I didn’t really apply for a job at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. I was earning my hours toward my LMFT license at the Center, and I just never left because I fell in love with my work, my colleagues, and the organization.
Working at the Center has given me a sense of purpose, given me a second family, and solidified a life-long interest in supporting the LGBTQ community.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve joked that I’m now the IT Director of Mental Health because the situation has called for transitioning everyone over to telehealth services. We’ve had to get everyone outfitted with the right technology and training as well as put protocols and policies in place. It has involved training and hiring new staff in this crazy world, coordinating services with other departments, and restructuring crisis intervention services.
The crisis has shown me, more than ever, that we are passionate and resilient warriors at the Center! Everyone has risen to the occasion to a level that is awe-inspiring and makes me unbelievably proud to work here. I’ve also learned that I’m not good at putting off work until the end of the day—or keeping my dog quiet when I’m talking to clients.
There have been many memorable moments and conversations over the past 10 months that have stayed with me. I’m consistently impressed by my conversations with our new interns who have jumped into this craziness with an openness, curiosity, and passion that is already having a direct and profound effect on our clients. I’ve also spoken with donors and grantors who have continually impressed me with their interest in supporting our work and are overflowing with gratitude for what we’ve done, and continue to do, during this difficult time.
For anyone who aspires to work at the Center, get ready to meet some amazing human beings and have your heart explode with pride for the breadth and depth of work that is accomplished daily. Your job will naturally bleed into many other areas by choice. You will laugh and cry at staff meetings and, most days, this will feel like much more than just a job.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Year Started Working at Center: 2012
Staff Position: Associate Director, Mental Health Services