Episode #31: After more than a year since students have regularly attended in-person school, we look at the impacts the pandemic is having on LGBTQ+ teens. Joining us as guest host for this conversation is queer community member, recent college graduate, and former State of Mind guest Adam Lanfear. Youth leaders share their experiences of coming out and finding their voices as young queer people. They outline the struggles they faced before Covid-19 and after its emergence complicated their lives even more–and they describe how they’ve persevered. These teens discuss their advocacy work, which includes creating inclusive environments, developing educational resources, and improving access to positive representation for peers. Through these activities and others, they serve as positive role models for queer and questioning youth and allies. We examine how the pandemic has changed the experience of queer youth, identify some of the challenges it’s created, and discuss how schools and communities are responding. In honor of Pride Month, come along with us to learn more about being a supportive ally, creating safe spaces for queer youth, and find out where teens, parents, teachers and others can locate accurate information, support and guidance. Hear about how gestures that may seem small, signal acceptance in big ways… and could help save a life.
Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young for research and outreach. And finally, thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.
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Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County – Website for information on local events and programs for people of all identities/ non-identities. Working to make Santa Cruz County a safe space, free of fear, hatred, and prejudice by advocating for and supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
- Diversity Center Youth Programs – Youth support groups and other fun activities for SC County youth
Queer Youth Task Force (QYTF) of Santa Cruz County – An affiliate of The Diversity Center which proactively enhances understanding and responds if oppression occurs. Join the Youth Council, become an intern or share a presentation at the annual summit QYTF can be reached at 831-427-4004 or info@QYTF.org. QYTF projects include:
- Safe Schools Project – Resources for queer youth and educators to help build safe and inclusive environments for all students, and especially for LGBTQ+ students.Hosts two queer youth summits and supports Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) in Santa Cruz county schools. See services and publications that can support your district and schools in The Safe Schools Project Comprehensive LGBTQ+ Youth Resource List
- Trans* Teen Project – Transgender support for trans youth and their families through self-expression, social networking, and community education
- Adult Ally Project – Parents, teachers, family, college students and allied community members working together to support queer youth
- Queer Youth Leadership Awards – Annual awards celebration of LGBTQ youth and allies in Santa Cruz County. Nominate someone today!
- Leadership Development
Trans Family Support Services – Transgender support for trans youth and their families through self-expression, social networking and community education. Includes a local chapter.
The Purple Sticker Project – dedicated to making books and other media more accessible to students in n grades K-12.
Cryptids in the Closet – a website for closeted LGBTQIA+ youth that gives resources to those in need of help without potentially outing themselves in their online history.
Out in Our Faith – a coalition of many faith communities (Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Unitarian and non-denominational congregations) in Santa Cruz County with a mission to promote the full inclusion of LGBT families, couples and individuals within the area houses of worship to fulfill their spiritual needs.
The Trevor Project’s – their mission is to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people.
Human Rights Campaign Resources and Glossary of Terms – giving people the words and meanings to help make conversations easier and more comfortable. LGBTQ people use a variety of terms to identify themselves, not all of which are listed so the suggest you listen for and respect a person’s self-identified terminology.
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) – promotes and ensures fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of individuals and events in all media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Mental Health Support
Salud Para La Gente Mental Health – mental health support for youth and families.
Family Service Agency (FSA) of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind. FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children. FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds. FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi-Cal, Medicare, and low-cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831-423-9444 x200 and in Soquel 831-346-6767 x200.
Hotline Help for students and families (24 hours a day)
Rupaul’s Drag Race – my favorite show when I need a pick-me-up, or just want to feel confident.
Panel Discussion: The Real People Affected by Anti-Transgender Care Laws– panel discussion about the lives of transgender children, the difficult decisions that parents must make in order to support these children, and the professionals who care for them. KSQD’s “Talk of the Bay” radio program and podcast | Hosted by Suki Wessling | May 17, 2021