June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, an annual month-long observance of LGBTQ history, achievements, community, and activism, celebrated with marches, parties, and other events across the country. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the event that sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
At the time leading up to the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ individuals experienced fierce discrimination: police kept records of LGBTQ people, the U.S. Postal Service kept track of their addresses, and establishments known to welcome members of the LBGT community were shut down and their customers arrested and exposed in newspapers (often resulting in loss of employment or assault). Being gay or bisexual was considered a mental disorder, and sexual activity between people of the same sex was criminalized.
On the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Planned Parenthood reaffirms our commitment to the rights and health of LGBTQ people. Planned Parenthood believes that reproductive rights are deeply connected to LGBTQ rights and is proud to be a provider for so many in the LGBTQ community. We care passionately about helping women, men, and young people lead healthy lives, no matter who they are and no matter where they live.
In addition to high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, which has been shown to affect physical and mental health, LGBT people face low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of HIV/AIDS and cancer, and high rates of discrimination from medical providers. LGBT people of color are at an even higher risk for these disparities. Studies show that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and an estimate of .3% of adults are transgender (roughly 9 million LGBT Americans).
Planned Parenthood of Collier County health centers offer a wide variety of preventive health care services. Make an appointment today by calling 239-262-0301 or visit our website at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/collier-county/.