DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — On Friday, the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court held its first annual Advocacy Open House to address issues and concerns that affect members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Clients are putting themselves in a very vulnerable situation when they’re ready to share with the world who they genuinely, and authentically are. That’s a very scary thing so I think it’s very important to always show that our space is safe,” said Cherie White, a senior probation officer.
The goal of the event was to let members of the LGBTQ+ community know that they’re supported, which organizers said will assist in the court’s commitment to equal justice.
During a panel discussion, the group covered topics such as cultural competence, the effects of trauma, and understanding intersectionality.
“If we want people to live their authentic truth, it’s really important that we recognize that truth. When people are given the space and freedom to authentically be themselves, they have better outcomes in almost every area of their lives,” said Jostin Schimmoeller, the Community Relations Manager of Equitas Health.
Participating agencies included Public Health-Dayton and Montgomery County, Daybreak, Artemis Domestic Violence Center, PFLAG, Dayton Police Department, Planned Parenthood, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Have a Gay Day and Brightview Health.
Judge Mary Wiseman, the first openly gay judge in Ohio, said she hopes to always greet their clients with a “namaste mindset.”
“It means that the light inside of me sees and acknowledges the light inside of you, and really that’s what this is all about to have a community and be affirming and welcoming to everybody that we meet,” said Wiseman.