A few years ago, LGBTQ+ Advocate, Ash Beckham, came to my community and spoke about coming out of closets. She mentioned that “coming out” is something our LGBTQ+ friends experience as well as many others that go through hard conversations that leave us feeling exposed or vulnerable. Her message is validating for anyone coming out of isolation to share their story. It’s a great Ted Talk and I invite you to watch it here.
During PRIDE month as we celebrate diversity and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community, the 211 service is available to anyone coming out of closets and sharing their difficult situations. Diversity is a benchmark of the 211 network with PRIDE month as a beautiful celebration of this work – and it’s something we honor every day of the year.
We are particularly proud of United Way of Greater Atlanta 211, 211 Los Angeles, Jewish Community Services 211 of South Florida and 211 Broward (FL) that have formal relationships with their local LGBTQ+ centers. Some 211s answer LGBTQ+ specific hotlines in their communities like the Trevor Project, and United Way Worldwide has a partnership with the SAGE hotline, an LGBTQ+ service for seniors.
To our LGBTQ+ friends and anyone exposing their story for the first time, we celebrate you and invite you to bring the fullest version of yourself to our earth – even if it’s sometimes hard to come out of the closet. 211 welcomes you with open arms every day. Happy Pride.