Several San Diego LGBTQ-serving organizations will be hosting a conference to increase culturally competent services in San Diego County for victims and survivors of sexual violence who identify as LGBTQ.
The three-day conference entitled #MeTooLGBTQ will be held online from Thursday, October 15 to Saturday, October 17.
The goal of the #MeTooLGBTQ conference is to increase culturally competent services for victims and survivors of sexual violence and relationship violence that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer and to create space for LGBTQ+ survivors to connect with each other and community resources.
This year’s theme focuses on resiliency and thriving, centering intersectional identities and approaches. The 2020 conference will filter its content through the dual lenses of anti-racism/racial justice and working with trauma during a pandemic.
Nationwide, approximately 4 out of 10 gay men (40.2%) and half of bisexual men (47.4%) have experienced sexual violence, besides rape, at some point in their lives, compared to 1 in 5 heterosexual men (20.8%). A large majority (61%) of bisexual women and 44% of lesbians have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women. 47% of our transgender siblings experience sexual assault in their lifetime, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has identified gender nonconformity as a risk factor for childhood sexual abuse or rape.
“So much of the narrative around sexual and relationship violence focuses on heterosexual, cisgender women, but we know that members of the LGBTQ community – especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color – experience this kind of violence at disproportionate rates. The MeTooLGBTQ Conference is one of the only conferences of its kind that explicitly addresses the intersections between the LGBTQ community and sexual and relationship violence. This is one step in that long journey to end all forms of sexual and relationship violence.” San Diego Pride Education & Advocacy Manager Jen LaBarbera
“The Center’s Behavioral Health Service program serves hundreds of clients every year and we hear over and over from community members how hard it can be to find safe, healing spaces, and affirming and competent healthcare providers. We also know that providers face their own challenges and barriers to receiving the training and support that they need to confidently, comfortably, and competently serve community members who have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence. That is why this conference is so important as it serves as a safe, healing space that creates connection between community members and providers and promotes learning for all. The Center’s BHS program is excited to join Pride and other partner organizations and community members to offer the #MeTooLGBTQ Virtual Conference.” The San Diego LGBT Community Center Director of Behavioral Health Services, Steve Carroll
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, asexual, and queer individuals experience higher rates of intimate partner violence and sexual assault, yet often face additional barriers when seeking out support. Center for Community Solutions recognizes how these barriers can further traumatize LGBTQIA+ survivors. At CCS, we approach our work through a survivor-centered, trauma-informed lens in order to best serve all survivors in our communities. At CCS, we believe LGBTQIA+ survivors. We believe you.” Lead Prevention & Community Engagement Specialist Sarah Diamond
“Increasing access to services for the underserved has always been a priority at North County Lifeline. In 2015, staff identified the significant gap in services and we began targeted outreach, casework and counseling to LGBTQIA+ survivors of trafficking. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often overlooked as potential victims of exploitation and abuse, even though data tells us they are at some of the highest risk. We’ve helped in planning the #MeTooLGBTQ Conference for the last three years as we want to ensure all LGBTQ+ survivors of trafficking know that there is hope, healing, and acceptance, regardless of your identities or past experiences.” North County Lifeline Executive Director Don Stump
Partnering organizations include San Diego Pride, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, Center for Community Solutions, North County Lifeline, Our Safe Place, and The Gender Phluid Collective.
Registration is open to service/healthcare providers* and students who are invested in better serving LGBTQ+ survivors, as well as victims and survivors of sexual violence, and community members that are invested in healing, community, and ending sexual violence and relationship violence. New this year, the conference has added a youth track for attendees aged 13-18.