On Saturday, October 20, 2018, PFLAG and QSA at EPCC joined forces at the VV annex to host a conference titled: “The LGBTQ Journey: From the Cradle to the Grave.”
Grace Perez, president of the PFLAG, says that “social activism” is needed to “prevent harassment and discrimination” against LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer) students.
The PFLAG (Parents, Family, and Friends of lesbians and gays) organization originated with a mom who publicly supported her gay son, but quickly grew into an extended family of the LGBTQ community.
HANNAH LOPEZ/ TEJANO TRIBUNE
PFLAG and QSA hosted “The LGBTQ Journey: From the Cradle to the Grave” at the Valle Verde cafeteria annex Oct. 20.
The organization is made up of many different individuals, including LGBTQ people, family members and allies. The PFLAG community becomes stronger when they work together. “We want the LGBTQ community to feel valued by society and themselves.” Perez shares.
This conference welcomed LGBTQ students, as well as straight students, to come and learn from the different resources provided. The goal that Perez expressed was for there to be respect for all people, no matter their sexual orientation.
“There is no such thing as a different type of respect, respect should be the same for every person.” Perez expressed.
There was breakout sessions throughout the day, which provided different speakers sharing different resources.
LGBTQ healthcare inclusivity, LGBTQ veteran care, and Hospice 101 were available to aid the students in the knowledge of healthcare and how to take care of themselves as they age or get sick.
HIV deeply affects the LGBTQ community, so HIV awareness was present, to help introduce the basics of HIV to the students.The topic of Hope Ahead: HIV and LGBTQ Health was represents by The M Factor, HIV Prevention Program, and City of El Paso Department of Public Health.
The goal was to share how a bright future can be associated with HIV, rather than the typical negative future.
This included the advancement of treatment for HIV. This conference was held for gaining knowledge, and no judgement was ever present. President Marisol Hernandez and Vice President Albert Gomez of the QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) at EPCC, showed their support by attending the conference with full integrity.
“Our whole organization is solely built on support (for the LGBTQ community).” Hernandez shared. The QSA is always seeking new members to join their alliance and aid in the support and activism. Visit EPCCQSA on Facebook and Instagram to learn more, or speak to Crystal Robert, the advisor of the club.
The conference was a great way to provide comfort and support to the LGBTQ community, while also maintaining a safe environment to learn.