April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Triangle Community Center is using this time to make visible LGBTQ experiences with sexual violence and barriers to access to resources for reporting and support unique to LGBTQ individuals.
To participate in the conversation for the rest of this month, you can share pictures on social media that are in line with the theme of the day. Use hashtags #ctlgbt and #30DaysofSAAM to show support for all survivors and show a particular attention to LGBTQ experiences with sexual violence.
Friday, April 28 is #RelationshipGoals, and we are encouraging people to share selfies of themselves with their partners to make visible healthy and happy relationships. This theme is particularly important to LGBTQ people because it is still rare to see healthy LGBTQ relationships depicted in the media.
For some facts about sexual violence among LGBTQ people, please click Read More.
Triangle Community Center, the Center for Family Justice, and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey Host LGBTQ Empowerment Breakfast in Bridgeport
Triangle Community Center (TCC), the Center for Family Justice (CFJ), and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey hosted an LGBTQ Empowerment Breakfast on Friday, April 21st at CFJ's Bridgeport facility meant to provide the community an opportunity to learn about TCC and CFJ's partnership, which was developed to expand services to LGBTQ individuals in Fairfield County.
State Representative McCarthy Vahey spoke to the importance of community energy and efforts to support service organizations such as CFJ and TCC through volunteer and fiscal support as well as participation and community events. She also spoke to continued efforts needed to support a state ban on the practice of conversion therapy, which is currently going through the CT House of Representatives.
Join the effort to ban conversion therapy in Connecticut: http://www.ctpridecenter.org/advocacy_action
"On any given night in the state of Connecticut, an estimated three-thousand young adults ages eighteen to twenty-five are sleeping on the streets, and, of those, one thousand identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender," said TCC's executive director, Anthony Crisci. Crisci spoke to TCC's dedication to increasing accessibility for clients seeking to benefit from TCC's case management program.
A TCC case manager staffs the community partner office at CFJ every Friday, where clients are able to access TCC's services in Bridgeport without having to travel to Norwalk, which is sometimes difficult or impossible to navigate to for some Fairfield County residents.
TCC case management: http://www.ctpridecenter.org/case_management_referrals
TCC also hosts two LGBTQ programs at CFJ's Bridgeport facility- one LGBTQ youth program meant to provide a safe and affirming space for LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 to socialize and one daytime social for LGBTQ adults of all ages meant to foster community and trust, especially amongst LGBTQ community members who might have a history of negative experiences reaching out to service organizations in search of LGBTQ-affirming services.
Bridgeport Coffee Talk Daytime Social: http://www.ctpridecenter.org/social_groups
Bridgeport LGBTQ Youth Program: http://www.ctpridecenter.org/youth_groups
Amanda Posila, CFJ's Director of Education & Community Engagement, discussed the efforts CFJ has made to further prioritize LGBTQ-affirming services, both by ensuring that all CFJ staff go through LGBTQ cultural competency training and in their partnership with TCC and other LGBTQ-affirming service providers.
On Sunday, April 23rd, the LGBTQ community and its allies will join together in Bethel to celebrate Pride in a parade and festival. Triangle Community Center is a proud sponsor of this event for our neighbors in northern Fairfield County, and a TCC contingency will be organizing on Facebook to march in the parade.
...and it all started with two Bethel middle school students.
In September of 2016, Triangle Community Center collaborated with Norwalk's nationally-acclaimed Center for Contemporary Printmaking to host a night for LGBT professionals to mix as well as explore some of the finest contemporary prints available for viewing in Connecticut, including prints from many local artists.
Featured at this event was local LGBTQ artist and Outspoken (TCC's youth program) alumnus Paul DeRuvo, who has exhibited work across the country and abroad.
At this event Triangle Community Center previewed a mystery print to be produced by Paul DeRuvo, and attendees were able to be the first to buy in to this benefit print, which was then to be sold to buyers at TCC's annual gala in late September. When all was said and done, proceeds to TCC's programs and services totaled almost $7000, and TCC donors were given an opportunity to get an intimate look at a local artist that is making a global footprint.
TCC's 2015 recipient of the Marge Foster Commitment to Service award and former TCC board president purchased a print and was asked about participating as a buyer in the mystery print process and his satisfaction with the print after the recent unveiling event:
"As I listened to Paul share his story and understand the influence it has had on his creative process, I knew I was going to love this print. Once it was revealed I was not disappointed. The subtle use of the colors of our LGBTQ community combined with the tender expression of love and innocence embodied in the individual lying in bed made me extremely happy to own one of these limited edition prints. I was so happy to support the TCC and a local artist with this purchase. Myself and 4 other friends purchased the print, I look forward to seeing how each of us displays it and of course who has the best framing!"
The print, entitled "Keep // Loving," was recently revealed to buyers. "Keep // Loving" is a 14.5" by 10" lithograph with hand-coloring, includes LGBTQ themes, and pictures of the print and from the events can be seen below.