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 ;)"