Weekly Newsletter // November 5th, 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!

Our Gente Hike Day

NOTE: Because the 4th Thursday of November is Thanksgiving, we have a modified schedule for our social support groups for the month. We will be having an Our Gente Hike Day on November 9th, and will continue with our Sharing Circle series on November 14th. We had initially advertised Our Gente Hike Day taking place on November 2nd, but due to scheduling conflicts we have postponed the event to November 9th!

The Epicenter's partnership with Big Sur Land Trust brings Monterey County youth out into beautiful nature environments several times throughout the year. On Saturday, November 9th, Our Gente and Big Sur Land Trust will host a small group of youth on an outdoor day camp in Marks Ranch just outside Salinas, incorporating hiking, art, and poetry in a fun interactive day on the trails. We'll leave The Epicenter around 9 AM and return around 4:15 PM; all transportation and meals will be provided!

Youth aged 10-17 who are interested in participating in the Our Gente Hike Day are encouraged to sign-up by contacting jacob@epicentermonterey.org or visiting the Epicenter Tuesday through Friday from 12 PM to 6 PM during drop-in hours to pick up a participation form. Space is limited, so please sign up as soon as possible!

Sharing Circle

NOTE: Because the 4th Thursday of November is Thanksgiving, we have a modified schedule for our social support groups for the month. We will be having an Our Gente Hike Day on November 9th, and will continue with our Sharing Circle series on November 14th.

Continuing our series on peer-led and peer-focused social support, Sharing Circle will take place on November 14th, the usual second Thursday of the month, from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. LGBTQ+ youth are invited to share what's on their mind and listen to what their fellow youth have to say in a comfortable and supportive environment free from judgment. It's been very successful and continues to grow every month. Please join us!

As a reminder, there will not be a Social Support Group on the fourth Thursday of the month, as that falls right on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy time with family of all varieties and maybe chase some Black Friday sales instead!

Latinx LGBTQ+ Film Festival

We have a date! The 5th Annual Latinx LGBTQ+ Film Festival will happen February 8th & 9th, 2020. We are currently developing our film screening schedule, 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 or volunteering during the festival itself, please contact jacob@epicentermonterey.org for more information.

QTYC Recruitment

Our Gente is currently recruiting officers for our Queer/Trans Youth Collective. Our goal is to develop the future of local LGBTQ+ leadership through peer-led education and sharing. QTYC officers are essential to the development of Our Gente programming, ensuring that our events are truly made for youth, by youth. These volunteer positions require a commitment of only a few hours a month and are compensated via small stipends based on participation and attendance. For more information, please contact jacob@epicentermonterey.org.

Intersex Day of Remembrance

November 8th is recognized as Intersex Day of Remembrance, or Intersex Solidarity Day, the birthday of French intersex historical figure Herculine Barbin. A civil awareness day, Intersex Day of Remembrance was created to create awareness of intersex people and to showcase the challenges they face in life.

According to the Open Society Foundations, intersex people are individuals born with sex characteristics such as chromosomes, genitalia, reproductive anatomy, and/or hormones that do not fit into typical binary categories of either male or female. Some intersex people face discrimination based on the ambiguity of those characteristics.

One of the most important issues facing intersex individuals is non-consensual medical interventions to modify intersex anatomy. As of 2019, California is the first state to create a Senate Bill (SB 201) that prohibits doctors from performing unnecessary genital surgery on infants until they are old enough to make that decision on their own.

For more information about Intersex Day or Remembrance, and other intersex resources and information, visit intersexday.org!

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 and Jocelyn Hayden.

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.