Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 082615 Contents 8 • 8 .26.2015
“I would hope that one of the issues we can take up in the near
future is the lack of Comprehensive Sex Ed in our school. I don’t
think it’s a coincidence that Miami has the high HIV transmission
rate in the U.S. and we have no Sex Ed in our schools”
- Luigi Ferrer
Director of Health Services
at Pridelines Youth
Anti-Bullying and LGBT
LGBT students and youth have been of
growing important for the LGBT community
as acceptance grows. Students have become
to come out more in school and have created
clubs, GSAs, to create a safe space where
they can be themselves.
While acceptance has
grown, students still face
their own problems which
Florida organizations hope
Hoch said the PBCHRC
has done a lot of work with
students. Currently, he said,
there is no statewide law
that specifically protects
LGBT students from
They got a policy passed
in 2008, working with
the ACLU of Florida, to
make sure teachers and
administrators know that if
they see any form of bullying, they have to
The PBCHRC also helped a man who
founded and headed his HIV go to college by
providing him with a scholarship.
SAVE has been helping to build a network
of GSAs in high schools in inner city areas.
“You often find GSAs in schools in the
higher income areas,” Lima said. “We want
something prevalent in [schools like Central,
Northwestern and Homestead High]. We
want to really build those and have a support
network for cities in lower income areas to
Wood, of the Aqua Foundation,
said they’ve been focusing on youth
homelessness, especially in the transgender
community. They also offer scholarships
and mentorship programs.
“We’re definitely focused
on providing safe spaces
and opportunities and
support, especially youth
homelessness as well,” she
A great step to ensure that
the LGBT community stays
strong and continues to
fight for equality is ensuring
that there are leaders to
fight for the community.
Wood said the Aqua Foundation provides
leadership conferences and scholarships to
focus on emerging LGBT leaders.
“We want to provide people with the skills
and networking opportunities to be LGBT
leaders in the community, “she said.
SAVE recently gave out its Luminary
Awards, which honors young LGBT-allies
and leaders in the community.
Protecting the Elderly
Another focus of many of the groups
has been on encouraging and supporting
domestic partner benefits and protection
and care for the elderly.
Some have suggested that since marriage
is now legal for same-sex partners it’s time to
get rid domestic partnership benefits but for
Rajner, those benefits are really important to
“One of the things is that as we move
beyond marriage, the issue of domestic
partner benefits is something that’s going
to be debated,” he said. “I think that
marriage isn’t for everyone, and domestic
partnerships give people the minimal level
He said the community should
continue to be supportive of
domestic partnerships for older
people regardless of sexual
orientation and gender.
Plakas, of Compass, said he
agrees that senior needs are
important to keep in mind.
“They’re coming out at a very
late stage in their lives after they’ve
had children and been married,” he
said. “They have no desire to take
advantage of marriage equality
because they’re from different
generations and have different
How You Can Help
SFGN asked these leaders how people at
home can help, and here are some tips on
how you can create change.
Bishop encourages people to sign up for
the newsletters of Equality Florida, SAVE
Dade and the Pride Center – to name a few.
“I encourage them to stay informed about
the issues that impact our community,” he
Hoch said that people should thank the
elected officials who support LGBT rights
and encourages people to fund and donate
to pro-equality organizations.
People should also get involved in LGBT
events and share their stories, Rajner said.
“Share your stories
with others about
what the decision
for equality means to
you, how it’s affected
your lives and how
laws have affected
getting past that.”
people to volunteer
and help mentor
other LGBT people
through the Aqua
Executive Director of the Aqua
Foundation for Women
speaking on the
pressure to marry.
Continued from previous page
LGBT activist and Equality
Florida transgender advisory
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