Social group offered for LGBTQIA+ people with developmental disabilities

Multi-colored Pride flag flying against a blue sky.

A new social group has been formed to support people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and receive services through the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The LGBTQIA+ group kicked off in June during Pride month and meets on the first Thursday of each month at the FCBDD Service Coordination offices, 1600 Watermark Dr.

“This offers a safe space for people to come together,” said FCBDD service coordinator Jamie Fox. She and a colleague in Service Coordination, Karie Griffin, are facilitating the group along with Sean Patterson, the agency’s DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) coordinator.

The aim is for meetings to be peer led, with guidance from the organizers. Ensuring that the environment is positive and welcoming is paramount, Patterson said, as some people might not feel supported at home, at work or the larger community.

Initial meetings have been a lot of fun, “And as people loosen up and understand that they’re not going to be judged, it will only get better,” he said.

Fox said organizers will seek input from participants on their expectations. Outings, speakers and discussions on relevant issues — such as healthy relationships — are possibilities.

Individuals or families interested in learning more or attending a meeting should contact their FCBDD service coordinator or email [email protected]. The next meetings are scheduled for 5 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 7, Oct. 5 and Nov. 2 at FCBDD Service Coordination, 1600 Watermark Dr.