NJAC supports the social equity and self-worth of all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and others that do not identify as exclusively heterosexual (cisgender). Especially during Pride Month, it is important to acknowledge that though there is much to celebrate, LGBTQ+ people still face injustice and discrimination. We as an agency know that LGBTQ+ people are among those we serve and we are committed to helping them access resources and justice and to discover and embrace their self-worth.
LGBTQ+ poeple experience domestic and sexual violence at rates at least as high or higher than heterosexual individuals and that living in poverty can exacerbate violence. (NCADC, Human Rights Campaign)
LGBTQ+ people are overrepresented at every stage of the criminal justice system, starting with juvenile justice system involvement. They are arrested, incarcerated, and subjected to community supervision at significantly higher rates than straight and cisgender people. This is especially true for trans people and queer women. This is largely due to the obstacles that LGBTQ youth face after fleeing abuse and lack of acceptance at home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In order to survive, LGBTQ youth are pushed towards criminalized behaviors such as drug sales, theft, or survival sex, which increase their risk of arrest and confinement (Prison Policy Initiative, Jones, 2021).
Gay and bisexual men are most impacted by HIV and in 2018 made up 69% of the 37,968 new HIV diagnosesc in the United States (CDC).
NJAC stands with the LGBTQ+ community and strives every day to make our services more welcoming, inclusive, and responsive so that everyone can embrace their own self-worth and live openly with dignity in a fair society.