Our mission is to empower LGBTQ people of color to lead full and rewarding lives without limits by providing the highest quality educational, cultural, and wellness content, campaigns & events. While serving our LGBTQ people of color appears to be our focus, we are acutely aware that through collaboration with the larger community the growth and development constitutes a significant outcome of our work. We nurture the LGBT people of color, fostering their development of “self,” allowing them to experience leadership and compassion in ways that will ever change their lives, and encouraging them to find their passions — which leads to career choices that will provide them with extraordinarily meaningful lives. Our goal is to assist them to make a smooth transition to self-sufficiency and to prevent long-term dependency on social services.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
39% of LGBTQ adults identify as people of color, including 15% who identify as Latin, 11% as Black, 2% as Asian Pacific Islander, and 1% as Native American. With increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people, younger generations are more likely to be out as LGBTQ. Younger people are also more likely to be of color, which is the main reason that a large proportion of people of color identify as LGBTQ. From service provision to movement building, there is a need to respond and adapt to a new generation in the U.S. that is more diverse than any previous generation in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
At the intersection of two marginalized identities, LGBTQ people of color often face stark disparities:
- One in five youth in the juvenile justice system identify as LGBTQ, 85% of whom are people of color.
- LGBT people of color face high rates of unemployment: 15% of African American LGBT adults are unemployed, as are 14% of Latinx LGBT adults and 11% of Asian-Pacific Islander LGBT adults—compared to 8% unemployment for the general population.
- Gay and bisexual men of color continue to make up the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections in the U.S., with Black men accounting for 39% of 2014 HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, and Latinos accounting for 24%.
LGBTQ African Americans continue to be economically disadvantaged because of persistent discrimination, housing insecurity, a lack of quality, affordable healthcare and fewer educational opportunities. A 2012 report found that 32% of children being raised by Black same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to 13% of children being raised by heterosexual Black parents and just 7% being raised by married heterosexual white parents." Additionally, Black transgender people face severe rates of poverty, with 34% living in extreme poverty compared to just 9% of non-transgender Black people.
HIV & Health Inequity
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young, Black gay and bisexual men are among the communities most heavily affected by HIV. In the city of Atlanta, for example, a young, Black gay man now has a 60% chance of becoming HIV-positive by the age of 30 even though Black gay and bisexual men are more likely to engage in safer sex practices than their white counterparts.
While LGBTQ people of color, identify with various faith traditions, the Christian church remains a source of both hope and trepidation for many. LGBT youth who experience strong rejection by their families are eight times more likely to attempt suicide in young adulthood than those who are more accepted, and that such youth are also at high risk of homelessness.
Although the focus seems to be on our LGBTQ youth served, Eyegasmic LGBTQ Life Center profoundly impacts its mentors and supporters. Volunteers who anchor our programs benefit in similar ways and to a similar degree as their children in terms of understanding their own learning styles, exploring careers, experiencing real diversity and gaining knowledge and skills from substantial training. In surveys conducted over the past five years, mentors cite character and leadership development spanning an appreciation for genuine diversity, taking risks, learning from adversity and roadblocks, becoming more patient and perseverant, and experiencing ways to truly motivate self and others. Moreover, mentors become engaged in the broader community and meet business people and retirees they otherwise would not encounter. These leadership skills and community-building experiences cannot be taught in the classroom.
Each gift, no matter the size, adds up to have a big impact in the lives of many. You have the option to make a one-time gift or setting up a recurring donation schedule which gives us a predictable source of support that we can count on.
Eyegasmic Life is a non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation and is operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Eyegasmic Life is not organized and shall not be operated for the private gain of any person. The property of the corporation is irrevocably dedicated to its educational and charitable purposes and no part of the receipts, or net earnings of the corporation shall be used for any activities other than its mission. Eyegasmic Life will always retain control over the contributed funds and will provide the relative information regarding its activities on its website: www.EyegasmicLife.org