Sunday, September 11, 2016


We don’t talk about this.

Domestic abuse of trans partners. It is something that is hidden, it is father back in the closet then we were before we came out, it is not talked about because of the stigma and guilt of the victim.
LGBT victims of domestic violence find new support in Lehigh Valley
The Morning Call
By Sarah M. Wojcik
September 10, 2016

ALLENTOWN — The pivotal moment when a domestic violence survivor seeks help is already laden with fear, but for victims who are gay, bisexual or transgender, that fear can be debilitating.

They worry about being outed by their attacker, treated unfairly by police and losing access to a child. Heaped onto these worries is the burden that a complaint could tarnish a community that's been ostracized for decades.

The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center in Allentown is working to remove those barriers and get victims the help they need. Forging a partnership over the summer with Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley, the center now provides counseling services at its West Maple Street offices, which opened this spring.

The partnership is intended to counter a perception that domestic violence only happens in the heterosexual community and that its victims tend to be women, said Adrian Shanker, the center's executive director. That fallacy, he said, keeps some LGBT people from seeking services.
Yet many shelters have not developed the training or accommodations that would allow them to fully open their doors to the LGBT community, Sywensky said.
Probably ten, fifteen years ago there was a battered trans woman from the Boston and they were looking for a domestic violence shelter that would take her in but nobody could find a shelter for her in Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Connecticut, she had to go to a shelter in New York City.

Fast forward to about 3 years ago, a DV shelter was taking in a trans woman and wanted their staff trained on how to help her.

But part of the blame lies within the LGBT community.
Even within the LGBT community, the issue has taken a back seat. The movement had focused on health care and marriage equality, Shanker said, but now is looking to tackle domestic violence and other issues.

The perception that the LGBT community does not struggle with interrelationship violence not only hurts access to care, but also creates a destructive pattern for those in the throes of abuse, said Wayne Fox, a Turning Point counselor.
I don’t even know what a DV shelter would do if they had a gay man seeking shelter; it is hard enough to get shelter for a trans woman let alone a man.

Yesterday was Hartford Pride and I was there from around 1 to 5. I went around visiting the booths saying “Hi” to everyone I knew and then I want over to the LGBT Aging Advocacy booth and did my shift there from 3 to 5.

The Pride was fantastic, but the heat and humidity were brutal!

At the LGBT Aging Advocacy booth I kept hydrated by drinking lots of water and was lucky someone brought frozen bottles of water, because I was using one to cool my forehead and neck. At a booth across the way they were not so lucky, someone there succumbed to the heat and they had to bring an ambulance in for him.

Later I went to the first Connecticut Outreach Society’s first meeting of the season. But I left early because of the heat during the day did me in.

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