Posted on January 21, 2011, 6:36 PM, by Center Blog, under Families.
It may be bitterly cold outside these days but you can escape the frigid temperatures inside the warm and welcoming walls of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Our Center Families Program is beating the winter blues with a RAINBOW BEACH PARTY on Saturday, January 22, from 2 to 4 PM. We invite LGBTQ parents and their kids to stop by for games, snacks and arts and crafts. It’s part of our ongoing Family Play Days gatherings that give LGBTQ parents and their children a safe arena to socialize and have fun in a friendly positive and affirming environment. At Center Families you don’t have to hide who you are. LGBTQ families are celebrated here and treated with dignity and respect.
Whether you have an infant, toddler or teenager, there’s a space for you here. We have a roped off baby proof section for parents who want some quiet time with their newborns. But we also have a host of activities for the older kids and larger areas where they can jump around and play.
And while their kids are having fun we provide adults with vital information from legal experts, fertility specialists and wellness professionals. They give advice on how to protect your family and ensure you have the resources you need in an often anti-LGBTQ world, where many laws are outdated when it comes to our community. This is a great opportunity for our community partners to meet families wherever they are on their journey.
On January 31 from 6:30 to 9 PM we also invite you to our Center Families Open House, a celebration of the many different ways that we create and experience family. All members of our expanding community can learn more about the Center Families Program, meet others on a similar path and check out our fantastic new space while sharing ideas for future Center Families programming. We invite and welcome feedback on how we can continue to improve our offerings. We want your ideas! At the end of the Open House we’ll also be kicking off our community advisory meetings which will happen twice a month.
This Center Families Program gives LGBTQ parents and their children the chance to experience a community that does not judge them for who they are. They don’t have to come in with an underlying feeling that they have to hide themselves. You can be here as you are, enjoy each other’s company and learn from each other. Hope to see you at these upcoming events!
Posted on January 14, 2011, 2:56 PM, by Center Blog, under General.
The new art exhibit Living Live at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center experiments with the representation of what we live and what we are told is “live.” What is “live”? For instance, “live television” is not live; there is a delay for both technical reasons and producers are given a chance to edit content so that everyone is positively represented. Reality television’s entire concept is perhaps the biggest failure when grasping for live moments as cast members are lead certain directions to fulfill a certain “character” and when we go to a “live” performance we know that it is, in fact for the most part, a rehearsed and well crafted spectacle. You can think of many other instances to illustrate the discrepancy of defining “live” however consider that to be “live” is to be spontaneous, unpredictable, and take an active role in creating one’s life. This ‘live-ness’ is always tempered by routine, by the reenactment of cultural norms and performances, and the expectations put upon actions and people by others.
The concept has a special bearing in the LGBT community, which often hangs in a limbo between forging a new “live” identity and place and re-creating societal gender norms While the exhibition does feature queer artists, it also takes aim at a larger goal: to reveal and explore the distance between what we live and what is imposed, between merely living and “living live.”
If nothing else, the exhibit reminds us ditch mundane routines and be open to the cloud of surprises and moments in life.
January 27, 2011 through Monday, February 28, 2011
Opening Reception, Thursday, January 27, 2011, 6:30PM – 8PM
As we begin 2011 it’s refreshing to look back and reflect on how The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center was able to create a safe and nurturing environment for hundreds of (LGBTQ) youth ages 13 to 22, during the holiday season. The Center’s Youth Enrichment Services (Y.E.S.) program held three events in the fall and early winter. They included: “Thanks for Being Queer Turkey Dinner Event” on November 24, which served 100 youth; “Youth Holiday Event” on December 23, that served over 60 youth; and “New Year’s Event” on December 30, serving over 60 youth. The YES holidays events are part of an overall (Y.E.S.) strategy to ensure the safe and healthy development of LGBTQ youth and reduce the incidence of homelessness, HIV and substance abuse. In addition, these events provide homeless LGBTQ youth opportunities to experience milestones such as the holidays in LGBT-positive ways that mainstream settings and many of their families do not provide.
Our “Thanks for Being Queer: Turkey Dinner Event” included the first public performance by the (Y.E.S.) New Agenda dancers, who shared a performance on Native American cultural expression of LGBTQ identities. Both the “Youth Holiday Event” on December 23 and the “Youth New Year’s Event” on December 30 included refreshments funded by PepsiCo’s LGBT employee affinity group and a clothing swap/share with new and used clothing and shoes donated by Center staff. Each event also included activities, groups and games, as well as gift bags complete with “swag” from RuPaul’s Drag Race and new winter scarves, gloves, hats and bags donated by the MTV and HBO LGBT employee affinity groups.
The Center is committed to offering vital services to the young people in our community who often have no role models and no other opportunities to experience an LGBT inclusive environment. We look forward to providing these kinds of unique youth programs throughout the new year and we thank generous donors like PepsiCo, HBO and MTV for helping to make it possible.