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Understanding and Appreciating Each Other for Who We Are

Life is full of opportunities to learn, and it’s truly amazing how much we can learn from each other, Our identities, perspectives and experiences are all unique, and that’s something we should embrace! The key is to open our minds, and listen to what each other has to say.

Pride United, an organization which aims to support LGBTQIA+ survivors of abuse by providing queer-affirming services, has partnered with Sex Positive World to help us take the first step in educating ourselves about how we can all express who we are.

“LGBTQIA+ Identities 101” is an upcoming workshop which will be hosted by Diego Echaveste-Avila, who is the Pride Outreach Specialist at StrengthUnited (a chartered center of California State University, Northridge (CSUN)), in addition to being a member of the Pride United team. The workshop will take place on May 20th, 2023, via Zoom. It’s open to everyone, whether you’re looking to learn more about yourself and your identity, or you want to better equip yourself to understand, support and validate other people’s individuality. Some of the main goals of “LGBTQIA+ Identities 101” are to explain what the terms LGBTQIA+ and queer mean, emphasize the importance of respecting each other's chosen

pronouns, and introduce us to the concept of cultural humility.

We have to understand that choosing to learn, and being humble enough to acknowledge the mistakes we make and the biases we have are some of the most important building blocks of creating, honest, open connections with each other. When

we meet someone whose experiences and ways of interacting with the world are different from ours, we should celebrate each other’s uniqueness, and remind ourselves that we are never done learning.

A significant amount of the content that will be covered in this workshop will focus on “The 5 Spectrums”, which are: Sex, Gender, Expression, Romantic Orientation and Sexual Orientation. This information is aimed at helping us understand that none of us have to fit into any particular box when it comes to who we are and who we have relationships with. Spectrums serve to remind us that our existence is fluid, and acknowledging that can help give us the freedom and confidence to unapologetically express ourselves.

A major theme of the workshop is affirming and supporting LGBTQIA+ survivors of sexual violence, which is an important aspect of Pride United’s work. Abuse is only one of many issues that people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community face, and it’s absolutely vital that we all work to create safe, welcoming environments, where survivors can feel accepted and comfortable communicating openly.

Giving everyone opportunities to have their voices heard without judgement is just as important as actively working to expand our own knowledge. We have to remember that learning is about collaboration, and there’s always more to understand about each other and ourselves. At the end of the day, isn’t that what makes living life interesting?

Join us this Saturday for Identities 101

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