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Election results put LGBT advocates back on defense

Baldwin says chances ‘slim’ for ENDA in new Congress

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In the wake of the seismic change brought about by Election Day results on Tuesday, supporters of LGBT rights are making new plans to advance their agenda in Congress as many signature bills now seem out of reach.

On Tuesday, the Republicans swept back into power by winning a majority of seats in the U.S. House and by shrinking the Democratic majority in the Senate.

CNN on Wednesday projected the GOP will take control of the U.S. House in the 112th Congress by winning at least 60 seats in the election — far more than the 39 seats the party needed to take control of the chamber.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who was given a score of “0” on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent congressional scorecard, will likely replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in that role when Republicans come into power in the next Congress.

Democrats fared better in the Senate and retained control of the chamber. Many U.S. senators credited with being allies of the LGBT community, such as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), won re-election in tight races.

Still, Democrats in the Senate are left with a reduced majority and some LGBT allies, such as Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), were ousted by voters.

The major wins by the GOP raises serious doubts about moving big ticket pro-LGBT legislation — such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — in the next Congress.

Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress, predicted the shift in control of the House will have a “very significant impact” on advancing pro-LGBT legislation.

“What I hope is that the Republican majority that takes over will not revert to its agenda of the last time they were in the majority, which put us frequently on the defense fighting back anti-gay measures,” she said.

Baldwin said the “chances are very slim” that ENDA or legislation providing partner benefits to federal workers would pass.

“I have seen no great signs that the Republicans who have been re-elected have changed their previous stances, and I certainly don’t feel like the new crop of candidates coming in are champions of gay rights,” she said.

Still, LGBT advocates say they see a path forward for advancing certain rights even with the challenge of Republican control of the House and reduced Democratic majorities in the Senate.

Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president of communications, said the loss of the House will “certainly impede, but not entirely stop” his organization’s pursuit of LGBT rights through legislation.

Among the items that Sainz identified as having a chance for passing are legislation eliminating the tax penalty on employer-provided health benefits to same-sex partners. Sainz also said he sees a way forward for the Domestic Partner Benefits & Obligations Act.

“There could be space to pass something like a domestic partnership taxation bill, or even a [Domestic Partner Benefits & Obligations Act] bill,” Sainz said. “So, in terms of the federal legislative front, I think that that’s probably the best assessment at this point.”

Winnie Stachelberg, senior vice president for external affairs at the Center for American Progress, also said she sees room for the passage of tax equality legislation or a bill to extend partner benefits to federal workers.

“I think if you take a look at some of the issues around equality in benefits, equality in tax treatment — those are issues that I would make investments in and talk about when it comes to Congress,” she said.

Even though Democrats will be in the minority in the House, Sainz said HRC expects lawmakers to introduce major pro-LGBT legislation, such as ENDA and a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

Supporters of LGBT rights are also preparing for the possibility of anti-gay measures. Sainz said he expected “targeted attacks” with anti-LGBT bills and amendments in the Republican-controlled House.

“We will work to stop the legislative rollback at every turn,” Sainz said.

Which anti-gay measures might the House pursue? Sainz said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“At the highest of levels, we may very well see another Federal Marriage Amendment,” Sainz said. “At probably the more opportunistic level, we may see things inserted into bills as amendments that may be harder to spot.”

Baldwin said LGBT advocates “need to be vigilant” and prepare for any number of anti-gay initiatives that might emerge from the House. Still, Baldwin said she thinks the passage of a Federal Marriage Amendment in the 112th Congress would be “unlikely.”

“I think that is unlikely simply because we still have the super majority requirements in the U.S. Senate, but it may come up, we will have to see,” she said.

Stachelberg said the Republican pledge to repeal the health care reform law should also be seen as an anti-gay initiative. Among other things, the law prohibits insurance companies from discriminating based on HIV status.

“Our community needs to be as vocal as any in beating back those efforts to repeal the health care bill,” Stachelberg said. “It would be devastating to our community.”

The Republican takeover of Congress has also augmented the sense of urgency around finishing legislative work on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year while Democrats control Congress.

Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said the results on Election Day “underscore the urgent need” to wrap up efforts on repealing the military’s gay ban. A repeal measure is included as part of major defense budget legislation currently pending before the Senate.

“It would be a huge blow, not only to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal advocates but also to defense contractors and military families, if we don’t get an authorization bill by the end of the year,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson said an “abdication” of the authorization of funds for new defense expenditures and personnel measures would be “unthinkable.”

“This Congress should not want to end its term with that enormous failure on its shoulders,” Nicholson said.

Baldwin also emphasized the importance of the lame duck session in moving forward with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal — although she characterized the Senate’s chances of passing repeal as only “possible.”

“My hope is that since the lame duck will occur with the hold over incumbents, that they can work their way through a filibuster or avoid a filibuster and resolve to pass legislation that would repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” she said.

Many see passage of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the lame duck session of Congress before Republicans take control as a challenge. One Democratic aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said a lot has to come into alignment for the Senate to pass such legislation.

“The political climate during the lame duck session will be toxic,” the aide said. “Passage of the defense bill will require all the stars aligning. And it will be impossible to pass this bill without the active support and pressure from President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.”

With pro-LGBT initiatives possibly tied up for at least the next two years, many advocates are looking more closely at the Obama administration to make changes.

Stachelberg said the LGBT community needs to consider “a range” of ways to address inequality, including non-congressional action.

“Congress is part of that, for sure, but it would be terribly short-sighted if we didn’t invest in efforts to … build on the success that this administration has begun to develop with respect to the executive branch,” she said.

Among the administrative changes that Stachelberg said could be explored are regulatory changes, data collection, non-discrimination policies and funding streams.

Sainz said HRC would continue to push for non-legislative changes from the Obama administration.

“Where federal policy changes are concerned, we believe that non-legislative policy changes will become our continued avenue for progress at the federal level,” Sainz said. “That’s where we’re going to put an awful lot of resources over the next few years.”

According to an HRC document provided by Sainz, among the policy changes the organization is seeking from the administration is LGBT inclusion in health care reform implementation.

Specifically, HRC wants the Department of Health & Human Services to ensure that:

• health disparity and data collection efforts include sexual orientation and gender identity;

• state health insurance exchanges provide coverage available to same-sex partners and their children;

• and benefits packages that insurance plans offer don’t exclude treatments for gender transition.

Another policy change that HRC is seeking is ensuring that LGBT families are included in federal disaster relief.

According to HRC, LGBT families affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were excluded from government services and subjected to anti-gay harassment in shelter facilities. HRC also asserts same-sex couples had difficulty obtaining housing or relief payments.

Consequently, HRC is urging urged the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to adopt policies barring discrimination against LGBT people and to ensure that their families can receive household aid.

Editor’s note: Tammy Baldwin photo is a Blade file photo by Michael Key

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Pete Giaquinto

    November 4, 2010 at 8:31 am

    GD worthless democrats. Hey Tammy, it was real nice of you to introduce the domestic partnership bill, then sit back and not push to get it passed. You are all worthless pieces of shit. Thanks for nothing.

  2. El Dorado

    November 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Don’t forget to thank Nancy Pelosi and the gay leadership in general like HRC for nothing, too! Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin should have demanded action from Pelosi and refused to take no for an answer! They squandered precious time last year and this year on putting up ENDA for a vote with endless excuses! It was unacceptable to hold ENDA hostage for the sake of passing healthcare first! Pelosi and the Dems were incapable of doing more than one thing at a time, like walk and chew gum. As a result we got screwed….again!

    Further, instead of concentrating on one major piece of legislation at a time, like we did on Hate Crimes, you tried to push through everything under the sun and as a result ending up with NOTHING! It’s outrageous that lifting DADT took priority over ENDA! If you had just simply put ENDA through only it would have finally be up for a vote but instead you wasted all the political capital and resources on DADT knowing full well that it was a long shot! When will the gay leadership ever learn its lessons from history?! Are they clueless or just blind and stupid? Did you think we would have an endless opportunity to get ENDA through? We know back in January that the GOP would like take back control of Congress!

    Yes, now you can expect nothing but anti-gay bills again! That’s what groups like the Family Research Council will push through with their allies in the GOP! You blew it faggots…..now we all pay the price for it! It will likely be another generation or so before we get any chance like we had and lost to pass ENDA or anything else!

  3. Skeeter Sanders

    November 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    About the only good thing to come out of the Republican tsunami from an LGBT perspective is that 1) they failed to take control of the Senate, and 2) even if they did take the Senate, the Republicans still lack the two-thirds majorities required in both houses to pass a revived version of the Federal Marriage Amendment and to overrride presidential vetoes.

    If this election proved anything, it’s that liberals/progressives are indeed a minority of the electorate — a 22 percent minority, according to pre-election opinion polls and election day exit polls. They’re outnumbered by both conservatives (38 percent) and moderates (40 percent).

    Progressives — especially LGBT progressives — MUST FACE UP TO THE REALITY OF THEIR MINORITY STATUS and seek common ground with moderates in order to get anything done. This is the brutal political reality that progressives can no longer deny or ignore. the progressive community — like the Democratic Party — MUST APPEAL TO THE CENTER, whether they like it or not.

    Barack Obama literally owed his 2008 election to moderate voters, without whom he could not have won the White House. Now, he’s lost them — and is going to have to work exceptionally hard to win them back if he has any hope of winning a second term, especially if the Republicans learn from their past mistake and not read their 2010 victory as a mandate to take the country back to the Bush years.

    Of course, the GOP must likewise appeal to the center and jettison its hard-line right wing ideologues — or else, they, too will get kicked to the curb in 2012.

    America really is a center-right nation, with progressives holding sway only in the Northeast and the West Coast. Progressives can’t deny this reality any longer and must act accordingly.

  4. Tim

    November 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    At this point we should all be calling our Congressional representatives and asking them to vote in favor of the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act that Congresswomen Baldwin is sponsoring. The bill has already been passed out of committees in the House & Senate and is just waiting for a vote on the floor of each chamber so it can become law. That should be the Dems first act of business in the lame duck session, before they lose control of the House. NEWSFLASH – this is the Dems last chance to pass Pro-LGBT legislation for the next two years. They must call the bill for a vote now while they still can, and frankly it is appauling that neither chamber has voted on this bill which cleared committees more than ten months ago. Why havn’t Pelosi and Reid called for a vote on this legislation?? If they were worried scared Dems wouldn’t vote for it because of the upcoming election, then there is nothing to worry about now. It must get a vote during the lame duck session!

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Minnesota

Minnesota middle school principal ousted for displaying Pride flag

Critics ramped up attacks on the career educator- some compared her to the Devil after publicly associating with LGBTQ+ people and students

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Screenshot via Marshall Public Schools, YouTube Channel

MARSHALL, Mn. — A former middle school principal in Minnesota who lost her job after displaying a Pride flag alleges in a federal lawsuit that the school system retaliated against her for supporting LGBTQ+ students.

Mary Kay Thomas filed the complaint against Marshall Public Schools in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota Tuesday after anti-LGBTQ+ middle school staff, parents, students and local clergy began efforts to remove the Pride flag that she put up in her middle school’s cafeteria in 2020 as a part of an inclusiveness effort.

According to the lawsuit, Thomas has been a teacher and principal for more than three decades with a long track record of success. She held the principal position at Marshall Middle School for 15 years, receiving contract renewals, pay raises and praise for her performance.

“But when Thomas decided to display an LGBTQ Pride Flag in the school cafeteria in early 2020, everything changed,” reads the complaint. 

Thomas refused to take down the Pride flag as critics ramped up attacks on the career educator. The lawsuit alleges that some even compared her to the Devil after publicly associating with LGBTQ+ people and students. 

“Sadly, the Marshall School District has sided with these critics,” her lawyers wrote. 

What followed was an “escalating series of adverse actions” taken by the Marshall School District, said the lawsuit. She claims that the school targeted her by threatening her employment, conducting a “bad-faith” investigation, putting her on indefinite involuntary leave, suspending her without pay and putting a notice of deficiency in her personnel file. 

The complaint says that the deficiencies were “false, distorted, and/or related to Thomas’s association with members of the LGBTQ community.”

Thomas also claims that the District attempted to get her to quit by removing her as principal and assigning her to a “demeaning ‘special projects’ position.”

At one point, Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams, who is named as a defendant in the case, told Thomas he could “make this all go away” if she stepped down, according to the complaint. 

The school removed the Pride flag in August 2021 after settling a lawsuit brought by residents who opposed it. 

The Blade reached out to Williams for comment but did not receive a response. However, according to the Marshall Independent, Williams did release a statement on the matter. 

“Marshall Public Schools is committed to the education of every child and has strong policies and practices in place against discrimination, against both students and staff members. The school district is committed to creating a respectful, inclusive, and safe learning and working environment for students, staff and our families,” Williams said. “While the school cannot comment about the specific allegations made in the complaint, the school district strongly denies any allegation of discriminatory conduct. The school will vigorously defend itself against these allegations.”

In addition, Thomas alleges that she resisted unwanted sexual advancements from school board member Bill Swope. She claims she told Williams about the sexual harassment.

As of Thursday, the school has not filed a response, and no hearing has been scheduled yet. 

Thomas is seeking a jury trial, damages and reinstatement as principal of Marshall Middle School.

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National

Matthew Shepard honored at National Cathedral

Daylong services held to mark his 45th birthday

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Matthew Shepard, gay news, Washington Blade
Matthew Shepard Thanksgiving and Celebration at the National Cathedral in 2018. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The parents of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in a 1998 hate crime that drew international attention to anti-LGBTQ violence, were among those attending a day of religious services commemorating Shepard’s 45th birthday on Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral.

The services, which the Cathedral organized in partnership with the Matthew Shepard Foundation, included tributes to Shepard at the Cathedral’s St. Joseph’s Chapel, where his remains were interred in a ceremony in 2018.  

“Matthew Shepard’s death is an enduring tragedy affecting all people and should serve as an ongoing call to the nation to reject anti-LGBTQ bigotry and instead embrace each of our neighbors for who they are,” the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, said at the time of Shepard’s interment.

“In the years since Matthew’s death, the Shepard family has shown extraordinary courage and grace in keeping his spirit and memory alive, and the Cathedral is honored and humbled to serve as his final resting place,” Hollerith said.

The first of the Cathedral’s Dec. 1 services for Shepard began at 7 a.m. with prayers, scripture readings, and music led by the Cathedral’s Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan. The service was live streamed on YouTube.

An online, all-day service was also held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Cathedral officials said was intended to “connect people around the world to honor Shepard and the LGBTQ community and pray for a more just world.”

The Shepard services concluded with a 5:30 p.m. in-person remembrance of Shepard in the Cathedral’s Nave, its main worship space. Among those attending were Shepard’s parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, who have said they created the Matthew Shepard Foundation to continue their son’s support for equality for all.

A statement released by the Cathedral says a bronze plaque honoring Matthew Shepard was installed in St. Joseph’s Chapel to mark his final resting place at the time Shepard was interred there in 2018. 
Following the Cathedral’s Dec. 1 services for Shepard, the Adams Morgan gay bar Pitchers hosted a reception for Dennis and Judy Shepard, according to Pitchers’ owner David Perruzza.

One of the two men charged with Shepard’s murder, Russell Henderson, pleaded guilty to the charge after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty for him. The second of the two men charged, Aaron McKinney, was convicted of the murder following a lengthy jury trial.

Prosecutors said McKinney repeatedly and fatally struck Shepard in the head with the barrel of a handgun after he and Henderson tied Shepard to a wooden fence in a remote field outside Laramie, Wy., on Oct. 6, 1998. Police and prosecutors presented evidence at McKinney’s trial that McKinney and Henderson met Shepard at a bar in Laramie on that day and lured him into their car, where they drove him to the field where authorities said McKinney fatally assaulted him.

Shepard died six days later at a hospital in Ft. Collins, Colo., where he was taken after being found unconscious while still tied to the fence.

In a dramatic courtroom scene following the jury’s guilty verdict for McKinney, Dennis Shepard urged the judge to spare McKinney’s life by not handing down a death sentence. He said that out of compassion and in honor of his son’s life, McKinney should be allowed to live. The judge sentenced McKinney to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, the same sentence given to Henderson.

(VIDEO COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL VIA YOUTUBE)
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‘Very familiar’: Mark Glaze’s story brings into focus mental health for gay men

Experts see common story as LGBTQ people enter middle age

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Mark Glaze's death by suicide is bringing into focus mental health issues faced by gay men.

The death by suicide at age 51 of Mark Glaze, a gun reform advocate who was close to many in D.C.’s LGBTQ community, is striking a chord with observers who see his struggles with mental health and alcoholism as reflective of issues facing many gay men as they enter middle age.

Glaze’s story resonates even though much of the attention on mental health issues in the LGBTQ community is devoted to LGBTQ youth going through the coming out process and transgender people who face disproportionate violence and discrimination within the LGBTQ community in addition to a growing focus on LGBTQ seniors entering later stages of life.

Randy Pumphrey, senior director of behavioral health for the D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Health, said Glaze’s story was “very familiar” as a tale of mental health issues facing gay men in the middle stage of life.

“You’re talking about a gay-identified man who is in his 50s, somebody who has struggled with alcohol misuse — or maybe abuse or dependence— and also depression,” Pumphrey said. “I think that there has always been a higher incidence of suicide for men in general in their middle age 50 and above, but this increases when you’re talking about gay men, and also if you’re talking about gay men who suffer with mental health issues, or substance use disorder issues.”

Several sources close to Glaze said his death did not come as a surprise. His family has been open about his death by suicide last month while he was in jail after allegedly fleeing the scene of a car accident in Pennsylvania and a long history of depression and alcoholism.

Pumphrey said Glaze’s situation coping with mental health issues as well as the consequences for his role in the accident, were reflective of someone who might “begin to perceive that this is an issue that they can’t get away from, or the consequences they can’t get away from exposure and that can lead somebody to a fatal outcome.”

“My experience is that there have been gay men that I have worked with over the years — particularly in their 50s and early 60s — it’s taken them a long time to recognize the severity of the problem, whether it’s their depression or their substance abuse, and then they find themselves in a very precarious situation because of shame, and so they may not necessarily seek help even though they need help.”

A 2017 study in the American Journal of Men’s Health found the prevalence of depression among gay men is three times higher than the general adult population, which means they are a subgroup at high risk for suicide.

The study found “scant research exists about gay men’s health beyond sexual health issues,” most often with HIV, which means issues related to depression and suicidality “are poorly understood.”

“Gay men’s health has often been defined by sexual practices, and poorly understood are the intersections of gay men’s physical and mental health with social determinants of health including ethnicity, locale, education level and socioeconomic status,” the study says.

The study acknowledged being male itself is one factor incorporated in addressing mental health issues in this subgroup because “regardless of sexual orientation, men can be reluctant to seek help for mental health problems.” Another study quoted in the report found 23 percent, less than one quarter of gay men, who attempted suicide sought mental health or medical treatment.

In addition to mental health issues facing gay men in Glaze’s age group, others saw his situation as a common story in the culture of Washington, which is notorious for celebrating and prioritizing success with little tolerance for personal setbacks.

In the case of Glaze, who had sparred on Fox News with Tucker Carlson as executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety, the threat of exposure and threat to his career may have seemed overwhelmingly daunting.

Steven Fisher, who knew Glaze since the 1990s and worked with him at the D.C.-based Raben Group, said one factor that contributed to Glaze’s condition was “he could only see upward in terms of his career trajectory.”

“We saw that in him and it had me very concerned because I felt like he might end up in a place that wasn’t good once he left Everytown, and that’s tragically and sadly what happened,” Fisher said. “I think he just had trouble adjusting to what is usually a roller coaster ride, I think, in people’s careers, especially in the D.C. world.”

Along with Glaze, Fisher has worked on gun issues for Everytown, which has been a client of his since 2015 after he worked for them in 2012 after the Newtown shooting.

Compounding the challenges that Glaze faced is a culture among many gay men focused on sexuality, which prioritizes youth and appearance and presents problems as those qualities start fading when men enter middle age.

Fisher said another factor in Glaze’s condition was social media, pointing out public perception about his identity was important to him.

“If you look at his social media — I think this is instructive to the rest of us — a lot of the comments are about how Mark was so good looking and he was charming, and he was so smart and so funny,” Fisher said. “That’s all true, and that’s why he was very appealing to many people, but those qualities don’t really tell you everything about a person. In fact, one could argue they’re superficial in a way, and people have to remember people are more complicated than what you see on social media.”

One issue for gay men facing mental health issues as they enter middle age is they don’t have the same resources as those available to LGBTQ youth, who have been more of a focus in terms of mental health issues in the LGBTQ community.

Among the leading organizations for LGBTQ youth is the Trevor Project, which has resources and a hotline for LGBTQ youth facing mental health crises.

Kevin Wong, vice president of communications for the Trevor Project, said his organization would be receptive to an older LGBTQ person who calls the hotline, but ultimately would refer that person elsewhere.

“If an LGBTQ person above the age of 25 reaches out to The Trevor Project’s crisis services for support and expresses suicidal thoughts, our counselors will listen, actively and with empathy, and work with them to de-escalate and form a safety plan, like any other contact,” Wong said. “However, our organization has remained youth-centric since its founding and our volunteer crisis counselors are specifically trained with younger LGBTQ people in mind.”

Much attention is focused on the coming out process for LGBTQ people, a time that can upend close relationships — as well as reaffirm them — and a process more commonly associated with youth.

Ilan Meyer, senior scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, said data is scant about suicide rates among LGBTQ people, but information on suicide attempts shows they tend to be at a heightened rate for LGBTQ people as they go through the coming out process.

“What we do know is that there is a connection with the coming out period at whatever age coming out happens,” Meyer said. “And so, we see a proximity to coming out whatever age that happened, we see the suicide attempts proceeding and after that.”

Suicide attempts, Meyer said, are much higher for LGBTQ people than the population at large. The self-reported rate of suicide attempts in the U.S. population as a whole, Meyer said, is 2.4 percent, but that figure changes to 20 to 30 percent among LGBTQ youth, which about to 10 to 15 times greater.

Black and Latino people, Meyer said, have been less likely to make suicide attempts in their lifetimes, although he added that may be changing in recent years.

With the primary focus on mental health issues elsewhere in the LGBTQ community, Glaze’s death raises questions about whether sufficient resources are available to people in his demographic, or whether individuals are willing to seek out care options that are available.

Meyer said whether the resources for suicidal ideologies among LGBTQ people are sufficient and what more could be done “is the the million-dollar question.”

“It’s definitely not determined by just mental health,” Meyer said. “So many people have depression, but they don’t attempt suicide. And so, then the difficult thing is to find the right moment to intervene and what that intervention should be.”

Meyer said much of the focus on mental health is on a person’s last moments before making a suicide attempt, such as making suicide hotlines readily available, but some of the stressors he sees “are more chronic, ongoing things related to homophobia and the kind of experience that LGBT people have as they come to terms to realize their sexual identity.”

Pumphrey said another factor in mental health issues not to be underestimated for almost two years now is “dealing with the COVID and loneliness epidemic,” which appears to have no immediate end in sight with the emergence of the Omnicron variant.

“There was always this piece of sometimes the experience of being in your 50s and early 60s…we talk about the invisibility factor,” Pumphrey said. “But when there’s just this sense of being disconnected from community, especially in the early days of the pandemic, and kind of being locked down, I think that just raised the risk.”

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