April 30, 2021




We hope you are taking care & enjoying the wonderful Springtime weather.  In addition to Mental Health Awareness Month, May is also Older American's Month & Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.  We are humbled and honored to celebrate our Older Adult and AAPI communities year round. To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, we are hosting an event on Friday, May 21st titled "Healing Hope with Expressive Arts" with our partners at CORA and the Office of Diversity and Equity.  During this event, community members are invited to create art and share their mental health journeys in community. We hope to see you at some of the other amazing programming we have scheduled in May.  

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our Earth Day Gardening 101 Workshop! We had over 150 people register! Thank you to our friends at County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability for co-hosting this event with us, our amazing facilitator, Najiha Al Asmar, and Spanish translation provider, Alejandra Warren, for sharing valuable tips and opening the space with an amazing grounding activity, and to the audience for being present & sending great questions! If you missed the workshop, don't worry! The office of sustainability regularly hosts free workshops through their Sustainability Academy program


Najiha works for Fresh Approach, a Bay Area organization whose programs empower families to make sustainable lifestyle changes by expanding their nutrition, cooking, and gardening skills, and by boosting their access to local, affordable produce. Fresh approach also offers resources for residents of East Palo Alto and hosts free workshops.  If you attended this event, we'd love to hear your feedback! This evaluation is voluntary and anonymous! Click this link to fill out the evaluation and stay updated on more Pride Center events to come!


In May, we honor and celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month and the theme, #HopeForChange. In partnership with San Mateo County’s Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) and the SMC Mental Health Awareness month planning committee, the Pride Center in collaboration with CORA is proud to put on Healing Hope with Expressive Arts. This event will feature a guided expressive arts activity and group facilitation by the Pride Center clinical program coordinator, Men Chun Wong (He/They) and CORA’s LGBTQ Clinical Coordinator, Jenna Robinson (She/Her). If you may be in need of art supplies, please indicate this need when registering as we have a LIMITED SUPPLY OF ART MATERIALS. Due to limited capacity, please be sure to register early! Bring your colored pencils, paper, paints, and an open mind as we #HopeForChange. The event will be held virtually on May 21st from 6-8pm. Register at: tinyurl.com/HealingHope2021 


Disclosure: Topics and facilitated discussions within this space may bring up feelings of discomfort for participants. Thus, we will have a crisis support facilitator and break out room available during the event for those who may need support. If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health crisis, Star Vista has a 24-hour crisis hotline for San Mateo County residents. Go to sanmateopride.org/programs/crisis-intervention for more information.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Azisa (they/she) at azisa.todd@sanmateopride.org

Join our partners at San Mateo County Health and San Mateo County Parks Department tomorrow, Saturday, May 1 for their 2021 Mental Health Month (MHM) Live Kick-Off event. Enjoy a cooking demo, participate in a nature meditation, win some raffle prizes, and hear about all the ways you can participate throughout the entire month of May!


For more info about MHM and free virtual events, visit SMCHealth.org/MHM or https://www.facebook.com/events/328863821907101/


Tag yourself participating in these events with the hashtag #SMCGettingThroughCOVID

Growth and Recovery in the Face of Challenges:
Re-examining Myths about Mental Health

Friday, May 21 from 1-2:30 PM 


A panel of Older Adults will share their lived experiences of continuing their recovery path despite challenges.  Whether change is intentional or imposed, good or bad, we can be empowered to continue toward recovery using strengths we find from hope, purpose, family, community connections services and support, spirituality, creativity.  Please contact John Butler at newhope8@aol.com or Jean Perry at JeanPV78@gmail.com.

Training Opportunity!

Have you ever asked yourself "did I use the 'correct' pronoun for that person?" The San Mateo County Pride Center, in collaboration with San Mateo County Libraries, is proud to offer this "Pronouns 101" workshop to help you feel more comfortable in any situation! This workshop will take place virtually on June 15th from 6-7:30. Register here at: smcl.org/pronounpro


In this workshop, you'll learn how to safely ask someone their pronouns, delve into neo pronouns, and experience a safe space to ask your questions about pronouns. Through interactive activities like videos, zoom polls, and engaging questions, we'll help you become a pro at pronouns! 


Starting in May, the San Mateo County Library is giving away related books (while supplies last) that we'd love for you to read before the program once you register. These books are meant to help you understand how to use pronouns and for you to then share with your community. More details about how you can share the books, and start a conversation around pronouns with friends, family, and in your workplace will be provided at the event. For any questions, please contact Darren Heiber (he/him) at heiber@smcl.org.

For the latest updates follow us on social media:


Have you participated in an event or program with the Pride Center in the last year? Do you live in San Mateo County? If you answered "yes" to at least one of those questions, then we want YOUR feedback!

The Pride Center has created a survey to gather feedback on our programming and events, and we'd appreciate your input. This is a chance to tell us how we're doing so that we can better support and serve YOU, our communities.

This survey should take approximately 7 minutes to complete and all answers will be completely anonymous. The deadline to submit feedback is May 17, 2021

To share your feedback, click the button below or head to
For questions or concerns, email us at info@sanmateopride.org

Programming and Event Assessment Survey


Join us for a week of digital programming to celebrate San Mateo County Pride 2021

during the week of June 6-12.

If you're interested in joining a planning meeting, being a sponsor for the event or have questions about the event, please contact Dana (They/Them) at TherActivist@gmail.com.  To see updates about the event, please see the event website at www.smcpridecelebration.com

For more information about the Pride Initiative, please see their Facebook page.

Outlet Updates

Wednesday QTBIPOC Group

Wednesdays starting 5/5 from 4-5:30pm

A peer support group for LGBTQIA identified People of Color ages 14-25.  This group is a safe and confidential space to share experiences and is dedicated to exploring, supporting, and educating ourselves and others on the intersectionality of being LGBTQ and of Color. This group is English speaking.

Please register using this link: tinyurl.com/5c6yauy6


Contact: ishani@acs-teens.org or outletprogram@acs-teens.org if you have any questions or need support 

Lavender Graduation for the Class of 2021


Friday, June 4 at 4:00 PM PST on Zoom


LGBTQ Community members of ALL AGES to are invited to celebrate their accomplishments at this event! High school? College? Middle School? Cosmetology School? We're here to celebrate you!


Please use this link to register to attend: tinyurl.com/outletlavendergrad2021


Do you have questions? Please message outletprogram@acs-teens.org


Please click the button below for a comprehensive list of Older Adult programs and updates in May from our partners at Peninsula Family Service

May 2021 Older Adult Programs

Trans Talks: Family Planning (May 6)

Thank you to everyone who attended last month's workshop where the topic was Cervical Cancer Screenings for Transmasculine and GNC folks with Ruchita Pendse (she/her). If you would like to see a recording of this workshop with closed captioning, please see link below.


May's Trans Talks will take place on Thursday, May 6th & will focus on Family Planning.

During this workshop, we will explore the effects of HRT on fertility, options for fertility preservation and contraception, and different options for having children.  Live closed captioning will be utilized for this workshop. For more information about the event & presenter, please see this link: fb.me/e/1iQCXK8hv.  Trans Talks is a free workshop series that centers on the health and wellness of our Trans Community members. All are welcome to attend.


Registration is required, please use this link to register: tinyurl.com/TransTalk05-06


We want to hear from YOU! If you have suggestions or requests for workshop topics, please contact Neilwary@stanford.edu 


To access recordings of previous Trans Talks, please use this link:

Clinical Updates

Current Therapy Availability!  For those of our community seeking support around mental health, we are happy to report that our clinical team is taking on new clients.  We have openings for both private pay and Medi-Cal clients.  Interested? Fill out our handy Clinical Services Request form and a clinician will reach out to you within a few days:

Clinical Service Request Form

Peer Group Updates

 All groups have moved to Zoom video. Please contact Ainsley (They/Them) at Ainsley.Blattel@sanmateopride.org to access links for our peer support groups.   

Peer Support Groups


The Trans Peer Support Group (18 ) has shifted from a weekly format to a monthly format.  This group is still free, still open to community member 18 and will still meet through Zoom, but will now meet on the first Monday of the month from 6:00-7:30pm


Please use this link to register to attend: tinyurl.com/smcpc-transgroup1

LGBTQ Book Club (18 )

Wed., May 5 from 4:30-6:00 PM

The San Mateo County Pride Center and Peninsula Family Service co-hosts LGBTQ Book Club every first Wednesday of the month! This club is free, open to folks 18 and runs from 4:30-6PM. 


Pre-registration is required. Please use this link to register: https://tinyurl.com/SMCPC-bookclub


This month, participants have the option of reading two books about the life of Bayard Rustin: Lost Prophet by John D'Emilio or Troublemaker for Justice by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, Michael G. Long


Next month's meeting will take place on June 2nd & we will discuss The Liar's Dictionary: A Novel Kindle Edition by Eley Williams. 

Join the next Polyamory Peer Power (18 ) meeting on Wednesday May 5th from 7-8:30pm! 


This is a social and discussion group for polyamorous/open/RA/poly-friendly/poly-curious/etc. folks (18 ). Come share your experiences and ideas with others, and learn from them in return. Get to know other poly/open/etc. people in San Mateo County! 


Read the full announcement on MeetUp: 


Pre-registration is required. Register for your unique Zoom access link here:


Queer Women’s Group 

Join the Queer Women’s Group’s next meeting on Friday, May 28th from 6-7:30pm! This group is a place where ALL women identifying folks 18 are welcome. Come to meet new people and build community together! 


Pre-registration is required. Register for your unique Zoom access link here: tinyurl.com/smcpc-queerwomxn 

Virtual Legal Name and Gender Change Workshop Sessions!

Wednesday, May 26

To date, our Legal Name and Gender Change workshops have served close to 200 folks – and we plan to serve even more in the months to come. Because we have seen an increase in demand from community members since taking our workshop online, we are very excited to announce an expansion to our program: the rollout of new group workshop sessions!

By opening up our name and gender change workshop to now include group sessions, we see many benefits. In these new group settings:

  • We can serve and support even more individuals at once;
  • We can cover even more valuable material and answer questions in more depth;
  • We can also provide a great networking opportunity to connect attendees with others who share similar identities and are going through the same process.

Our workshops are completely free of charge and are held virtually through Zoom. Workshops occur on the last Wednesday of each month, in both morning and evening sessions. Upcoming dates are: May 26th, June 30th & July 28th.

  • AM Session: 11:00am–12:30pm
  • PM Session: 5:00pm–6:30pm

If you or someone you know would like to attend, please RSVP online at: http://bit.ly/name-and-gender-change-rsvp


Please contact our Lead Case Manager, Alex Golding (he/him) if you have any questions. He can be reached at alex.golding@sanmateopride.org or at 650-465-6795.


The LGBTQ Commission meets on the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm.  Their next meeting will take place on May 4. Zoom information, Agenda, recordings of previous meetings and Meeting Materials located at the LGBTQ Commission website: https://lgbtq.smcgov.org/2021-meetings


San Mateo County is issuing their Pride Month Proclamation at the May 18th Board of Supervisors Meeting. The public is invited to attend and witness the presentation and/or make public comment. BOS meetings start at 9:00am. The meeting information is not yet available but will be posted 72 hours in advance at: https://bos.smcgov.org/board-supervisors-agenda-information

Reminders & Announcements 

  1. The Pride Center will be offline on Monday, May 31 in observance of Memorial Day.

As we continue to navigate around COVID-19

Happy May, community. We're here for you!  Stay safe and take care of yourselves.


In Community, 

Marilyn (she/her)

Marketing and Community Engagement Lead


The San Mateo County Pride Center is a program of StarVista in collaboration with Outlet of Adolescent Counseling Services, and Peninsula Family Service.

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