Posted 06.05.2020

Hello Everyone,


It is with an extremely heavy heart that we make you all aware of a couple incidents that occurred last weekend. Panhandle Equality was made aware of a person or group of people who contacted members of the Panhandle LGBTQ+ Community Directory, and said very derogatory things about our organization, but more importantly the LGBTQ+ community. They asked businesses to remove themselves from the Directory, and also implied that there is a growing number of community members who support their cause to spread how "dangerous" our organization is to the Panhandle. We were also warned that there was a plan to protest our Pride event this summer, and that it was not intended to be non-violent. 


We are extremely disappointed and frustrated by this information. Thank you to the allies who quickly made us aware of all of this information, we appreciate you. It’s times like this that show us exactly why the Directory and our organization are needed in our rural community. We hope you all will continue to stand with us against this bigotry.


The Panhandle Equality Board of Directors is asking our supporters to show your support publicly to make it clear to these people that not everyone agrees with them. You can show your support in the following ways:


We know there is more support in this community then these people presume, and we love and appreciate you all!




Panhandle Equality

We have some exciting news! We are thrilled to announce the start of the Transgender Care Fund!

We have started a transgender fund to help with the expenses that may arise during your transition. The funds could be used for a variety of things including:
- paying for doctor travel expenses
- equipment that you may need to help with your gender dysphoria
- name change costs
- and more!

We also have a transgender closet where we have a good mixture of clothing styles, which would be great start for anyone trying to find their own identity.

As a board member who is transgender I feel that both of would have been a great help when I first started my transition. - Anna

For those wanting to volunteer consider the following:
Donate to P= - monetary or clothing donations
Join our craft group to learn how to knit or crochet and then join "Parts For People Volunteer Group" on Facebook

Please click on the following link to complete the survey!


Raise Your Voice

Jay Irwin (an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha) and his research team have launched their new LGBTQ+ statewide survey which focuses on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people who live, work, or spend considerable time in Nebraska. If you're 19+ and are part of the LGBTQ+ community, please consider participating in their survey by clicking on the following link:

Irene North - July 30, 2019

"One of the coolest things I attended as a spectator this summer was Panhandle Pride. Each year, for the past five years, friends, family, and strangers gather to celebrate old and new friendships and support the LGBTQ+ community."

National Guard leaders in 5 states will defy Trump's military ban & won't dismiss trans troops
Alex Bollinger - April 24, 2019

"Four states announced this past week that they will join California in not imposing the transgender military ban on their National Guards."

 in rural America: Up to 5 percent of rural residents are LGBTQ, report finds
Avichai Scher - April 12, 2019

"The report notes that LGBTQ people are drawn to rural areas for many of the same reasons as their heterosexual counterparts — proximity to family, a tight-knit community and a connection to the land. However, the report also found rural LGBTQ communities are uniquely affected by the 'structural challenges and other aspects of rural life,' which it notes could 'amplify the impacts of both rejection and acceptance.'"

Love Is All You Need?
Love is All You Need? Short Film
Lexi DiBenedetto - August 16, 2012

"This short film 'Love Is All You Need?' made a splash with its unusual premise. In an alternate world, almost everybody is gay or lesbian — and the tiny minority of straight people are discriminated against."

WARNING: This video does depict images of bullying and suicide that may be hard to watch.

Click HERE to watch the short film.

LGBTQ+ People Share Their Most Awkward & Embarrassing Healthcare Experiences

El Hunt - March 1st, 2019

"If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, however, a routine appointment can quickly turn into a tangle of awkwardness. Many questions asked by healthcare professionals – from checking a patient isn’t pregnant before an X-ray or operation, to standardized questions about sexual activity and preferred contraception – are geared squarely towards straight patients."


Robert Byrne - February 5th, 2019

"In 2018, Megan Hunt made history becoming first openly LGBTQ woman ever elected to the Nebraska Legislature.  As a small business owner in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood, state Sen. Hunt worked with local organizations like Nebraska AIDS Project and the Human Rights Coalition, and pledged to bring LGBTQ advocacy to the State Capitol when elected."

Panhandle Equality's Statement:
There is absolutely no place in society for the detrimental practices of conversion therapy, and Panhandle Equality emphatically supports Senator Hunt's Legislative Bills 167 & 168 to ban conversion therapy in Nebraska. The LGBTQ+ community is NOT broken, and we deserve to EXIST!

Panhandle Equality also encourages you to call your senators and tell them you support these bills. If you are unsure on who to contact, click FIND YOUR SENATOR to find out who your senator is and all of their contact information.

"Today, OutLinc, Lincoln’s LGBTQ community center, is proud to announce its expansion into OutNebraska, which will serve as a statewide organization to secure fairness and equality for LGBTQ+ Nebraskans and their families."

Panhandle Equality's Statement:
“With a new year, and our own newly granted 501c3 status, Panhandle Equality has big plans for 2019. One of our first is partnering with OutNebraska,” shares Ladessa Heimbouch, President of Panhandle Equality. “By having a statewide focus that includes all of the LGBTQ+ organizations across Nebraska working together, OutNebraska can share resources and support. Panhandle Equality is extremely excited to see what this partnership will bring for the LGBTQ+ community here in the Panhandle and the rest of rural Nebraska.”

Detailed anti-bullying laws can help protect LGBT+ teens, research says

Reuters - Benjamin Long - January 18, 2019

"NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - U.S. states with anti-bullying laws that explicitly protect LGBT+ teens have fewer suicide attempts among youth than states with more general laws, according to new research that could help protect vulnerable children."

Panhandle Equality's Statement:

"Often the victims of bullying, LGBT+ youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide than are heterosexual students, according to Suicidal Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), a Minnesota-based suicide prevention group...

...Several states have laws forbidding teachers to discuss gay and transgender issues in schools, the report said." (also known as "No Promo Homo" laws)

Although, Nebraska doesn't currently have laws forbidding teachers from discussing gay and transgender issues, it also does NOT have any Anti-Bullying or Non-Discrimination Laws that protect LGBTQ+ students either.

To view the list of states that have Anti-Bullying, Non-Discrimination, and "No Promo Homo" laws, click on the following link:

Supreme Court Revives Transgender Ban for Military Service

Supreme Court Revives Transgender Ban for Military Service

The New York Times - January 22, 2019

"WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Trump administration’s request to allow it to bar most transgender people from serving in the military while cases challenging the policy make their way to the court."

Panhandle Equality's Statement:

Although this decision isn't a final one on this matter, this news is extremely disappointing.

“Transgender people have been serving openly in all branches of the United States military since June 2016, including on active duty in combat zones. Transgender individuals have been permitted to enlist in the military since January 2018. The government has presented no evidence that their doing so harms military readiness, effectiveness or lethality."

There is no evidence or non-bigoted reason to not allow transgender people to serve in our military. This is one step towards a modern day Lavender Scare. If you have not heard of the Lavender Scare, you are not alone, it is not something taught in our history classes.

In short, "Between 1947 and 1961 it is estimated that 5,000 suspected homosexuals were fired from their positions with the government, military, and even government-affiliated private contractors because it was determined (with zero evidence) that gays and lesbians were more dangerous than communists because they were easily susceptible to blackmail." To learn more about the the Lavender Scare click on the following article link:

Panhandle Equality emphatically agrees with Aaron Belkin's (The New York Times article) statement that, “The Defense Department should not reinstate the transgender ban because it would undermine readiness, cause significant disruptions and uncertainty, deprive the military of much-needed talent, and wreak havoc with the lives and careers of the 14,700 transgender troops bravely protecting our nation’s security.”

We all hope that the lower courts make the right decision.

vpnMentor 2018

"We at vpnMentor conducted a survey in which we asked 695 LGBTQ+ people worldwide about their experiences online as they relate to their sexual orientation and gender identity. The results – referenced throughout this article – illuminated the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some of our key findings:"

Philadelphia Weekly - August 22, 2018

"There are cultural factors that put gay, lesbian and bisexual people at greater risk of health problems. Research shows that being a member of a marginalized population increases the odds of mental health issues, substance abuse, HIV and other medical concerns. There are also issues with having access to healthcare and instances of outright discrimination that make queer people less likely to seek help for illnesses or get preventative screenings."