Bay Area nonprofit holds fundraiser as more LGBTQ+ families seek resources, refuge in California

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Monday, June 12, 2023
Bay Area nonprofit says more LGBTQ+ families seeking refuge in CA
Bay Area nonprofit LYRIC held a fundraiser Saturday as more LGBTQ+ families are seeking resources and refuge from discrimination in California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Bay Area nonprofit that helps LGBTQ youth held a fundraiser tonight.

With what's going on around the country, it finds itself busier than ever as more and more people seek a place to turn to express themselves.

President Joe Biden praised the courage of the LGBTQ+ community at the White House Pride Celebration Saturday and called for action.

"We need to push back against the hundreds of callous and cynical bills and laws introduce in states targeting transgender children," Biden said.

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The ACLU is tracking nearly 500 bills taking aim at LGBTQ+ rights across the nation.

"When families across the country face the excruciating decision to relocate to a different state to protect their child from dangerous anti-LGBTQ+ laws we have to act as a nation," Biden said.

"We've seen a huge uptick in youth and their families, honestly, leaving red states seeking refuge in California and any other blue state," said Laura Lala-Chavez.

Lala-Chavez is the executive director and president of LYRIC. The nonprofit's been serving San Francisco's LGBTQ+ youth for decades- and they say the hate is hitting a high.

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"For the past 15 months, we've actually experienced three direct bomb threats. Just really jarring. In the 35 years that we've existed, we've never experienced anything like this," Lala-Chavez said.

But the nonprofit's not backing down. In fact, it's doubling down -- extending itself beyond the Bay Area.

"We're trying to figure out ways to provide resources and information to the organizers and everyone, the families and young people that are in those red states."

And they say it's stretching their resources as they work to keep up with growing demand here.

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"We're experiencing homophobia, transphobia, family rejection-- even in San Francisco," Lala-Chavez said.

Meanwhile back in Washington, the president has a message for transgender kids across the country: "You are loved, you are understood, and you belong."

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