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LGBT Rural Summit Series and the #RuralPride Campaign

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, in collaboration with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and The True Colors Fund, will engage with LGBT rural communities across the country to host the LGBT Rural Summit Series. Each series will offer a unique opportunity for USDA and other federal agencies to share information relating to policies, programs, and services that exist to protect, promote and strengthen LGBT rural communities. Issues ranging from rural housing loans, community facility grants and bullying will be discussed. Each series will also include a strong presence from local nonprofit organizations, sharing USDA's dedication to serving LGBT rural America.


Series Stop #9:

Kentucky LGBT Rural Summit
Wednesday August 12th, 1:00 - 4:45pm
(Registration Opens at 12:30 pm)
Pride Community Services Organization
389 Waller Avenue, Suite 100
Lexington, KY
Register here


Series Stop #10:

Mississippi LGBT Rural Summit
Friday August 14th, 1:00 - 4:45pm
(Registration Opens at 12:30pm)
Millsaps College
1701 N State St,
Rural Jackson, MS
Register here


Past Series Stop Events


For questions, please contact:
Ashlee Davis
Director of the National LGBT Rural Summit














What is "#RuralPride?"

Contrary to widely held myths that the LGBT community is largely living in affluent metropolitan areas, studies show a very different and more realistic picture of the LGBT community. For a number of reasons, many people in the LGBT community choose to live, work, and raise their families in the rural communities that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proud to serve.

In fact, according to the Williams Institute, "almost 10% of all same-sex couples in the country live in rural America" and these couples are actually more likely to be families of color and raising children. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also issued a report finding that these couples are more likely to be low-income and are almost twice as likely to receive public assistance. The transgender community is particularly vulnerable.

Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, experience disturbingly high rates of poverty across the country. Additional research conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality shows that they are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed as non-transgender people. The LGBT community in rural America has a number of particular needs and vulnerabilities that USDA is excited to target and address.

In an effort to elevate the voices of the LGBT community living in rural America, USDA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, is proud to launch the #RuralPride campaign. The centerpiece of this campaign is a series of day-long summits hosted by USDA, NCLR, and a number of local partners based in rural communities across the country.

These summits will give us a chance to focus on the unique needs of the rural LGBT community, highlight the important federal policy efforts underway to protect this community, and identify next steps to ensure all rural communities have access to the resources they need to thrive.

"We applaud the USDA for celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people living in rural communities across the country with this important series of summits," said Cyndi Lauper, co-founder of the True Colors Fund. "LGBT youth comprise up to 40 percent of our nation's homeless youth population. Those in rural communities face incredibly unique challenges and are such an important and often overlooked part of this conversation. The True Colors Fund is proud to partner with the USDA and NCLR to highlight their stories as a part of the many experiences that LGBT people face in rural America."


Are you an LGBT person living in a rural community?

Then show your #RuralPride and share your story with us. We want to hear from YOU! #RuralPride is all about increasing visibility of rural LGBT people and families across the country. Share your story with us and you can be featured in future blogs and materials on the #RuralPride campaign! Email us at and tell us about your #RuralPride!

Want to learn more or become a participating organization?

Email us at to join our mailing list and receive up-to-date information on upcoming Summits and more! And don't forget to join the #RuralPride Tweet chat on June 2nd at 1pm EST to discuss the issues relevant to LGBT rural America!