May 31, 2023
James Bolden Jamesbolden@dpss.lacounty.gov
June is Pride Month in L.A. County
DPSS Releases Non-Discriminatory Policy for LGBTQ+ Customers
As the County of Los Angeles prepares to celebrate June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ+) Pride Month,” a Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) policy aims to strengthen inclusionary practices and remove barriers for customers who identify as LGBTQ+ when applying for programs and services.
L.A. County is home to the second largest LGBTQ+ youth and adult population in the country, second only to New York City. The Board of Supervisors has encouraged County departments to provide more comprehensive and targeted services to this community and to publicly acknowledge Pride Month as a sign of inclusivity to both LGBTQ+ customers and county employees who identify as LGBTQ+.
“This much overdue policy is a commitment to a cultural shift within the Department that will help us better engage and serve our diverse LGBTQ+ communities across the County,” said DPSS Director Jackie Contreras.
During the development of the policy and training, the department consulted with community-based organizations and the national non-profit think tank, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), to create the foundation for the SOGIE policy and training. HRC provided training and perspective on lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Above all, the SOGIE policy reinforces our Department’s commitment to serve the LGBTQ+ community in a way that asserts LGBTQ+ rights are human rights,” said DPSS Civil Rights Section (CRS) Director Marcia Blachman-Benitez. CRS ensures equitable access to DPSS programs and services for all L.A. County residents.
Blachman-Benitez adds that the goal is to enhance the customer experience for the thousands of LGBTQ+ participants served at all DPSS offices.
Since 1971, Pride Month has been celebrated in June, beginning with the Christopher Street West Pride Festival in West Hollywood. Since then, many other celebrations have been established throughout the County. Progress Pride Flags will be raised at all County facilities during the month of June. On Thursday, June 1, DPSS staff will join community-based partners serving LGBTQ+ customers in raising the Pride flag at its headquarters in the City of Industry.