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DPSS Raises Pride Flag in Solidarity With LGBTQ+ Community

DPSS Raises Pride Flag in Solidarity With LGBTQ+ Community 848 223 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
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June 5, 2024

Contact:
dpsspublicinfo@dpss.lacounty.gov

DPSS RAISES PRIDE FLAG IN SOLIDARITY WITH LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

DPSS RAISES PRIDE FLAG IN SOLIDARITY WITH LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

As part of a continued focus on improving the delivery of services to customers who identify as LGBTQ+, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) joined seven local advocate organizations in affirming its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the raising of the Progress Pride Flag Monday at its City of Industry Headquarters.

L.A. County is home to the second largest LGBTQ+ youth and adult population in the nation. Pride Month, which began in 1971 with the Christopher Street West Pride Festival in West Hollywood, has since grown to include many spirited community celebrations established countywide. DPSS offices will join other County of L.A. facilities that will fly the Pride Flag throughout the month of June.

Sharing this year’s event theme, “Pride Begins with Us,” DPSS Director Dr. Jackie Contreras welcomed the advocate organizations and more than a hundred department employees who enthusiastically waved mini-Pride flags to demonstrate their support.

“Pride Month is more important than ever, and highly relevant to our important work,” said Dr. Contreras. She added that members of the LGBTQ+ community are often hesitant to apply for public benefits out of fear that they may face discrimination. “DPSS wants to make it clear that all are welcome, and no one should delay or forego services from us due to a fear of experiencing discrimination or intolerance.”

In 2022, as part of a cultural shift to help better engage and serve diverse communities across the County, DPSS implemented an internal Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and (Gender) Expression policy. The policy was a breath of fresh to many like DPSS manager Gladys Pulido who explained how living a life where you are public and proud of your queer identity, is an act of courage.

“My bisexuality is an integral part of who I am, and I didn’t want to hide that anymore,” Pulido said. “I wanted to bridge the incongruence I was experiencing and bring my whole self to work.”

DPSS manager Maria Gorman described how her coming out as an adult caused chaos within her home and community life.  She emotionally described the experience of raising a son with her long-time partner. She hopes her story will make it easier for others to open up about their own unique families.

“Our child is lucky to grow up in a community where kids, teachers, and other parents don’t treat him differently for having two moms,” Gorman said. “We’re not the quote unquote ‘gay family,’ we’re just a family. Our journey may not fit the traditional mold, but what truly matters is the love, joy, and acceptance we share every day.”

Learn more about DPSS LGBTQ+ services and resources.

DPSS Pride Celebration

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