Come and connect with us.
March 20, 2020
What a difficult and trying time we are in. Never before have many of us seen such a crisis, but sadly some of us have. Regardless of where we’ve been, we are all here now with each other. Despite physical distance, we are here linked in arms, bonded by our fears, worries, concerns, and doubts. But what connects us is our passions and desires to help, support, and serve our communities in need; to serve and support each other.
In the past few weeks, the San Mateo County Pride Center had to make some difficult, often conflicted, decisions. For now, with heavy hearts but with good reasons, our doors our closed. However, our services are ‘virtually’ open. Our peer support groups are moving online. Our counseling sessions are available through telehealth and payment will be taken over the phone. Our drop-ins will be available both online and by phone, whichever is more convenient for you. We are working on group movie nights and more online social events. We are continuing, in every way possible, to stay connected. Please reference our Facebook and Instagram pages for the most up to date information about programming at the Pride Center. We want to acknowledge that teleconferencing or social media may not be accessible or the best option for all folks, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
We do this because we were created by you to support you. And, most importantly, because we are a part of you. We are the community we serve. We are queer, trans, nonbinary, POC, disabled, older, young, multiracial, bilingual, and everything in between. We are community.
If your idea of connecting with community means volunteering with the Pride Center, we are in the process of adjusting our volunteer program to reflect current state-mandated policies. If you have ideas of how you would like to volunteer, please connect with our amazing volunteer coordinator Dawn (she/her) at Dawn.Davidson@sanmateopride.org
COVID-19 will impact every community differently and because LGBTQ people cross every identity we will be impacted by every ‘ism’ there is. But what is specific to sexuality and gender identity is this:
- The compounded stigma and racism of being both LGBTQ and Asian as we are blamed for a disease that is not ours to burden.
- The overwhelming challenges to our mental health to be young
and LGBTQ and isolated at home in an unwelcoming family. And to be the
generation to be defined by this virus is sickening.
- The compounded stigma and ageism of being both LGBTQ and an
older adult when everyone is afraid we are a carrier. To be bombarded
with the language of “social distancing” and “social isolation” when,
for many of us, this has been reality all along.
- Recognizing that we exist in some of the most marginalized
intersections of identity and have higher rates of substance use/misuse
than the general population. In this time of mounting uncertainty, some
of us oscillate on the continuum of use in order to
cope. It may be hard for us to seek help due to the stigma we face in
places of ‘support.’
- What is it like to be trapped inside with an abusive partner
when domestic violence amongst LGBTQ partners is already invisible?
- And to the disproportionate amount of us who are
LGBTQ on the streets, how do we “self-isolate” and practice “social
- As a community, and especially in the Bay Area, our
earnings fall well under the living wage median. For some of us, we
might be in a constant state of prioritization-caused decision fatigue.
As we physically distance ourselves, we have to rely
on technology as a means of connection but may not have the means to
access these technological tools.
- We are a beautiful and expansive community comprised of a million kinds of people. We sincerely apologize if we forgot to name you.
We know there is a lack of resources which is why we have been diligently collecting a list of free and accessible resources for you. These will be posted on all of our online resources (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website). Please access these. Please share them. And we will add to them as we find more. Now is the time, perhaps more than ever, to deepen our support systems; now is the time to (figuratively) hold each other close.
We are an innovative community who has always found each other. The ability to build connections with each other in spite of being separated is in our cultural lineage. We will get through this together. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation.
We at Pride are still here. We at Pride are still strong. Lean on us and we will navigate through this, together. We thrive when you thrive, we exist because you exist. We are here for you and work to support YOU.
This is what community does and we are a designed community center by you at our core.
Come and connect with us.
With love. With pride. Our Pride.
San Mateo County Pride Center
(650) 591-0133 or email@example.com
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