As Pride Month 2022 comes to a close, I wanted to take today to speak about the past month, our spotlight choices, and most of all, say thank you.
Over the past month, we have highlighted the origins of pride month and the importance of remembering the brave individuals who protested at Stonewall to create space for all people to be unapologetically themselves. In addition to these spotlights, we have been working tirelessly to engage with and include the LGBTQ community in all of the incredible opportunities San Diego Oasis offers. Here is what we have accomplished thus far:
Earlier in June, San Diego Oasis participated in an event at the LGBTQ Center in Hillcrest to inform seniors within the community about our organization. Over 25 LGBTQ+ identifying older adults attended this event, some of whom had never heard of Oasis. Our relationship with the Center is an essential way for us to tap into the LGBTQ community and build trust among older adults who may not have previously heard of Oasis. A special thank you to Elisa Barnet, Director of Senior Services at the Center, for inviting us into the community so that we could extend a seat at our table for LGBTQ seniors.
This month, Oasis also launched an LGBTQ+ lecture series intended to educate people on LGBTQ issues as they relate to aging. The first lecture in this series took place on June 28th, and over 20 people participated. In this lecture, we discussed “the closet” as a social construct, the difficulties of coming out on a public and individual scale, and the barriers for folks coming out later in life. A very special shout-out and thank you goes to Jan Garbosky, who dedicated her time and effort to spread the word about this special lecture event! Thank you, Jan!
The terms gender and sexuality have been circulating throughout popular culture for decades, yet many of us are still unsure of their meaning. This class will discuss gender and sexuality broadly to demystify these terminologies and lay the foundation for future conversations regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. In this class, we will define gender and sexuality, explore gender and sexuality as a social construction, and examine the connections between gender and sexuality.
I have loved working with our staff, volunteers, and members on building more trust and inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing everyone’s reactions to our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts has been an incredible experience! Although Pride Month is over, there is so much work to be done, and I am excited to continue our efforts to develop more inclusivity in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. Thank you to everyone who assisted in making Pride Month here at Oasis a success and to our LGBTQ members for sharing your stories and feedback with all the staff and me here at San Diego Oasis so we could better celebrate you and celebrate Pride together.