Local advocates ask for change after presidential candidate LGBTQ+ forum

DAVENPORT, IOWA  --  10 presidential candidates were in Iowa on September 20th,2019. They were taking part in a forum for LGBTQ+ issues in Cedar Rapids.

Members of the local LGBTQ+ community celebrated pride in Davenport with fall pride fest. The event runs tomorrow, Saturday, September 21st, 2019.

"I have students that are transitioning and they don't know where to go for that," Pride Fest participant Wendy Wenskunas said. "And if we could have more services, especially at their age, that would be great just to have."

Wenskunas said she is happy to see this kind of forum happening. She says she hopes this trickles down to the local communities in the future.

"They need to ask us and bring us in," Wenskunas said. "Sit down with us and talk to real people that know and have lived through different things. We know what is out there and what kind of barriers that we engage in on a daily basis."

"The health equity issues that are facing LGBTQ people in all communities across the country, they need to start to ask those questions," Pride fest participant Tyler Mitchell said. " Look at what those health factors are and how both at a local and a federal level we can start to address those better."

Mental health services for youth in the LGBTQ+ community was also addressed by many local advocates. They said they would like to see cheaper resources for young people to access.

September 20th forum was one of two presidential forums specifically addressing LGBTQ+ issues within the next month. Nine democratic candidates, are scheduled to participate in a town-hall-style meeting in October.

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