Supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ Community
The Collaborative is an active supporter of the LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or gender expansive, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit) community. According to the 2019 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey, there is a gap in resilience factors for LGBTQIA2S+ youth when compared with their cisgender and heterosexual peers. Youth marginalized by gender and sexual identity reported being 10% less likely to have meals with their families multiple times a week, 12% less likely to agree that their school had consequences for bad behavior, and 25% less likely to believe that they mattered to their community.
Through The Collaborative's Partnerships For Success (PFS) initiative, we help create more protective factors to help close the equity gap for LGBTQIA2S+ youth. Some of the goals of our PFS initiative include engaging LGBTQIA2S+ and ally leaders with our communities to identify population needs and solutions. As well as collaborating with the LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory group to identify health and prevention service gaps to develop programs that lead to a more inclusive community.
Join the LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory
The LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory group was established in 2021 and serves Bennington County and the mountain towns. The advisory group meets bi-monthly and has members from throughout Bennington County, two community coalitions, a public library, local schools and colleges, local Vermont Department of Health offices, the Queer Connect nonprofit, the Center for Restorative Justice, and a Bennington Police Department liaison.
Advisory Group Activities
The LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory Group is very active and has worked on a number of projects together over the years. One example of a project was donating a collection of books to a local school's Gender & Sexuality Alliance youth group which are housed in Flood Brook School's library and The Collaborative's office. Another example of a project was compiling a list of health equity barriers members of the community face. The group also frequently sponsors and tables at community events to raise awareness. Scroll below to see some pictures from recent tabling activites!
If you are interested in joining the LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory group, email Alice Abraham for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engaging with Community
The LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory Group is frequently involved as a sponsor, organizer, and participant in local community events. The group has organized such events as Trans Day of Rememberance vigils and Affirming Haircuts events. The group has co-sponsorred Pride Fest with the Queer Connect nonprofit, and handed out its ever-popular rainbow fans at community events throughout Bennington County and the mountain towns.