Pride is more than a month at LCSNW; it’s a mindset to serve LGBTQ clients

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Advocacy, Behavioral Health, Crime Victim Services, Refugees & Immigrants

Photo at right: LCSNW employees participated in the annual Spokane Pride Parade on June 8 and staffed a resource table there, as they do every year.

Pride Month is a good time to reflect on the wide range of services that LCSNW provides to LGBTQ clients every day, all year long. Our services are trauma-informed, culturally appropriate and don’t exclude on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

Our Spokane District is a huge supporter of Pride Month, but their involvement goes well beyond flying flags and walking in parades. Two Spokane staff recently led conversations at Eastern Washington University on creating safe places for LGBTQ youth who have experienced abuse. The Spokane victim advocacy team also has close relationships with organizations such as the Odyssey Youth Movement. The staff continues to train and learn about the intersection of LGBTQ identity and victimization.

Across the agency, our youth and family mental health teams are attentive to the needs of LGBTQ clients. In our Tri-Cities District, they also take time out to celebrate. On June 28, young people enrolled in the WISe and SWIFT programs are invited to come in for games, crafts, food and fun in a safe, welcoming environment.

Our Refugee and Immigrant Services teams are also responsive to the LGBTQ community. Safe Route Immigration offers legal support to people fleeing danger for all kinds of reasons, including harassment for their sexual identity. Ismael’s story is one such story; he fled his African homeland after he was threatened for being a gay man and an activist. That’s when he found asylum-seeker assistance from Safe Route.

Soon June will end and the rainbow flags will come down. Before that happens, it’s worth pausing to consider all that we do – and have yet to do – to make our communities more healthy, just, hopeful and Prideful for all.