the findings

Executive Summary

Due to the fact that local data was gravely lacking around LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, “Queer” and Questioning) people’s experience, needs or issues affecting community health, Napa County Health and Human Services’ Mental Health Division’s Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) supported the creation and execution of a Napa County Needs Assessment for LGBTQ people. One outcome of the process was a research-based affirmation of LGBTQ Connection’s best estimate of the LGBTQ population for Napa County: 8.3%, or approximately 11,000 people. With Napa nonprofit organization LGBTQ Connection’s Advisory Committee, youth and adult interns, and dozens of community volunteers, the needs assessment process took place from early Spring 2012 through Summer 2013, garnering the response of hundreds of LGBTQ community members. With some exceptions, participant demographics almost mirrored the population demographics of Napa County as a whole. During the survey process, it became evident that project staff, marketing attempts, or networking and information sharing by community organizations were not reaching certain populations in the county as effectively. These disproportionately disconnected groups include LGBTQ residents who: live in Napa County but outside of the city of Napa, are over the age of 55 or under the age of 21, do not identify primarily as white, are primary-language Spanish-speakers and transgender people.

LGBTQ people who fall into one or more of these disproportionately disconnected categories were the least likely to openly identify as LGBTQ, participate in community events, feel connected or access community and social services. In general, many respondents tended to think of themselves as fairly open about their LGBTQ identity, but in specific situations (with medical providers, at work, etc.) tended to be less likely to be as comfortably open. Top LGBTQ medical needs reported by respondents included HIV/STI testing and prevention, provider training on inclusion and access to insurance and affordable health care. Many respondents to the Needs Assessment reported businesses were not doing well at welcoming and/or outreaching to LGBTQ people. Most respondents vocalized wanting more public LGBTQ acknowledgment and recognition, support and acceptance, equal rights and inclusive treatment from public officials and government. Respondents felt that education, awareness and visibility; LGBTQ-inclusivity trainings; and community support and acceptance were initiatives Napa County could take to be more safe, welcoming, and inclusive for LGBTQ people. It is recommended that, to show an ongoing commitment to awareness and inclusion, organizations of all types examine their own biases and work to eliminate assumptions. LGBTQ people come from all parts of the community and all backgrounds and bring with them the many other dimensions of their lives. To ensure that underserved/disconnected populations are not isolated further, it is critical to not think of or treat LGBTQ people as one unified group or community. Additional recommendations and supportive resources are included at the end of the full report

Other LOCAL Data

During the 2013-2014 California Healthy Kids Survey, 245 students (overall N = 4,204) in Napa County identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Thirty-six of these students were in 7th grade, 93 were in 9th grade, and 91 of them were in 11th grade.  Twenty-five respondents did not answer the question. To maintain confidentiality, the linked data report does not differentiate by grade or district.

Note: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are measured using the following question: Which of the following best describes you? (Mark All That Apply.):
A) Heterosexual (straight) B) Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual C) Transgender D) Not sure E) Decline to respond