Ariel Bustamante (Staff)

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I’m someone who experienced homelessness as a queer youth, touched the foster care system, and eventually parenthood. The opportunity to do this work is a perfect melding of my own experiences and continuing to support my community.

No matter what role you have at the Center, you are surrounded by people who are passionate about the LGBTQ+ community. My favorite part of working here is knowing that there are so many unique perspectives among people who bring lived expertise to the work that they do.

Working at the Center has given me a space to find community and to constantly be challenged in my work.  Each day, I get to have incredibly deep and insightful conversations with colleagues, members, and clients.

Things came full circle for me last year when I had the opportunity to direct the Parent & Professional Institute at Models of Pride for the first time. I had attended the conference years ago at Occidental College as a youth.

The best part of the day was knowing that while hundreds of youth were having a blast, I got to engage one-on-one with tons of parents who were anxious at the beginning of the day, but who by the end had connected with others like them and gained the sense of community.

In the Center’s 50th anniversary year, I’m really excited about us having the opportunity to look back at all the progress we’ve contributed to and also move that agenda forward at the intersections and at the margins.

Many of us have lived through key moments of LGBTQ+ history in that time and this is a time to pause and celebrate, but also do some serious thinking about the road ahead.


Hometown: Los Angeles

Year Started at Center: 2016

Staff Position: Training & Coaching Manager for Children, Youth, & Family Services


 

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