When I came to work at the Center three years ago, I had just finished working as a case manager for people on Skid Row. A highly rewarding work, it was also quite challenging working among such high-risk individuals. I saw that so many people in my own LGBTQ community were struggling and experiencing homelessness, and I wanted to do more to help uplift them. Becoming part of the Center’s Cultural Arts team has allowed me the opportunity to do exactly that.
My Center job is to help create safe and brave spaces for those most vulnerable in our community. One of my strengths is helping to connect people through the dialogue shared in group meetings. One of my favorite guidelines for the groups I coordinate is “Lean into Discomfort”: Among your peers and community, you can experience the sometimes uncomfortable growth if you’ll only allow yourself to lean into those important and empowering conversations we have within our groups.
There have been so many memorable moments and experiences I’ve had at the Center. After about a year in my position, I learned so much from my friends and colleagues at work. I remember walking into a meeting which I was to lead and truly feeling in control, assertive, and proud. I often remember that moment.
There was also the time I was able to introduce both my parents to several of the Center’s locations starting with Mi Centro followed by the Anita May Rosenstein Campus and The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. Almost 20 years earlier, when I came out at age 21, they weren’t as supportive as I’d hoped. Today, they embrace all of me.
- Hometown: Bell, CA
- Year Started at Center: 2017
- Staff Position: Social Network Groups Coordinator