After the 2016 election I felt like I really needed to dive in and help my community in any way possible so I became a volunteer at the Center.
It centers me and makes me feel like I’ve lent myself to something that makes a difference for people. I’ve met friends and learned so much. It reminds me that I’m part of a community of people who have been fighting to make things better for a long time.
As a volunteer, I’ve done everything from picking up after the summer movie screenings at Hollywood Forever to helping set up check-ins for huge events. I do whatever will help make events run smoothly, including making sure every volunteer and staff member who needs a radio has one and knows how to use it.
There have been so many memorable moments and conversations I’ve had over the past three years as a volunteer.
I remember talking to someone at the Anniversary Gala about how inspiring it was to see so many out A-list celebrities show up or be proud allies at an LGBT event. Growing up in the 90s, it felt like we’d never get to see anything like that—and that meant a lot.
Another memorable conversation I had was with someone who had been part of a trans support group. They shared how much the group helped them as they were transitioning and that being surrounded by people who understood their struggles and joys was so empowering.
For anyone thinking about volunteering, do it! Meeting people at the Center, working alongside them, and lending a hand to our community is all so rewarding. I absolutely love it when I get to spend some time helping.
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
Year Started at Center: 2016
Volunteer Position: Special Events