June 2, 2023



Did you know it's Pride Month? 

We can hardly believe it too, but here we are.  We’re celebrating with the usual glitter & rainbows, but this year is different.  This year feels like an echo to the “first” Pride. It’s worth remembering that the first Pride was a riot & a stance against oppression.  Before Pride season became so well-known and branded, it was born from a seed of empowerment and rage. We deserved and deserve better.  

Yet, this past year our LGBTQ+ community is under attack, especially for our Trans* Community members.  This year, there has been a flood of thinly-veiled anti-Trans legislation, the ongoing fight for our bodily autonomy & a general feeling of worry and fear. These emotions are on top of the ongoing stressors and inequities that our community already experiences. So, why celebrate Pride at all? 

Pride has evolved from an ongoing and continuous fight against oppression. We can remember the reason why Pride started and to bring this energy throughout the entire year. We are now able to celebrate Pride as a response to standing up for ourselves & our community as a community. We can celebrate this and all the other amazing strides we’ve made to get to this place.  Our community is a rich, intersecting vibrant bouquet. June is a time to celebrate how we show up for each other and are constantly building and growing together. June is Pride Month, but we’re here and Queer all year long. This is worth celebrating. We are worth celebrating.  

Please scroll down to read about a special first during this month’s Pride Celebration, more about the performers and other events taking place this month, find out about the return of a favorite Pride Center event, and learn about trainings that will strengthen your ability to support your LGBTQ+ community members all year long! 

Thank you to everyone who attended our Picnic in the Park event at Quarry Park. It was another successful gathering with familiar faces and new community members. 
Thank you to our partners at Peninsula Family Service and the San Mateo County Parks Foundation for co-hosting this special Mental Health Month gathering with us. 
Please stay tuned for information about our upcoming “History Tour” SMC Parks events. 

Thank you to StarVista for inviting us to participate in their Mental Health Matters event last month. It was great for us to meet other organizations, community members and be out in the sunshine. StarVista is a nonprofit organization that has been helping people throughout San Mateo County navigate life's challenges for over 55 years.

We also had the joy of meeting @skylineblue.bookbox! It was great to meet you in person after months of communication. Skyline Bluebox is a Little Free Library located in Daly City. The offer free, diverse books for all ages.

Pride Month!

Date: Saturday June 10 from 11am - 5pm
Location: San Mateo Central Park San Mateo, California


SMC Pride Celebration 2023- Free to Be Me in 2023 is hosted by San Mateo County (SMC) Pride Initiative in collaboration with SMC LGBTQ Commission, SMC Pride Center, Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Pride Day at the Fair, Outlet- Adolescents Counseling Services and CoastPride LGBTQ Center. We are celebrating our 11th YEAR Pride celebration on the Peninsula!!

Join us as we showcase an incredible lineup of talented entertainers who will set the stage on fire with their vibrant performances and infectious energy! From dancers to singers, each artist will bring their unique flair to make your heart soar!


For full bios of all our scheduled performers, please click this link.


San Mateo County's FIRST Pride Parade!

Saturday June 10

10am - 11am

Parade Start: 2nd & B Street
Parade End: San Mateo Central Park

The parade is FREE to attend and open to all.  Please come join us and show your Pride.  Route opens for spectators at 9:00 am.

For more information about the parade, please click this link.

The SMC Pride Celebration will have a free MPox Vax Van & offer free HIV testing onsite during the Pride Celebration Event on Saturday June 10th at Central Park. If people would like to get vaccinated check out the Vax Van.


For more information about MPOX & resources in San Mateo County, please click this link.

Older Adult Pride Programming

Meet Bettina Aptheker, Author of Communists in Closets

Saturday, June 10, 2023, 11:00AM – 12:00PM
Rec Building in Central Park (50 E. 5th Ave) 


At 11am we are delighted to host Bettina Aptheker, Professor Emerita and long time Bay Area resident, to talk about her book Communists in Closets. The first 20 people who register and attend receive her book! Sponsored by Peninsula Family Service and San Mateo County Libraries. To learn more about the book, author and to register to attend, please click this link

Pride Bingo
Friday, June 9 from 2-4 PM 

City of San Mateo Senior Center
2645 Alameda De Las Pulgas

LGBTQ+ older adults, friends and allies are invited for an afternoon of BINGO fun with the marvelous Jackie L. as your host! You will be treated to fun, high energy lip sync performances, hilarious banter, and shenanigans with the audience. This Pride Bingo is inclusive and free to everyone; just expect to be treated with LGBTQ+ care! Prizes are rainbow-fantastic and will be awarded for winners. You will learn what Pride is, how you can be an ally and other resources related to Peninsula Family Service and the San Mateo County Pride Center. Event is free, but space is limited….must be registered to attend.


Register using this link

LGBTQ+ Elders: Storytelling & Moderated Panel

Saturday, June 10 at 12:30 PM

Rec Building in Central Park (50 E. 5th Ave) 


Three remarkable individuals share their stories of discovering identity, navigating being judged and judging others, and when simply being who they are threatens the future of their career. While these stories may have happened over 30+ years ago, what does it say when these experiences are still happening today?

Join moderator Susan Takalo and panelists Jana Rickerson, Roberta Gonzalez-Gregg and Ron Lambert as they share intimate parts of their lives while also standing in their power as proud LGBTQ+ older adults.


Register using this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lgbtq-elders-storytelling-moderated-panel-tickets-637436227917

Check out the SMC Pride Celebration official website for updates and details www.smcpridecelebration.com  

For the most up to date information, please follow SMC Pride Celebration on Instagram.

Want to support the Pride Center and a local business?

Some amazing local businesses are donating funds to us this month! Support them & support us! Information about each business can be accessed below.

Backhaus Bread in San Mateo is donating proceeds from cold brew sales during the month of June to directly benefit the San Mateo County Pride Center.


More information about Backhaus can be accessed here.

CoffeeBar in Redwood City is donating $0.50 from their Sparkling Lavender Lemonades and Hibiscus Italian Sodas sold in June to the Pride Center.


More information about CoffeeBar can be found here.

Level Brand Shoes (a local, woman owned business) will donate a portion of sales of the Grace Loving shoe to the Pride Center. Dress your kiddos in some cute shoes while supporting the Pride Center!


More information about the Grace Loving shoes can be found here.

GiveOut Day!

We're participating in GiveOut Day!

What is GiveOut day?

Give OUT Day is a fundraising campaign beginning June 1 and culminating on June 28, the only national giving event for the LGBTQ community. Since 2013, Give OUT Day has helped hundreds of LGBTQ nonprofits raise millions of dollars! Donations from June 1 through Give OUT Day count toward Leaderboard prizes: thousands in additional dollars that go to organizations with the most unique donors in their category!


Our fundraising goal is $5000! If you can support, please donate to our campaign: www.giveoutday.org/organization/San-Mateo-County-Pride-Center or click the button below.


If you aren't able to contribute, no problem! Please share our campaign and us meet (or surpass❤️) our goal!


Our GiveOut Day Campaign

Can't Cancel Pride 2023

We are proud to announce the fourth annual Can't Cancel Pride in partnership with I Heart Radio & Proctor and Gamble.

Join us on June 15th in celebrating visibility and inclusivity for all 🏳️‍🌈 with featured performances from Adam Lambert, Big Freedia & Ciara, Billy Porter, Hayley Kiyoko, Kelsea Ballerini, Kesha and host JoJo Siwa! 🎉

The one-hour benefit special will stream on June 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on iHeartRadio’s Facebook and YouTube, RevryTV, The Roku Channel, and The Advocate Channel! 


For more information about Can't Cancel Pride, click the button below.

Can't Cancel Pride


2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Friday, June 16, 2023 from 3:30-8:00 PM (hybrid)


The African American Community Initiative (AACI) and Voices of Recovery San Mateo County (VORSMC) are proud to present the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration.  The theme for this year is "Discovering-Recovering Our Roots: The Continued Journey of Black Struggle."

The event will be held in-person and streamed via Facebook Live and Zoom. Register for the event using this link: bit.ly/aaci-juneteenth-2023

This year’s event promises to be inspirational, fun and educational with a program that includes presentations from the San Mateo County Supervisor, a Proclamation presented by the City of East Palo Alto, African drumming and storytelling, panel discussion, cultural performances, health checks, a photo booth, music and dinner.

Register here

Special Events!

FriGay Movies at the Pride Center!

Friday, June 30 at 6:30 onsite at the Pride Center!


Are you ready for the return of movie night? We invite you to close out Pride Month with us! Bring your dinner, bring your friends, come hang out and watch this campy classic with us!


Light snacks will be provided. This event is free and open to the public. Light snacks will be provided. The film runs from 6:30-9:00pm. The Pride Center is located at 1021 S. El Camino Real in San Mateo, 94402.  Our building is located at 11th and El Camino. As a reminder, the Pride Center is a sober space. For more accessibility information about the Pride Center, please click this link.

To read a summary of the film, see content warnings and register to attend, click the button below. For a trailer of the film, please click this link.

FriGay Flicks registration

Trainings at the Pride Center

Community SOGIE 101
Tuesday June 13th from 5:30-7:30pm on Zoom

Ever wondered what's the difference between sex and gender? Want to learn about the difference between bisexual and pansexual? Continue your Pride Month ​with the San Mateo County Pride Center and ACS Outlet at our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression (SOGIE) 101 training! This is a rare opportunity to take this training FOR FREE! 

Our goal is to work with YOU to understand how to create affirming environments for LGBTQ youth and adults through engaging and interactive matching games, videos, and polls. All who attend will be automatically entered into a prize drawing for a chance to win a gift from a local town of Colma business!


All are welcome! Bring your dinners and an open mind as we break down the latest LGBTQ terminology and work to build your strengths and grow as LGBTQ+ advocates and leaders. Register at https://tinyurl.com/SMCPCSOGIE2023.

For any questions about our training and educational services, please contact Azisa at azisa.todd@sanmateopride.org or

Register to attend SOGIE 101

Rainbow Kids

Wed, 6/21 at 7PM on Zoom


Kids receive constant messages about what it means to be “a girl” or “a boy.” How can we help them feel safe and confident in their bodies, families and classrooms? We hope you can join us for Rainbow Kids, a training co-hosted by the Community Equity Collaborative and the Pride Center, presented by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Rainbow Kids is a webinar designed for parents, caregivers and educators to "unbox" the beautiful spectrum of gender and to work toward a more expansive and welcoming world for all children. This webinar offers practical strategies and tools to engage and support young children as they explore who they are and who is in their world.

Join us on Wednesday, June 21 at 7 PM for a webinar about creating a more expansive, welcoming world. 

Please use the button below to register to attend this training.

Register to attend Rainbow Kids

Resource Roadmap SMC:
A Providers’ Guide to Supporting Trans* & Gender Diverse Clients
Thursday, June 22nd from 10am-noon on Zoom 

As states across the nation are passing laws to restrict the rights of our transgender community would you like to learn how to support trans folks better? Do you know about the gender-affirming resources here in San Mateo County? Are you interested in improving your skills in working with Trans*, Gender Diverse, and Non-Binary individuals? We invite you to attend our Resource Roadmap Service Provider's training!

Together, we will review best practices and strategies to help you and your clients navigate different resources across San Mateo County (including housing, physical/mental health, employment, legal, and more). There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions. This training was designed with health and social service workers in mind to help build your capacity to better serve Trans*, Gender Diverse, and Non-Binary people in San Mateo County. While this training was developed for service providers, the information here can be utilized in daily life.


Accessibility: This training will be hosted in English via Zoom. Closed captioning is available. This workshop is FREE and open to the public. 


Register in advance at: https://tinyurl.com/tgnb-roadmap-june-2023


We hope to see you there! Questions? Contact Alex at alex.golding@sanmateopride.org or 650-465-6795. This project is supported by Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs.

Resource Roadmap Registration

Come Volunteer with the Pride Center! 

Would you like to volunteer with the Pride Center? We never underestimate the value of donated time, and neither should you! There are numerous ways to support the Center in a volunteer capacity including some brand-new opportunities once we reopen. Are you interested and available to give back? If so, please consider some of the possibilities listed below. 

Virtual and onsite volunteer roles with the Pride Center include, but are not limited to: 


  • Supporting with community events 
  • Assisting with development goals 
  • Youth or Older Adult specific programming 
  • Become a peer group facilitator 
  • Social media support 
  • Join or Community Advisory Board

We are currently seeking a volunteer co-facilitator for our monthly gay men's Peer support Group! If you have a passion for creating and holding space for other community members to come together, build friendships and find social and emotional support, we would love to work with you!


For more information about this role, please click the button below.

Do you want to welcome people into our safe space? Are you ready to provide an affirming experience for our community? With proper training, we are seeking Front Desk volunteers to support our administrative needs when we reopen in 2023!


Half-day opening and closing shifts will be arranged each day.


For more information about this role, please click the button below. 

If you’re interested in learning more about these or any other opportunities, reach out to Frankie Sapp (he/him), Program Director, who can help you figure out the best match for a mutually rewarding experience. Email him at francisco.sapp@sanmateopride.org.  You can also fill out this simple intake form to get the process started.  

Thank you for investing in the Pride Center’s essential programs and services. We can’t do our work without you.


For more information about our volunteer program, click the button below.

Volunteer at the Pride Center

For the latest updates follow us on social media:



If you would like information about how to become a volunteer peer counselor or have general questions about Older Adult Programming, please contact Info@sanmateopride.org or 650-591-0133

Outlet Updates

We currently co-host these two weekly groups with Outlet. For more information about our Outlet, their programs and peer support groups, please use this link: www.acs-teens.org/what-we-do/outlet/.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending Youth group or their other peer support groups, please complete the Outlet intake form accessible through this link.

Please note: Outlet will be offline from July 3rd- 7th.

Trans* Talks

The Pride Center and Stanford LGBTQ+ Health Program co-host Trans Talks, a free, monthly workshop series that centers the health and wellness of our Transgender and Gender Diverse community members. Every month, a different medical student from Stanford's LGBTQ+ Health Program will share information and lead a discussion. Please stay tuned for information about Trans* Talks in the upcoming months.

If you are interested in seeing recordings of previous Trans Talks, please use this link: tinyurl.com/transtalks-recordings

Please note: all recordings utilize closed captioning.

If you have questions, need support or would like to suggest a topic please contact
Marilyn (she/her) at Marilyn.fernando@sanmateopride.org or 650-465-6789

Clinical Updates

If you are looking for support in changing your name on your legal documents, join our monthly name and gender marker workshop. Please reach out to Alex (he/him) for information and support about receiving this resource outside of the scheduled workshop date/time. This workshop takes place in two sessions: AM & PM.

Please stay tuned for updates about the times of these workshops. 


Upcoming dates for this workshop are: 6/28, 7/26 & 8/30

This is a free workshop, registration is required! Please click button below to RSVP.

Please reach out to Alex (he/him) at
 Alex.Golding@sanmatepride.org or 650-465-6795 for support.


Just a reminder: we offer some financial aide for the legal process and free gender affirming supplies. For more information about this, please see this link: bit.ly/ngc-aid-request

Peer Support Groups!

For more information about our monthly peer support groups for community members 18+, please click this link.


If you have any questions, please contact Elana.Ron@sanmateopride.org 
or 650-465-2407 (text ok)

LGBTQ Book Club (18+)

The book club is a partnership with the San Mateo County Public Library System, Peninsula Family Service and San Mateo County Pride Center. It’s open to all members of the community, including allies and friends.The book club is a partnership with the San Mateo County Public Library System and San Mateo County Pride Center. It’s open to all members of the community, including allies and friends. Community members who are invited to attend even if they haven't read the book. Come participate in the discussion!


Registration is required: tinyurl.com/smcpc-bookclub

For more information about upcoming titles, please click this link: 

  • If you have questions, concerns or need support regarding Youth programming, please contact outletprogram@acs-teens.orgFor a list of Outlet's peer support groups, please see this link.
  • If you have questions, concerns or need support regarding Older Adult programming, please contact info@sanmateopride.org.

As We Continue to Navigate Around COVID-19


  • The Pride Center will be offline on Monday, June 19th for in observance of Juneteenth.
  • We've updated the hotlines and warmlines list, if you need to access it or would like to share it, please click this link
    • ​​If you are experiencing a crisis, please contact 988 or the StarVista crisis hotline at 650-579-0350.  We are proud to say that the StarVista Crisis Center is an LGBTQ+ affirming organization.
  • Beginning Tuesday, April 4, our new onsite operating hours will be:

    • Tuesday - Thursday, 11 am - 7 pm, except Tuesdays between 1 pm - 3 pm when we will be closed for our team meetings. 

    • Our programs and services will remain virtual all 5 days/week 11 am - 7 pm or as scheduled with your clinician.

    • Our hope is to transition to 5 days/week in the months to come

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Hope to celebrate with you!


In community, 

Marilyn Fernando (she/her)

Marketing and Community Engagement Lead

Do you enjoy/benefit from our programs and services? Are you able to/Would you like to support our essential work? We welcome and appreciate donations of any amount, big or small.
It all matters. Yes, we really mean that.


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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