Your support of SMYRC makes a huge difference in youth leadership! Please read Stefhannie's take on how to make a difference.
"Where do I begin, well I guess the simple answer would-be the beginning. My name is Stefhannie-Josephine Calhoun and I am a 21yo Trans female of color, currently residing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’ve always had a passion for the sense of community, and it’s just a plus that I’m specifically passionate about the LGBTQ community. After coming out and searching for some sort of purpose in my life, I realized that I can make a difference. I began my involvement at SMYRC, the Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (the “G” is silent) in Portland, Oregon, it was there that I realized it was possible for me to make a difference within our community.
I realized that I was already making a difference by just being me, but there are there are other ways I could too. One way is through peer-to-peer sexual education. This method allows the students to learn from people their own age. I can validate the fact that when I’m learning something new, learning it from somebody my age can help a lot, and there’s a slight sense of comfortability, if you will. Having knowledge about sexual health doesn’t affect just one person or community, it’s about us all.
Another way is being able to know what your intersecting identity is. Knowing this can help you not only get a better understanding of who and how you really are, but what your actual needs are. For instance my transition from male to female is different from “Suzie”. I don’t need to take hormones to grow breasts, but I do keep unwanted and unruly hair at bay; whereas “Suzie” may not need to keep away unwanted hair but want to grow breasts. Make sense?
One last way is fighting for all-inclusive health care reform that allows people to achieve comfortability within their own mind and body, whether that be from finding the right therapist to have a positive outlet to release your feelings and emotions, or finding the right medical professionals team to monitor the right treatments to fit your needs. It is important for everyone to feel as if they can live and breathe the life that they want to live, or feel that they were meant to live.
All of these topics are just a few of the ones that are present within my community that I have had a connection with and have a moving passion for. Each of these topics are so important within not only their own right but each other. At one point or another each of these topics come to a common ground where everything is at a peaceful standstill, and it is that exact same peaceful standstill that I am wanting to see not only myself achieve but everyone around me regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and yes they are different ;)"
Q Center's Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) turns 15 years old this year! And there's much to celebrate:
15 years of providing a safe space to support and celebrate queer youth.
15 years of working with queer youth and their families.
15 years of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual support provided to queer teens and young adults.
15 years of increased academic success.
15 years of reducing poverty and juvenile crime.
15 years of helping queer youth stay in school.
15 years of creating future community leaders.
All because of the generosity of people like you! Q Center only has $700 to go to reach our $6000 goal to fulfill our "Support 500 LGBTQ Oregon Youth". Please make a gift today and help us with 15 more years of successfully serving LGBTQ youth and youth adults in the Portland metro area!
A trans youth at Q Center's Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) recently shared his story:
"SMYRC has helped me these past few years to make friends and to discover who I was. I found that I preferred male pronouns, as well as a male name. I preferred appearing masculine, rather than feminine. I hated the fact that I was a girl, and didn't understand why. I just wanted to thank you all for helping me discover myself. I hope to volunteer in the future, and am really excited to help out as much as possible." - James
Because of your generosity, trans youth are finding themselves - discovering who they really are and being their authentic selves. There is no greater gift than that.
We are pleased to announce a new partnership which expands services for TransYouth.With your support Q Center continues to protect those most vulnerable.
Community Connect is a drop-in program specifically for transgender, genderqueer, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals. Community Connect serves to address the gaps in services for the Portland trans* community. An advocate will be present during Community Connect to refer individuals to community resources such as counseling referrals, HRT referrals, legal name/gender changes, among other community-based services. The goal of Community Connect is to provide a safe, supportive, and affirming space where trans* individuals can receive assistance in getting their needs met.
Community Connect is held every Thursday from 4pm-8pm at Q Center.
Please contact Lissy Richards, BSWI at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 252-3000 for more information.
Your generous support helped Q Center achieve so many goals in 2012 - including fully funding our "Support LGBTQ Oregon Youth" Global Giving project.
Together with your help we accomplished a lot in 2012:
We couldn't have done it without you! Your generous support not only allowed vulnerable youth a place to call home but also provided programs and services that helps to stablize their day-to-day life. Through partners corporate partners, business owners and individual donors like you we were able to install a state-of-the-art kitchen to improve nutrition options.
For many youth the only hot meal they might eat in a week is at Q Center's Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center. Thanks to our friends at Fridgidare and New Seasons Market, youth can now find nutritional food to help lessen the stress of their day.
Once again, please allow us to thank you for your generous, ongoing support of Q Center. We sincerely appreciate your financial support. If you would like to learn more about Q Center we hope you'll vist us in person for a tour. In the meantime, you can visit our youth resource center virtually - thanks to our friends at Google.
Happy New Year,
Barbara McCullough-Jones, Executive Director
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