Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sex Positivity with Marcaroon Filled Hot Cookies

Enjoying Hot Cookie (true co-love <3)
Today was our last shift at Glide, who we've worked with four times. I think it's safe to say, they were one of our favorite community partners to work with, as they were inclusive and passionate about the work they're doing in the community.  During one of our volunteer shifts there, we had an orientation at their church with Bryan. We learned about the history of Glide and their journey within the church community as well as their journey within the local community. A fun fact is that they're also affiliated with the Methodist church, but they took down the crosses because they wanted to be inclusive of LGBT folks (yay!).

Bryan also shared his personal interactions as a social worker and why the work is important to him; he came into this work expecting people to come up with him with their struggles and open up to him, but found that people were "boringly normal", in other words, that people living in the streets here still communicate and interact with one another, building community in that way. During our last shift, Andre and James (staff) thanked us for our work, and told us that during spring break that get lots and lots of volunteers but during the rest of the year, they only have 7 volunteers to help them put things in motion. They were extremely thankful for our help, and urged us to continue to do the work, and to contribute to our own community!
Cracking the Eggs

After GLIDE we went to Lyric in the Castro District and got a brief overview of what the organization does for LGBTQIA youth experiencing homelessness as well as the internship program and advocacy that they do with queer youth. Alan was the person who answered our questions while also personalizing his own journey to San Francisco and how his experiences also relates to the work he's done with the organization. For instance, he talked a lot about being a sex worker to pay for college and how they also led to him doing advocacy work for HIV/AIDS and how his background as a sex worker was an obstacle for him in later jobs.

So Lyric has provided him both an opportunity to work with an inclusive organization that also works to deal with stigma around sex workers, queer youth experiencing homelessness, and domestic violence within communities of color. He also tied in a lot of the issues that we have been talking together and how they are all interrelated: domestic violence, queer communities, homelessness, women's rights, and issues facing people of color. In other words, the conversation with him was a great way to tie all of these issues within our main focus on Queer Communities while also showing how Lyric partners with other community partners that we volunteered with like La Casa de Las Madres, SFWAR, and GLIDE to provide comprehensive services to LGBTQIA folks who are also experiencing homelessness and sexual violence.

Lyric :D

After Lyric we went to "Hot Cookie" and Dolores Park. We got to eat some white and black penises and black "Venuses" (you know, I'm you Venus, I'm your fire, at your desire, oh yeah ;D). It was pretty hawt. But we spent a nice time in Dolores Park playing a fun team builder where three people needed to work together to draw an image. The catch was that the "original" person saw the image, the "yes/no" person could answer only "yes/no" to questions about the image, and the drawer had to ask those questions and draw the image. It was pretty hilarious because it was just a stock image of an airplane. We then did our reflection on GLIDE and Lyric and also talked about "The Nature of Oppression" with the birdcage metaphor. It led to a great discussion about how we can continue to do great work within queer communities and intersecting identities in order to see how we can work together to break out of these cages of oppression.

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