Weekly Newsletter // December 3rd, 2019

The mission of Our Gente is to encourage and recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual youth by providing a safe, supportive environment during our monthly social support groups, community trainings, and community events facilitated by the Queer/Trans Youth Collective. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep the members of our community informed about upcoming events and engaged with LGBTQ+ issues both locally and nationally. We hope that this can become a great resource for young LGBTQ+ identifying individuals in the Monterey County area!

World AIDS Day

Founded in 1988 as the first ever global health day, World AIDS Day takes place annually on December 1st to show support for the approximately 36.7 million people globally living with HIV, and to commemorate those 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illness since its discovery in 1984.

Even though many scientific and medical advances have been made, lack of knowledge and availability of accurate information surrounding the virus continues to be the cause of stigma and discrimination for those individuals living with the condition. This day is important as it reminds us- and the government- that awareness, education, and raising money to fund more medical research is still vital and necessary.

One usually wears a red ribbon to bring awareness and show solidarity with the millions living with HIV and AIDS. It’s important to remember what you can do to prevent new HIV diagnoses: practice safe sex, consider PrEP, and get tested regularly.

If you are looking for more information or resources in the Monterey County, visit the Monterey Health Department, Planned Parenthood, or Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, or visit the CDC website to find resources in your area.

Youth Leadership Summit

The Monterey County LGBTQ+ Collaborative is in the planning stages for our 2020 Youth Leadership Summit, and we need help from our local youth to make sure this summit is even better than the last one!

If you are an LGBTQ+ identifying youth currently attending a local middle school or high school, please do us the huge favor of filling out this Google Form so we can use the data collected for important decision making as we continue to plan. If you are an advisor or mentor to middle or high school aged LGBTQ+ youth, please share this with them!

Sharing Circle!

Every second Thursday of the month, Our Gente hosts our monthly Sharing Circle social support group. The main objective of Sharing Circle is to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies to openly share about their lives in a comfortable and supporting atmosphere. Through this concept we hope to help our youth develop healthy and strong social support networks as they transition into adulthood. Our next Sharing Circle happens on December 12th, 2019 at 6:30 PM. We hope you can join us!

For more information about Sharing Circle, contact jacob@epicentermonterey.org!


To celebrate the end-of-year holidays with our Epicenter family, The Epicenter will be hosting our annual THANXMAS potluck on Tuesday, December 17th from 4 PM to 6 PM here at The Epicenter! Participation is free and open to the general public, and everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite holiday dish to share. We don't get a lot of opportunities to all sit down for a meal together, and this is the perfect opportunity for Epicenter staff to engage with community members, and community members with us as well, so we're very excited to be doing this again this year. Please join us!

For more information, please contact jacob@epicentermonterey.org.

Queer/Trans Youth Collective

The Queer/Trans Youth Collective, or QTYC for short, are going through some organizational and structural changes going into 2020. We are currently looking for 3 motivated LGBTQ+ youth ages 16-24 with a desire to gain experience working in a non-profit setting, specifically specializing in LGBTQ+ community support for fellow youth. The commitment is 10 hours a month and participants will be compensated for their time.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about the PTYC program, please contact ourgente@epicentermonterey.org for more information!

Latinx LGBTQ+ Film Festival

The 5th Annual Latinx LGBTQ+ Film Festival will happen February 8th & 9th, 2020 at the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts! Our planning committee are working on securing film rights and developing programming for both days of the festival, and we're so excited to bring you even more quality film celebrating the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Latinx identity!

If you are interested in joining our planning committee, volunteering during the festival, or donating money or resources for the festival, please contact jacob@epicentermonterey.org!

We will be selling tamales as a fundraiser beginning this week. Bundles of 5 pork or jalapeño cheese tamales will be sold for $10 to be picked up either frozen or cooked on December 21st, just in time for Christmas week! More details about securing your redeemable tickets will be available soon!

LGBTQ+ Research Study

Dr. Shannon Snapp at California State University, Monterey Bay is doing a study called LGBTQ+ Casual Sex: Foundational Investigations for Improving Health and Well-being of Vulnerable Populations. In this study, they hope to understand the hookup experiences of LGBTQ+ young adults in order to better support LGBTQ+ young people and their sexual health. They are looking to interview LGBTQ+ identifying community members that are 18-24 years of age. They are especially interested in having genderqueer, nonbinary, and transgender individuals take part in the study. Interviews will take approximately 60-90 minutes, and participants will receive $20 worth of merchandise of their choice from Amazon.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please email SYPPlab@gmail.com.

Monterey County Gives

The Epicenter is one of many non-profit organizations participating in this year's Monterey County Gives! campaign. Please consider donating to our campaign: every donation counts! You can access our donation page at this link. Thank you!

Our Gente is a program of The Epicenter.
Visit our website at epicentermonterey.org.

The Epicenter's drop-in hours are 12 PM to 6 PM, Tuesday through Friday of every week.

This issue of our newsletter featured contributions from
Jacob Agamao, Dr. Shannon Snapp, and Maritssa Vargas.

If you are interested in contributing content to this newsletter,
or participating in the Our Gente program,
contact jacob@epicentermonterey.org.

To subscribe to the Our Gente weekly newsletter,
send an e-mail to ourgente@epicentermonterey.org
with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject header.