Access to housing has had a profound effect on the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles County. From providing homeless youth with shelter to offering affordable housing for older people, and from helping transgender people find employment to providing legal support, local leaders have taken steps to ensure that the LGBTQ population is included and protected. Interactive training has been implemented to help people understand LGBTQ identities, implicit prejudices, and how to interact with LGBTQ youth in an impartial manner. Mayors have issued proclamations recognizing the LGBTQ community and commemorating milestones in its history.
Directors of child welfare departments and homeless services offices have invited state DMV and federal Social Security office staff to locations that are convenient for LGBTQ people, such as local LGBTQ centers or health clinics. County and city executives have taken a big step towards equality in the workplace by prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment and incorporating this into personnel policies. They have also negotiated relationships between organizations that provide services to LGBTQ people, particularly youth, and the local workforce development system to expand access to learning positions. Several police executives or commissioners have named LGBTQ liaisons in their police departments.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have been created under federal law and receive federal funding, but they often receive additional funding at the local level. Mayors and county executives can use AAAs to ensure cultural competence in services for LGBTQ older adults. In addition to preventing discrimination against LGBTQ employees from contractors and beneficiaries, executives must take affirmative action to provide opportunities for LGBTQ business owners. City and county agency directors can take steps to make IDs more accessible and empower LGBTQ people to take control of their own lives.
The Anita May Rosenstein campus of the Los Angeles LGBT Center marks a new chapter in the organization's history. While the number of refugees admitted to the United States is a decision made by the federal government, cities and counties can make these newcomers welcome in their new homes and facilitate their integration into their communities. The goal of achieving full legal and vital equality for LGBTQ people and their families can only be achieved with the support of local leaders who are in a position to make decisions that fully include and protect LGBTQ people. Research shows that LGBTQ communities have a varied demographic composition, which means that the legal and social service needs of the LGBTQ population vary depending on characteristics such as race and ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, geography, and other factors. Many older adults have pioneered LGBTQ activism and continue to defend their community. By taking steps such as prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, incorporating this into personnel policies, negotiating relationships between organizations that provide services to LGBTQ people, making IDs more accessible, welcoming refugees into their new homes, recognizing the LGBTQ community, providing cultural competence in services for older adults, naming liaisons in police departments, and providing opportunities for business owners, local leaders are helping to ensure that the LGBTQ population is included and protected.