Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Center

One of the things that I like best about The Center is that it tries to provide resources for the entire LGBT community. The inclusive nature of The Center means offering a place for not only the more well-known letters of LGBT, but others as well. The acronym should expand to LGBTQQIAAPP, commonly referred to by my peers as the "Alphabet Soup Acronym". To clarify, these letters as I understand them stand for: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, polyamorous, and pansexual. Different people add or subtract letters based on their own views of the community. However, what I like about the center is that the organization offers a place for more than just the traditional 4 (LGBT), arguably traditional 2 (LG).

The Center's website is truly a great resource for this community. On it, you can find a news feed that talks about issues facing the community, some of which were mentioned in my last post, such as civil unions. You can also find information on their programs. Rainbow Alley is an excellent program geared towards youth that emphasizes empowerment, and works to educate young adults on safe sex practices in a fun and safe environment. SAGE of the Rockies offers activities for community members over 50 such as yoga, computer classes, Tuesday coffee, and more.

Apart from program offerings, the website has a fantastic selection of resources and information that focus on everything from legal issues and advocacy to health resources. At The Center itself, there are rooms available for community use, a wonderful library with books you can borrow, a computer lab, and helpful motivated staff and volunteers.

The Center is heavily involved in community activities. Besides LGBT Lobby Day (view my previous post for more info,) The Center also helped sponsor  Westword's 2011 Artopia, they do fundraising for the LGBT community, and are most well-known for sponsoring the nation's 4th largest Pride Fest here in Denver. The Center's community activism helps them get the word out about their services and let the community know what a helpful resource they are.

To return to my original comment on inclusivity, the center is working on a Transgender Job Fair for May 7th, 2011 through their Transgender Career Advancement Project. According to their website, "TCAP was created to assist Colorado's transgender community find good-paying jobs with employers who have transgender inclusive policies in place. TCAP also assists employers in cultivating a friendly and inclusive work environment." For more information on this event please see this web address:

As I learn more about The Center, I continue to be impressed with what they are doing for the community. What I love best about working with them is the sense of belonging I feel, even as someone who is new to the LGBT community. From the moment I filled out my volunteer application with them and saw that they had provided room for identifiers other than straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans, I knew we would get along well. Additionally when it came to gender identifiers, I appreciated, though was not surprised to see that the form had a separate section for gender and sexual orientation. Small things like this on a form have a magical way of making people feel accepted. It is a wonderful thing to be able to self-identify in a way that you are comfortable with.

That sense of comfort deepened as I learned more about The Center and its programs. I feel that they do an excellent job on educating the community about issues, and providing resources to assist the community. I am increasingly motivated to see what my own contribution to The Center will be. As I look towards my future working with them, I am in deep contemplation about what I can do for them, because really, that is why I am volunteering my time. I hope that what I offer The Center is as beneficial as what they continue to offer me.

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