Heidi Chairez (Staff)

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I had not planned on becoming a Center employee. But the day I walked in to get help with my name and gender marker change, I ended up filling out a job application before I left. I felt as if I already belonged here.

Once I started working at the Center, I realized how much I love our mission and everything we do. I’m able to help my community in a very intimate way. My heart becomes filled with love when I see clients get their HIV meds, hormones, housing, therapy, and more.

The Center has brought back my confidence as a professional and helped me become a proud trans woman. Working here has shown me that I have a place in this world like everyone else. This awareness brings joy to my soul because it allows me to have a positive impact in the lives of LGBT people who are going through tough times in their lives as I once was.

Here, we are a family. I remember being so nervous the first time I was asked to do a presentation for the entire Health Services department. I admitted to being super nervous, and Medical Director Dr. Ward Carpenter said to me: “Heidi, don’t be nervous. Just remember that we all want you to succeed.” Those are words of encouragement I will never forget.

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about working at the Center to apply because this is a place where you can be your true authentic self.

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Hometown: Los Angeles

Year Started at the Center: 2015

Staff Position: Health Services Care Navigator

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