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Studies indicate that, when compared with the general population, LGBT people are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, have higher rates of substance abuse, are less likely to abstain from use, and are more likely to continue heavy drinking into later life.
Having a general understanding of heterosexism and homophobia is important for agencies working with LGBTQ individuals. Heterosexism and homophobia describe the forms of bigotry against LGBT people. Heterosexism resembles racism or sexism and denies, ignores, denigrates, or stigmatizes non-heterosexual forms of emotional and affectional expression, sexual behavior, or community.
Homophobia is defined as the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against LGBT behavior or persons. Internalized homophobia describes the self-loathing or resistance to accepting an LGBT sexual orientation and is an important concept in understanding LGBT clients.
It is likely that all Social Service agencies, Educational Forums and public health service providers substance have LGBT clients, but staff members may not realize that they are treating LGBT clients. Most service providers do not ask about sexual orientation, and many LGBT people are afraid to speak openly about their sexual orientation or identity. Some LGBT clients cannot anticipate the reaction they will receive when mentioning their sexual orientation.
Leadership Training Institute offers mentors training and resource materials to build concrete leadership skills among women of color activists. It is a unique opportunity for individuals to enhance their capacity in areas such as program development, grant-writing, fundraising, community organizing, policy development and building multi-cultural relationships. The Leadership Institute aims to equip advocates and activists with the necessary skills and knowledge so they can apply them in their program and community.