LGBTQ+ folks in southern Oregon are frontline organizers and essential workers. We are voters and census workers. We are Black leaders, indigenous activists, fierce femmes, tender men, elders, mothers, fathers, and teenagers. This year we've learned a lot about who our queer community in southern Oregon is, what we need, what exists, and what's missing here.
(Image credit: Aaron Glasson; used with permission from amplifer.org)
In 2020, the LGBTQ+ Listening Project...
- Developed a LGBTQ-centered COVID resources guide to connect queer folks with financial, health, and information resources;
- Hosted 3 story circles focused on QTBIPOC, self-care, and resilience to connect local community;
- Supported the development of 2 ongoing support/liberation groups for QTBIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth in the Illinois Valley;
- Built a community needs survey with a lot of community feedback and heard from 550+ local LGBTQ+ folks about their needs/desires/visions for our area;
- Developed several working groups of badass, engaged queer organizers focused on creating events, moving this work forward, analyzing survey data, and centering QTBIPOC voices in our queer movement-building;
- Responded to direct inquiries and provided resources for queer youth in crisis, newly out transgender folks and parents of transgender kids, and newcomers to the area to connect them with other people, groups, and funding;
- Mapped existing local resources and started a local LGBTQ+ resource list (still in progress!) in response to a lack of centralized info about social groups and affirming healthcare providers, and began developing a website (thanks Eli!);
- Connected our work with many other current and past LGBTQ+ community leaders in this region as well as statewide and nationally with organizations like Trans*Ponder, the Q Center, Basic Rights Oregon, Out in the Open, CenterLink (Center for LGBTQ Centers), and QORRN (Queer Oriented Rural Resource Network);
- Presented our work at the Basic Rights Oregon virtual summit and the SOHealth-E LGBTQ+ health equity workgroup, as well as at public online community events;
- Responded to increased incidents of harrassment and sexuality/gender/race-based-targeting by helping develop a community-based bias response system (in the works)...
....plus a lot of surviving!--living through wildfires, leading and supporting mutual aid and emergency response efforts, raising funds, cancelling things, pivoting, and making friends and relationships that sustain this work.
THANK YOU! to all of the folks who've been involved this year, shown up for something, come to committee meetings, read an email, cared for yourselves and the LGBTQ+ folks in your life, and been with us or alongside us this year.
And thanks to AllCare and the Pride Foundation, who've funded this work. We're excited to share that the Pride Foundation just gave us a $25,000 gift to keep on doing this work here! Hurrah!
(Image credit: Art Twink; used with permission from Forward Together)
Here's a few updates about upcoming events for the LGBTQ+ Listening Project:
- In early January we'll be holding an info session about the LGBTQ+ Listening Project, the different committees, and get input and how to get involved! It'll be casual teatime. Stay tuned for a date; we'll post on social media and on our "upcoming events" page (see dropdown menu above).
- Southern Oregon QTBIPOC Liberation Space will continue as a space for LGBTQ+ Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) in southern Oregon to connect. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for details.
- We now have a volunteer form for the LGBTQ+ Listening Project! If you know someone who is interested in getting involved, you can share this form: www.tinyurl.com/lgbtqlisteningprojectvolunteer. (It is also available in the dropdown menu above, if you hover over "LGBTQ+ Listening Project.")
We are looking forward to the coming year--to sharing the survey results and building a stronger, more inclusive, and just southern Oregon for all of us.
(Image credit: Pete Railan, used with permission from amplifer.org)