Resilience in Action: LGBTQ Community Support
Every year, the One Iowa program staff provides fundamental trainings to allies across the state of Iowa, because education is key to advancing the rights and liberation of all communities. These trainings help make participants better friends, colleagues, partners, or neighbors in a variety of ways. Expanding our knowledge of the history of a community is often a significant part in growing our allyship. We learn the terms and language used within communities to ensure we are communicating in respectful ways.
We learn about the ways our identities might overlap with others and how our experiences can still be so different. This kind of education and understanding is not something that can happen by only reading a single article or watching a single presentation. It is an ongoing process that requires humility and vulnerability from both those learning and those teaching.
Of course, there is so much more to being LGBTQ affirming than just memorizing terminology or knowing the statistics of a specific community. Our educational programs aid to highlight the concerns of the community and ways in which we can learn to be inclusive and welcoming to all people. So much of learning comes with unlearning. We must sometimes push back against things we were taught from a young age and learn to ask questions. This is not an easy task. We are able to introduce attendees of our trainings to concepts and frameworks that can assist them in their understanding of the LGBTQ community and many others.
Frameworks such as intersectionality show how fighting for the rights of one community is also fighting for the rights of another. In times when it seems like so much needs to change but we only have so much time and resources, we must ensure we are including those most marginalized within all communities.
Here at One Iowa we focus on health care access as one of our values. We make sure to educate those who can make the most impact in the healthcare of LGBTQ Iowans. Ensuring that LGBTQ folks have access to affirming and knowledgeable health care providers is key to reducing health disparities for the LGBTQ community and public health overall.
Through a survey conducted by One Iowa, the Iowa LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment, we know that 45% have reported having to take time to educate their providers on LGBTQ healthcare. This is often because until only recently many medical school programs offer limited if any education on working with the LGBTQ population. We know that many medical professionals are supportive of the community and are asking for the education they missed out on.
The program teams work hard to coordinate training with various medical professionals across all medical fields to provide that education. Whether you are just begining to learn about the LGBTQ community or have several years of experience, we know there is always more to learn and ways to grow. We invite you to learn and grow with us.