I realize the absurdity of writing about a fundraiser immediately after posting about poverty, but there's a very important connection … the services of Persad Center, the region's LGBT mental health service provider. “Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art” is a clear way you can help.
Ledcat and I will be live-blogging this year's “Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art” auction in May. Something neat for you to explore is the online “thumbnails” of this year's art donations. Here's the link. We'll be covering the Patron Party, too.
I'm working with Persad to provide training for my team so we can make sure our services and program meet the needs of LGBTQ individuals and families we serve. I've been with my agency for a little over 3 months and have identified that we need to be very proactive to assure our consumers that we respect their LGBTQ identities. I'm out at work, to my team and to consumers as appropriate. My team is pretty good and certainly wants to be competent on LGBTQ issues, but there's only so much I can personally do to ensure that they have the appropriate information. There's also only so much I can do to assure our consumers that they can take the leap from coming out to me, an openly queer woman, to coming out to their staff person. That's a huge step and there has to be trust, as well as the right information.
Thankfully, I can turn to Persad to provide that information.