. Current systems may even prohibit minority populations from seeking the help that they need, so it is vital to meet people where they are and help them there. It's crucial to remember that not all members of our communities are on an even playing field, and that many of our neighbors face challenges we may be unaware of.

You will sometimes hear the purpose of Pride Month called into question, but it is a necessity. Pride is vital for celebrating all expressions of love and identity, as well as for fostering awareness and championing equitable rights. And it's undeniable that food insecurity is one of the social inequalities that the LGBTQIA+ community faces at a disproportionate rate.

As we celebrate Pride, let us remember the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community and the importance of ensuring access to basic needs like food. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

Actions for Advocates

Happy Pride Month! 🌈

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