With more than 2.2 million followers on Instagram, model, photographer, and grooming expert Kyle Krieger knows how to command people’s attention.
Krieger, a three-time participant in AIDS/LifeCycle, recently used his social media power to raise $16,304 for Center South —the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s location near Leimert Park—by selling “All Black Lives Matter” T-shirts on his Instagram account.
“When I was first on social media, I thought it was all about me,” Krieger tells LGBT News Now. “You outgrow that because it sort of feels empty. You have all these eyes, and people looking and watching. You have their attention so why not bring their attention to giving to others?”
Located on the northeast corner of W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 2nd Avenue, Center South opened in January 2020. Programs and services are provided for free or at low cost to everyone with a focus on serving the needs of young gay and bi men of color ages 12 to 29 and trans women of color.
“With racial justice being in the forefront of everyone’s mind this past year, I thought it was important to contribute to Center South,” Krieger says. “I realize that, as a white, cisgender male, I don’t necessarily want to speak for anyone. But I think it’s important, if you have a platform, to be able to raise up voices of people who are marginalized or don’t have a platform.”
Center South’s services, in addition to HIV and STI testings, include access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) services; linkage and retention to HIV care; housing and employment navigation; mental health services; legal services; and a drop-in space for community meetings and events. It also has a CyberCenter stocked with new desktop computers, made possible through the David Bohnett Foundation, for community members to use.
The 5,500-square-foot facility recently achieved Federally Qualified Health Center status, resulting in plans to provide health services.
“I fell in love with the Center through AIDS/LifeCycle,” Krieger shares. “I really appreciated that it gave me a sense of community when I felt new to L.A. I’ve always had this soft spot in my heart for the Center. I’ve gotten services there, I have friends who work there. The second you walk in the door, you feel like you’re home. You know that this is one of the safest LGBTQ spaces possible in L.A.”
Follow Center South on Instagram @centersouth_