May 25, 2010

I did it!

Yall already know that I came to my homeland with a MISSSION (thanks Chantel!)

I'm not religious and resent the fact that much of the support for LGBT people in San Antonio is done through churches. I personally do not feel comfortable going to church or church related events. I think non-religious as well as religious folks should have access to this kind of support.

Unfortunately I developed activists block. I had sent e-mails to coffeeshops and community centers to no avail. Last night I bypassed my pride and e-mailed a slew of LGBT friendly churches that I found in an online directory. This morning three e-mailed back saying I could use their space for an LGBT youth discussion group.

One pastor in particular lamented the dearth of resources for LGBT youth in San Antonio. He, along with some other pastors, was trying to start a religious group for LGBT youth. He could get the message out to members of gay-friendly parishes across San Antonio. Most importantly, he promised me access to a large meeting place equipped with state-of the art games like ping-pong.

I was wholly unprepared for this to happen so quickly. I did what anyone in my situation would do: I created a Facebook group. Now the group has almost thirty members. I have sent e-mails to arts organizations, synagogues, HIV/AIDS organizations, meditation centers- every place I think will lend me a sympathetic ear.

I would like to contact high school GSAs (does anyone know if an online directory exists?) and reach out to all sides of town. I want people to hear about and have access to this group whether they live on the Northside, Southside, Eastside or Westside. The highways in San Antonio can take you anywhere. Unfortunately, public transportation is limited and doesn't yet exist in the newer parts of town. I love that the church is located near San Antonio College in the downtown area.

I know this was a simple step that required no high-tech skill or grant-writing ability. Yet for some reason it hadn't been done before (correction: I have since learned is has been done before, it just didn't last.) I can't wait to see how this group develops and meet some more amazing people.

For those of yall who found this via Google and want details about the group: the first meeting will be Thursday June 17th at 6:00 PM at the Cove. Check out the Facebook group San Antonio LGBT Youth Discussion Group. Please RSVP for the event. I look forward to meeting you!

10 comments:

  1. That's wonderful! I'm proud of you, Veronica. What a way to spend your summer days.

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  2. Congratulations Veronica, that's awesome! It sounds like you've accomplished a whole heap in such a short time. Can't wait to hear updates of how you and your group are progressing!

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  3. Congrats Veronica! That's exciting. I hope the group flourishes.

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  4. Whoa! Veronica this is amazing! I'm so proud of you!

    As for your GSA question, look at the San Antonio public schools website and filter by just high schools. Each high school should have it's number listed. You literally will have to call each one. They are not nearly organized enough to keep a list. I don't even believe that inSIDEOUT has a roster of HS GSA's and QSA's

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  5. Just so yall know: A website does exist that lists all the GSAs in high schools in California. It is: http://gsanetwork.org/

    Similar websites exists for other states, though I don't know if they too have GSA directories.

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  6. I'm so sneaky: You can see a list of GSAs registered with the GLSEN if you create an account with them saying you have a GSA on your high school. I created an account back when I went to Catholic school. This is going to be fun :)

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  7. Beaming. You are The Greatest. Don't forget that you have a trillion friends (read: family) at Duke and in the Triangle if you need any help!

    Also, um, is there any reason we can't do something similar in Durham? (Summer, is this sort of what Ashe did/does?) Aliza and I made a pact to volunteer downtown more next semester (and hopefully convince BDU & friends to come with!) and I think this would be a pretty sweet way to do that.

    But good luck Veronica! And keep us posted!

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  8. this is so AWESOME Veronica!! =)

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  9. Chris: I'm looking up what resources exist for LGBT youth in the Triangle. While there is nothing specifically in Durham, there are similar groups in the Triangle. From what I've seen it's all through collaboration between GSAs at high schools. I'm going to talk to people about whether a Durham-based group is necessary. One of my goals is to reach people out of school and people in religious/private schools.

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  10. Veronica: if you're interested in collaborating with local groups and GSAs, you should definitely chat with Cole. He's gonna be around the Triangle this summer and he's interested in outreach to community organizations and GSAs too. I know he's excited about continuing this next semester as well.

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