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DSS/HRA seeks to ensure that all people are able to access our services in a respectful and affirming manner. Discrimination based on sexual orientation, transgender status, or intersex status often affects employment, housing, family support, medical care, and the ability to meet basic survival needs.

For this reason, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI) people have been identified as a vulnerable population, which may be disproportionately likely to live in poverty, and need access to public benefits. Accordingly, the DSS/HRA has created an initiative under the Office of Client Advocacy and Access to identify and address the unique needs of LGBTQI communities.

The goals of DSS/HRA’s LGBTQI Affairs work are as follows:

  • Increase awareness and visibility of LGBTQI issues across the organization
  • Identify specific obstacles to access and participation for LGBTQI clients in HRA/DSS’s programs and services, and work with program staff to implement solutions
  • Serve as liaison with community based organizations to increase collaboration regarding LGBTQI issues at HRA/DSS
  • Assist program participants with concerns or complaints related to accessing HRA/DSS programs

Read the DSS/HRA's LGBTQI Policy.
Read how DSS/HRA is Fighting LGBTQI Food Insecurity.
Read the DHS Policy on Serving Transgender, Non-Binary, and Intersex Clients.

Many DSS staff members also include their gender pronouns in their email signatures. Learn more about gender pronouns.

Changing Your Name or Gender at DSS

If you would like to change your name or gender with DSS, please fill out form HRA-138. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for more information on how HRA clients can change name and gender with the agency. The FAQ document explains a little more about how the process works at HRA, and what additional documents you may need to submit. You can bring the form and supporting documents to any location where you access HRA’s services.

NYC Unity Project: LGBTQI Coronavirus Resources

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many NYC programs and services have shifted online, are temporarily modified, or are currently unavailable. Visit the NYC Unity Project’s LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Resource Guide for detailed, up-to-date information about LGBTQ+ affirming programs and services available citywide, virtually and in-person.

Additional Resources