Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
In 2006, the League of United Latin American Citizens approved the formation of the LULAC Dallas Rainbow Council #4871 in Dallas, Texas and founded by community advocate Jesse Garcia. Since that time, LULAC – the oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization – has taken bold steps to advance equal justice under law for all Latinos—including our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers. Through direct action and national resolutions, LULAC and its membership have stood firm on the rights of LGBT Americans to:
- be protected from hate crimes
- work free from discrimination
- to serve openly and honestly in the U.S. Armed Services
- allow bi-national couples to stay together by updating antiquated immigration laws, and
- officially oppose federal marriage laws that discriminate against couples who have entered legal unions in their state.
LULAC mourns alongside the LGBT community, which is suffering through a horrible increase of LGBT youth suicides. LULAC shares a commitment with the LGBT community to fight HIV/AIDS, an epidemic which has afflicted our communities in greater numbers compared to other segments of society. We recognize and appreciate the mutual support from local, state and national LGBT organizations that stand with the Hispanic community on its quest for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
The League of United Latin American Citizens’ advocacy and policy programs seek to advance the well-being of the Latino community through local, state and federal policy advocacy, general capacity building, issue-based technical assistance for community advocates, and public education through its media properties. Continuing in the tradition of LULAC Council 4871, LULAC fosters dialogue between the Hispanic and LGBT community, both of whom share a common goal: full equality.
This is accomplished through collaborative policy and advocacy partnerships with LGBT human rights organizations, policy briefings on LGBT and LGBT Latino issues at the LULAC National Convention, and the grassroots work of LULAC members. Our work to advance LGBT equality moves through the various LULAC networks, such as the LULAC News magazine, social media communities, e-newsletters, events, and campaigns.
Supporting and Caring for our Latino LGBT Youth
We live in a time of unprecedented social and political progress toward equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. The President of the United States embraces marriage equality, and a dozen states now allow same-sex couples to wed. Sports figures, religious and civil rights leaders, and celebrities are coming out or speaking up for fairness. Public opinion in support of LGBT inclusion and equality, including among Latino Americans, grows daily. The youth of today – Generation Equality – are the most open and accepting in our history.
LGBT youth can now envision marrying the person they love, having a successful career, serving in the military, and experiencing greater acceptance by their peers.
And yet, those same youth face significant challenges, as detailed in Growing Up LGBT in America – HRC’S groundbreaking research among more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13 to 17. Responses to the 2012 survey reveal that many LGBT youth are profoundly disconnected from their communities, sometimes harshly so. Still, LGBT youth also demonstrate resilience in facing today’s challenges, and express optimism about tomorrow’s possibilities.
The survey gave a voice to our youngest community members, most of whom live at home and remain dependent on their families. Respondents described their lives through sharing an average day at home, at school, and in their larger community. Of the 10,000 respondents, 19% identified as Latino/a/Hispanic. The report thus reflects the experiences of nearly 2,000 Latino teens living in all parts of the U.S. Because the sample was not random, the report may not reflect the experience of all LGBT Latino youth. It does, however, provide a useful snapshot of the common themes and shared concerns of most LGBT Latino youth today. The Human Rights Campaign and the League of United Latin American Citizens offer this report focused on LGBT Latino youth and resources for these students and families.