The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, is launching Rural Pride – a campaign to elevate and address the needs of LGBT people living in rural communities across the country.
Via press release:
The goal of the campaign is to challenge the stereotype that LGBT people live only in metropolitan areas by elevating the voices and stories of LGBT people living in rural America. The campaign will also raise awareness of the particular issues faced by LGBT rural communities including increased rates of economic insecurity, lack of family protections, lack of nondiscrimination protections, and the heightened challenges facing rural LGBT youth and rural LGBT people of color.
The centerpiece of the campaign is a series of day-long summits hosted by USDA, NCLR, and local partners based in rural communities across the country. These summits will focus on the unique needs of the rural LGBT community, highlight the efforts the Obama administration has undertaken to protect this community, and identify next steps to ensure all rural communities have access to the resources they need to thrive.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert added:
“What we want to do is dismantle some of these myths that the LGBT community doesn’t live in rural areas, that they are wealthy, and then also talk about the policies that would impact these peoples’ lives,” Rupert said. “As we experience an unprecedented number of LGBT equality victories across the country, many people living in rural communities have not seen the full impact of these victories simply because of where they live. We wanted to give people the opportunity to talk to the USDA officials and advocates and say, ‘These are the things we need.’”
The kick-off summit will take place on June 6th in Greensboro, North Carolina and will be co-hosted by USDA, NCLR, and the LGBTQ Law Center at North Carolina A&T State University. The keynote address and luncheon will be sponsored by the True Colors Fund.