May 1, 2023


Greetings community, 

May marks one month since the Pride Center reopened.

Although most of the staff were hired virtually, being onsite feels so natural. Being with and providing for our community is central to our mission and our purpose as a center and who we are as a team.

In fact, we’ve welcomed a new team member and have new job opportunities. Please scroll down for more information and consider stopping by to say hello!


The month of May also observes Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Older Americans Month and Mental Health Awareness month. The theme of this year’s Older Americans month is “Aging Unbound” & is a reminder of the strength and perseverance of our Older Adult community members. Thank you to our partners at Peninsula Family Service for all they do to support and uplift our Older Adult community members. May is also Mental Health Awareness month, often abbreviated MHAM. This year's MHAM theme is “More than Enough”. Amid legislation and laws that work to divide, alienate and devalue our identities, “More than Enough” tells us that we ARE enough, we ARE magic, and we ARE who we need to be in this world.  Additionally, May is also Asian/Pacific American Heritage month. During this month, it's important to reflect and remember what true community collaboration can look like, build on our commitment to community care and remember what it looks like when we fight back against hate. 

With May’s arrival, we know that Pride is right around the corner. Not only are we more than enough, but Pride is also about the freedom to express ourselves without limits; to dream, be expansive, and grant ourselves to live unbound, too. Thank you to our Elders for leading our way. We invite you to continue reading more about the upcoming trainings, programs, and events where you can get involved and celebrate how beautiful we are. 

Thank you to everyone who attended the Resource Roadmap training last month. If you missed this training, we are hoping to hold it again sometime this year, stay tuned for that information! Thank you to Kaiser Permanente for supporting this resource.


To access our Resource Roadmap Brochure Collection, please click this link:


These are intended to support and empower Trans*, Gender Diverse, and Non-binary individuals in navigating various housing, employment, legal, and healthcare resources. Created by our community, for our community, they contain valuable tips and tricks for those seeking gender-affirming care across San Mateo County and beyond.

If you are interested in ordering professionally printed versions of these brochures for yourself or your organization, please submit a request form through our partner agency, StarVista: You can request print resources like these for tabling events, schools, community centers, and more. Additional resources include StarVista brochures, StarVista Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention brochures and Crisis Line wallet cards, and San Mateo County Pride Center brochures.

As a reminder, our current onsite operating hours are:

  • 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. All peer support groups will remain exclusively online for now, stay tuned for updates. 


The Pride Center is your space to work, chill out, relax, grab a snack and gather resources. We have a library filled with LGBTQ+ media, a free "store" with free clothes, hygiene supplies, gender affirming supplies and a food pantry. 


Questions? Please contact For questions about our gender affirming supplies, please contact and

Welcome to the Pride Center, Elana!

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our new Volunteer and Peer Group Coordinator, Elana Ron (She/They).


Elana Ron (She/they) grew up in the Bay Area and lives in Half Moon Bay. She is excited to be joining this team because she understands the importance of what the Pride Center and its groups bring to the community- without an LGBTQ+ teen group that she was involved in, she would not be the person she is today.

Having been involved in theatre since childhood, Elana was immersed in the LGBTQ+ community long before realizing she was part of it. While her degree is in Musical Theatre, she has a passion for history and making sure that all voices can be heard. She has previously worked in customer service for a number of theatre companies and Olivia Travel (a lesbian travel charter company), and spent a few years teaching.


She also is involved with CoastPride- helping to organize and facilitate their Agin’ Well and Family group, teaches music, dance, and theatre classes for children and is often part of community theatre shows. Her variety of work and life experience has taught her the importance of listening to communities, showing up when needed, and helping to train and organize volunteers.


Non-profits- whether a community center, mentoring program, or theatre company – cannot survive without their volunteers, so Elana understands the value of making sure everyone can feel prepared and valued when they decide to step up and help.  She has four rescue dogs that you may see behind her in Zoom meetings. 

Special Events!

Back by community demand, we invite you to join us for Picnic at the Parks on Saturday, May 20th from 11am-1pm at Quarry Park in El Granada!


Join the San Mateo County Parks Foundation, San Mateo County Pride Center, and Peninsula Family Service as we enjoy the May flowers and uplift Mental Health Awareness Month with a mindfulness activity, learn about the history of the park, and enjoy the various nature trails in the park. For more information about Quarry Park, please see below. Lunches will be provided! 


Spaces are LIMITED, RSVP ASAP at: Please note that due to limitations, transportation support is limited. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE CARPOOLING with community members! For any questions or concerns regarding the event, please contact Adriana Arriaga at and Azisa Todd at


For more information about San Mateo County's various parks, visit:


Accessibility Information:  Strolling on the nature trails is completely optional! We invite all registered attendees to visit the shorter Meadow and Quarry trails, or the slightly longer Vista Point Trail with a cliff lookout. These trails are not paved, but there is a children's playground with paved and unpaved grounds. There are approximately 2-3 benches/seating areas placed throughout both nature trails. There is 1 (one) main bathroom located next to the parking lot and picnic area. There are no gender-neutral restrooms. The trails have very limited shady areas, thus participants are encouraged to bring hats, sunscreen, and/or umbrellas to avoid direct sunlight. Dogs on leashes are welcome for this outdoor event! As we get closer to the date, more information about climate and weather will be provided.

Register here

Trainings at the Pride Center

Exploring Our Roots: Unpacking Bias in Order to Grow

Thursday, 5/25 from 5:30-8:30 PM PST on Zoom

Please note: registration for May 3 training is at capacity and is now closed!

This training that can be interpreted as a pre-SOGIE (LGBTQ+ 101) or implicit bias training.


It’s human nature to make assumptions about people, identities, and communities. At a glance, we categorize people and place them into boxes frequently unknowingly. Many of our beliefs are often passed on through generations and go unnamed. We move through the world with ongoing assumptions and belief systems unknowingly until space is provided to help bring awareness to our own implicit biases. Thus, the Pride Center is proud to announce a new FREE training, Exploring Our Roots: Unpacking Bias in Order to Grow.

Supported by the Kaiser Permanente, each training will create a carefully guided training allowing work to begin to unpack our own internalized myths we hold, ask ourselves where they come from, and examine the roots of their inheritance. By providing interactive activities, discussion time, and videos, the Pride Center will hold space for healing dialogue to help us all shift our assumptions and biases toward truth. All trainings will be capped at a 50-person maximum to foster a safe and grounding experience for all.

For any questions regarding trainings/registration, please contact Azisa Todd at


Register using the button below: 

Exploring Our Roots: Unpacking Bias in Order to Grow

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

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 training will take place VIRTUALLY on Tuesday, June 13th from 5:30-7:30 pm PST 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 For any questions about our training and educational services, please contact

Register to attend SOGIE 101

Rainbow Kids


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


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!! 


As we all are navigating the COVID-19 surge the Pride Initiative Co-chairs (Dana and Scott), and SMC Pride Planning committee will like to share our support and care for the community during these difficult times. We are planning on an "in-person" event, but we will gather in community no matter what! Whether in-person, virtual, or both: We are worth celebrating! 


Interested in supporting and planning SMC Pride 2023? We would love for you to join us and give your feedback and support on planning SMC Pride Celebration 2023. If you are interested in attending SMC Pride Planning 2023 Meetings please email Dana (they/them) at for the details. If you're interested in volunteering for the celebration, please contact Kai Thornton at


Check out the SMC Pride Celebration official website for updates and details  

Also check out our new social media page- smcpridecelebration that's located on Instagram and Facebook.

SMC Pride Celebration 2023

A reminder about the Pride Center during Pride month-


As the Pride Center gears up to celebrate June Pride, we recognize the significance for all our community partners and organizations to celebrate with us too! Because we are a small but mighty team, we ask that if you’re interested in partnering, you reach out soon! If we are unable to partner with you due to capacity, just know the Pride Center is proud to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities all year long! Please contact if you have any questions or would like to inquire about working with us during Pride Month.

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  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 Eddie Perez (he/him) at or 650 403-4300 x 4383.

HIV & Brain Health, 
Wednesday, 5/10, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PST. 


Over the past 30 years, advancements in HIV-related research and treatments have allowed people to live well and age with HIV. Even though tremendous achievements in HIV have been made since the 1980s, HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders occur in as many as 50% of HIV-infected individuals, and even in patients receiving cART.

Learn from Dr. Joanna Hellmuth about how HIV may impact brain health, and take away some risk reduction strategies to prevent cognitive decline. We'll provide tangible tips to support our HIV-positive community's resilience! 


Please register in advance here.

Brain Health for Agin' Well: A presentation hosted by the Alzheimers Association

Tuesday, May 30th at 5:30 PM 

Join us to learn some evidence-based strategies for keeping our brain healthy as we age, ways to reduce our risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias as well as some specific information about our LGBTQIA+ community’s risk and resources to support our resilience!


Speaker Bio: Katya Samodurov (She/Her)

Katya is a Community Outreach Specialist with over 4 years of experience at the Alzheimer's Association. She holds a Master in Public Health from the University of Sydney and is passionate about empowering communities with brain health, prevention, early detection and risk reduction evidence. Previous roles include Crisis Support Counselor at the Institute on Aging here in the Bay Area, and developing a dementia-friendly walking group program with Oregon Walks in Portland, Oregon. She's openly bisexual and has worked for and with queer advocacy groups since 2017. 


Please stay tuned about where this presentation will take place

& registration information. 

Update (5/1/23)– The Get App-y Group is currently scheduling a new meeting date! Please stay tuned for more information!

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:

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:

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:

Please note: all recordings utilize closed captioning.

If you have questions, need support or would like to suggest a topic please contact
Nathalie (she/her) at

Clinical Updates

Please reach out to Alex (he/him) for information and support about receiving this resource outside of the scheduled workshop date/time. 


Upcoming dates for this workshop are: 5/31 & 6/28

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

Please reach out to Alex (he/him) at 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:

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

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:

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 Eddie (he/him) at

As We Continue to Navigate Around COVID-19


  • The Pride Center will be offline on Monday, May 29th for Memorial Day.
  • 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

Are you interested in being an ongoing supporter of the San Mateo County Pride Center? Consider becoming a monthly donor! 


Monthly contributions can be made starting as little as $5 and up to whatever you can comfortably afford. If you are able to donate on an ongoing basis, even $5 adds up to a total of $60 per year! Every dollar helps support our beloved LGBTQ+ community by providing essential programs and services such peer support groups and name and gender change support. 


If you are interested in becoming a monthly donor, please click this link.

Stay safe and take care! See you soon!


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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