Central PA's LGBT News Source

Coronavirus Update LGBT Center of Central PA

Update: April 7, 2020

Posted

• FAB SCHEDULED FOR Sept. 19

• GSA SUMMIT POSTPONED*

* We had earlier reported this as cancelled.

• See virtual opportunities to participate in Center’s programming below.

The LGBT Center is here for you during this time - and we invite you to be here with us. Call us on our Google Voice number at 717-409-5781. E-mail us at info@centralpalgbtcenter.org or any of our staff e-mail addresses. Join our regular groups virtually (see info under "Programs"). Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tune into our "lives". Post in our community on Slack. Know that you are not alone!

• RESOURCES

New "Resources" Page on our Website!

Although we are working virtually, the Center is still here for you to provide resources and help to support our communities, as always! 

To assist with this, we are excited to share that we have launched a new "Resources" page on our website that we invite you to check out. Whether you're looking for support with housing, mental health, medical or other resources, we can help you get connected with what you need!

• Virtual Community Network on Slack

We know that some of our community members are at greater risk of being impacted by COVID-19, including our LGBTQ+ older adults and people with compromised immune systems. As we have always done in times of increased need, we are encouraging our communities to support and care for one another. 

The LGBT Center has created a virtual community network on Slack as a way to support LGBTQ+ people in Central PA who have acute financial and mobility needs during this time. There are channels for different types of needs, and you can post types of assistance you are seeking or offering. Anyone is welcome to utilize and participate in this resource, though it centers the needs of LGBTQ+ community members. Please feel free to share this resource widely!

• PROGRAMMING

Common Roads

Our Common Roads groups for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are still continuing virtually each week via Google Hangouts, and below you can find the specific links to access these spaces. If you would like to use a call-in option or have any questions, please e-mail Gabe Taylor, Youth Programs Coordinator, at gtaylor@centralpalgbtcenter.org.

Common Roads Harrisburg (LGBTQ+ youth ages 14-17)

Wednesdays @ 6-8pm

meet.google.com/uqw-mfkf-bsb

Common Roads Lancaster (LGBTQ+ youth ages 14-17)

Fridays @ 6-8pm

meet.google.com/xoe-smxu-ida

Common Roads Young Adults (LGBTQ+ young adults ages 18-29)

Sundays @ 4-6pm

 meet.google.com/ipi-dscm-gia

• Passageways

Our Passageways group for transgender and non-binary people ages 16 & up continues to meet virtually every Saturday from 2-4pm via Google Hangouts, and you can access this group at meet.google.com/cqd-bvup-otb. If you would like to use a call-in option or have any questions, please e-mail Dre Ceja, Director of Training & Education, at dceja@centralpalgbtcenter.org. Check out this month's schedule of topics and facilitators below!

• QTPOC Group

Our QTPOC Group for queer & trans people of color of any age is now meeting virtually the first and last Saturday of every month from 5-6pm via Google Hangouts, and you can access this group at https://meet.google.com/ipi-dscm-gia. This is a closed group for queer & trans people of color only. If you would like to use a call-in option or have any questions, please e-mail Amanda Carter, Director of Youth Programs, at acarter@centralpalgbtcenter.org. Check out tomorrow's topics for discussion below! 

• Aging with Pride

Our Aging with Pride group for LGBTQ+ older adults is now meeting virtually the second Thursday of every month from 1-3pm (note time change) using the call-in number 720-835-5146 and PIN 47948. If you have any questions, please e-mail Amanda Arbour, Executive Director, at aarbour@centralpalgbtcenter.org. Our next meeting is next Thursday, April 9th - we'll be checking-in to see how everyone's doing, sharing copying strategies, and talking about how to deal with social isolation.

• GLO

GLO is also continuing to provide services using a virtual format - including daily check-ins on Facebook Live, Pose Watch Nights using the Netflix Party app, and different groups using Zoom. Check out this week's schedule below to give you an idea of what to expect, and follow GLO on Facebook for more details! Check out the FAQs about virtual programming here. If you have addition questions, please e-mail Amanda Carter, Director of Youth Programs, at acarter@centralpalgbtcenter.org.

• EVENTS

GSA Summit Postponed

The LGBT Center has been working diligently to make GSA Summit 2020 a meaningful and exciting event for hundreds of LGBTQ+ youth. However, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are doing our part to prioritize the safety of all students, advisors, volunteers, and staff.

Following news from Penn State Harrisburg that the university has instructed all upcoming events this spring be postponed, and having decided against a virtual model, GSA Summit 2020 will be postponed. 

Know that we will be working closely with Penn State Harrisburg to secure new dates, and will keep you all informed as things move forward. We look forward to holding an exciting and meaningful event when it is safe to do so.

Highmark Walk Going Virtual!

The Highmark Walk is going virtual this year - which means that we won't be gathering to walk together on May 16th, we WILL still be walking, building teams, and raising funds to support the Center! 

The exciting news is that we're on the Highmark Walk's leaderboards for our fundraising efforts!! This week, we're #1 for total online gifts received (68), and #2 for total online dollars raised ($3,331)! Thanks so much to everyone who's been donating and fundraising so far to get us to this point. Currently we're at 27% of our goal for this event, with about 6 weeks to go. Let's keep the momentum going!!

Please visit the Center's fundraising page, where you can donate, register, create or join a team, or create a fundraising page!

• FAB 2020 Nominations Open

The LGBT Center invites you to join us in focusing on our vision for collective liberation at FAB 2020! On Saturday, September 19th we will gather at the Hershey Lodge to highlight the Center's work towards collective liberation, honor leaders in our communities who are fighting for our freedom, and invite you to be engaged in this critical work. As those who are most marginalized continue to be under attack, this is a critical time for us to come together to use our voices and take action collectively to fight for our freedom.

You have the opportunity to nominate individuals, groups, or organizations in our communities to be honored at FAB 2020! Nominations can only be made through this form until May 1st.

Our FAB 2020 award categories are:

  • Rising Star Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Local Spotlight Award
  • Legacy Award
  • Movement Leadership Award

All nominees will be evaluated by the LGBT Center based on a rubric that aligns with our Vision, Mission, and Values as an organization. Current Board members and staff are not eligible for FAB 2020 awards. Thank you for participating in this process!

• Release Our Loved Ones

The LGBT Center is working with MILPA (Movement of Immigrant Leaders in PA) to urge our state and local elected officials to take emergency measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our prisons, jails, and detention centers. We know that those who are incarcerated are extremely vulnerable to the spread of this virus, which could be devastating - and there have already been confirmed cases.

Flattening the curve of COVID-19 mandates that we have an immediate and comprehensive plan for prisons and detention centers where large numbers of people are held together. Their health and safety depends on swift and aggressive measures coordinated at all levels to avert virus spread in all facilities with a priority on releasing as many people as possible and halting the introduction of more people into Pennsylvania prisons, jails, and detention centers. It is imperative that state and local officials commit to taking action, before it is too late.

We know that our work is intersectional - that this fight impacts LGBTQ+ people, and that we must be in solidarity with all people whose health and safety is in danger. The LGBT Center has signed-on to the Release Our Loved Ones letter as an organization supporting these measures, and we encourage you to do the same. There are sign-on options for organizations, elected officials, healthcare workers, and people with loved ones who are incarcerated.