ACCEPT’s mobile center for listening and support for LGBT+ people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+), travels to small villages in our rural territory to meet the affected population, particularly vulnerable and isolated, and thus makes it possible to offer a dedicated listening space similar to those in cities. It is the only mobile listening point dedicated to LGBT+ issues of the Comminges Pyrénées, but also of the Hautes-Pyrénées, neighboring department of the territory. It is also, to date, the only one at national level.
Presentation of the project
ACCEPT is a Commingese association located in the south of Haute-Garonne, in Occitanie. Created in 2019, it raises awareness and informs about the double isolation that LGBT+ people may experience because of their sexual orientation and living in a rural environment where the difference is not always understood or accepted. It offers projects and activities adapted to the specific context and needs of the persons concerned: temporary emergency accommodation, support measures, administrative and psychological support, non-judgmental listening to all persons with issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as to families and professionals. Recognizing that not all people living in rural areas have access to information, prevention tools and risk reduction, while they face similar problems to those living in cities, the ACCEPT team decided to create the first ever mobile LGBT+ resource center, which remains, to date, unique in France. In partnership with identified and committed local structures (Maison des Jeunes et le Culture, social centers, media libraries, libraries…), the mobile resource center travels every week, according to a defined and communicated schedule upstream, to meet the populations, associations, schools to offer thematic permanent events, cultural and educational events and activities to inform, inform and listen. The mobile center’s mission is to inform and raise awareness, but also to offer a place of listening and accompaniment. It is a space where young people can find answers to their questions, where adults can share their experiences, and where Elders can share their wisdom. Objectives: To propose, manage and run a mobile LGBT+ resource center in Comminges, secure and inclusive; to propose resources (exhibitions, documentation, books…) intended for all audiences, with adapted content; To accompany young excluded LGBT+ people, who are struggling to integrate and to find permanent employment in the territory; To fight against any form of exclusion, social, occupational or any other discrimination, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, morals, and sexual practices between consenting people; To propose the screening TROD (Rapid Diagnostic Orientation Tests) which makes it possible to detect, in a few minutes, an HIV, Hepatitis C or B infection. The mobile center plans to reach approximately 600 people in Comminges territory in the first year. The tours, which will begin on December 1, are also planned for the neighboring territories. This project is one of the last in the 2014-2020 programming. The LEADER aid made it possible to purchase a van, fit it out and equip it. The use of LEADER helped to link the project with local stakeholders and other co-funders.
The emblematic of the project
This project meets a real expectation of the various populations (LGBT+ people, partners, professionals). This is the first time that a local association in a rural area has proposed such a project in France, which is intended to be innovative and experimental, in line with the LEADER approach. The State, through its inter-ministerial delegation (DILCRAH), has chosen this project as a “driving project” for the development of local associations and a real response to the expectations of populations far from the resource centers established in the major regional capitals. The ACCEPT mobile center is also a flagship project of the Comminges Pyrénées LAG’s strategy, as it brings basic services closer to the population and aims to raise awareness of issues related to social inclusion (Action Sheet 5). The project is easily transferable to other rural territories that would like to work on LGBT+ issues. As an innovative and pilot project at local, regional and national level, will be the subject of periodic returns at each phase of the implementation of the different stages to the funders and partners in order to share the achievements, difficulties, questions, feedback from the target audiences. Each year, an overall review will be carried out where the target partners and audiences will be invited during a time of exchange and restitution in order to present and evaluate the results obtained, (re)define new objectives, new results, etc. These experiences can be shared with the territories concerned.