EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In an effort to better support the LGBTQ community, the city of East Lansing hosted its third “Coffee and Conversation” event today to talk about issues affecting the community.
As more and more people are publicly accepting the LGBTQ community, data by FBI suggests that there’s still a long way to go.
Hate crimes against LGBTQ people have been on the rise over the past three years and in just 2017 alone, more than 7,000 were reported in the U.S.
“The simple fact that we still have acts of discrimination throughout the city and that just because you put one or two bills in place, does not alleviate a wide spread sense of discrimination,” said Talyce Murray, the chair of East Lansing’s Human Relations Commission.
The city banned conversion therapy earlier this month targeting LGBTQ youth, but Murray says that’s just the first step.
“We have to address that we still have instances within the city where businesses refuse to provide services to LGBTQ members, we still have health care services within the city that are not properly trained or educated on queer or trans medical care or rights, and therefore it makes those youth not want to access care,” said Murray.
Murray hopes by continuing to talk about the problems, solutions will begin to form.
“We have to look at every part of life and every part of the lived experience for those members and that’s when we start to see an equitable situation created in the city,” said Murray.
The next Coffee and Conversation event is on October 20th. It will discuss issues hurting the disabled community in the city.