The one stop shop support and services center is the first of its kind in San Mateo County and thanks to an Innovation funding extension, it will continue serving the local LGBTQ+ community.
Services offered by the Center include:
- Psycho-educational and social/community activities
- Mental health clinical services
- Resources for local, county and national LGBTQ+ services.
California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) approved the extension to keep the center operating in March.
The Pride center has provided services, training and events for over 3,000 participants since opening in 2017. Read the full article here.
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Annette photographed second from the right on Spirit Day 10/19/17
As a queer person living in San Mateo County, the monthly Pride Initiative meetings are a haven for me to feel connected to local LGBTQ+ community members. Nothing beats being around a table of beautifully unique and bold community members to talk about the numerous efforts we’re working on to strengthen the sense of LGBTQ+ community in San Mateo County.
PRIDE Initiative, 2011
Founded in 2007, the Pride Initiative is a health equity initiative that was created by the Office of Diversity and Equity in recognition that LGBTQ+ folks are often met with culturally inappropriate care and a lack of knowledge by service providers in health settings. Since 2007, the Pride Initiative has met on a monthly basis to organize community-based events, create trainings for service providers and advocate as a community for more LGBTQ+ services within county and community settings.
One such example is sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection that will be rolled out this year across BHRS as well as the whole health system; collecting this data will help reduce health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ folks by normalizing conversations about these aspects of our identities that have a direct impact on our health. Pride Initiative members participated in not only advocating for this, they also contributed to the curriculum that was created to train BHRS staff on how to appropriately serve LGBTQ+ clients and ask SOGI questions with cultural humility.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender activist and columnist for the Bay Area Reporter, to recognize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester on November 28, 1998 in Allston, Massachusetts. For many in the LGBTQ+ community, Rita’s murder exposed the lack of media coverage and particularly, culturally sensitive and respectful media coverage that takes place when transgender members of our community lose their lives to violent hate crimes. The communal anger and grief that was experienced led to a candlelight vigil that was attended by 250 participants. Eighteen years later, Transgender Day of Remembrance events occur on a national and international basis on November 20th each year, and often include a candlelight procession or vigil within the program.
On November 16th, 2017, San Mateo County Pride Center held San Mateo County’s second annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event. Transgender Day of Remembrance serves multiple purposes– this is a day for folks to come together and publicly mourn the lives of transgender siblings whose lives have been taken from us in brutal acts of violence and hatred, and a day for us to find strength within each other to mobilize and combat the violence our transgender community disproportionally faces. Transgender Day of Remembrance in San Mateo County included community speakers Alyss Swanson, Lexi Shimmers and Dr. Jei Africa, along with altars commemorating the lives of transgender siblings lost in 2016 and 2017, followed by a silent candlelight procession down El Camino Real to Central Park in San Mateo. During the procession, 25 participants traded their candles for signs that were each hand-painted by community members the afternoon prior with the names and ages of the lives we’ve lost in 2017. You can view the memorial we created for 2017 in the slideshow on this blog.
You are invited to join us for Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event that aims to commemorate our transgender community members that have lost their lives due to brutal and unconscionable anti-transgender violence.
This event aims to raise public awareness of violence that transgender people face that often goes underreported or incorrectly reported in the news media, with those who are mentioned often misgendered or “deadnamed,” a term used to describe when a transgender person is referred to the name they were given at birth and no longer use. Transgender Day of Remembrance allows us to come together and publicly mourn our transgender siblings as well as find strength within each other as we mobilize to combat anti-transgender violence.
Transgender Pride Flag
On November 20th between 6pm – 8pm at the San Mateo County Pride Center please join the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community at this community dialogue event recognizing the trans community in the Peninsula.
In collaboration with Peninsula Conflict and Resolution Center and the Pride Initiative, the Pride Center will be holding a dialogue series to discuss transgender experiences and issues right here in the county. This event will be a starting point for local action around the issues that our transgender and gender nonconforming neighbors are facing.
For any questions about this event, contact Fern Farley at Fern.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out Run Directors S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons
On the evening of Friday, September 8th, 2017, the San Mateo County Pride Center was abuzz with over 60 community members and allies arriving for a special screening and Directors’ Q&A of the highly acclaimed documentary Out Run.
Directed by S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons (photographed right), Out Run follows the campaign trail of three members of the world’s only LGBT political party, Ladlad, as they aim to earn seats in the Philippine Congress. The film particularly highlights Bemz Benedito, a fierce community advocate who, along with her fellow queer political organizers, campaigns widely across the Philippines with dreams of being the first transgender woman to represent in Congress. Bemz and her Ladlad visionaries went from small-town hair salons to regional beauty pageants to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community across The Philippines and to mobilize working-class LGBTQ folks in the fight against their main opponent, a homophobic evangelical preacher. Read more