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 #3:
Friday, September 19th
Series Stop #4:
Friday, October 10th
Series Stop #5:
Saturday October 11th
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.
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
"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?
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
LGBTRuralSummit@ascr.usda.gov and tell us about your #RuralPride!
Want to learn more or become a participating organization?
Email us at LGBTRuralSummit@ascr.usda.gov 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!