ABOUT QUEER IN SAN MATEO COUNTY

We believe LGBTQIA+ people in San Mateo County deserve more recognition, support, and opportunities to come together. Nestled between San Francisco and Santa Clara, our county has seen its queer community cross County lines to find camaraderie, acknowledgement, and care for many years. We want to change that.

This project is one more step towards building a strong, visible LGBTQIA+ community in San Mateo County. We are continuing the work San Mateo County has done so far to welcome and support our community in the past few years:  opening the San Mateo County Pride Center in 2017, beginning the County’s LGBTQ+ Commission in 2016, and founding the PRIDE Initiative in 2007. For our neighborhoods and local communities to be well, we need to make sure everyone feels represented and connected in San Mateo County.

As healthcare providers, we see a need for LGBTQIA+ visibility and equitable care. Our intention with this website is to create an online hub in which the stories and experiences of LGBTQIA+ community members are centered and celebrated so that more LGBTQIA+ folks feel a sense of queer community here, which is critical to wellness. We all need to feel connected, cared for, and acknowledged. This is a space where queer community members will be seen and heard, and where San Mateo County LGBTQIA+ folks can find ways to connect to each other.

For our fellow healthcare providers, we want to emphasize the importance of understanding sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Like any other identity, SOGI doesn’t stay relegated to one part of our experience: it’s a big part of the joys,  connections, and opportunities in our lives. Providing care from a cultural humility perspective, care that acknowledges who we are, is critical to providing good care. Asking SOGI questions helps providers engage in effective and respectful communication with clients and supports the delivery of care that integrates all facets of their clients’ intersectional identities. Health care providers can better serve people and LGBTQIA+ communities when they know who LGBTQIA+ people are, have a common understanding of terms and definitions as well as the documented healthcare disparities that disproportionately impact individuals based on their gender identity and sexual orientation.

For healthcare providers seeking information about supporting and caring for our LGBTQIA+ community with cultural humility, please find additional resources on the SMC Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) page.

And to our community–thanks for sharing your stories!

Partners behind QueerinSMC.org

Outlet and San Mateo County’s Office of Diversity and Equity are committed to improving behavioral health outcomes for marginalized communities. We work with communities to understand what can advance their wellness and recovery–and we work hard to address their needs fully and appropriately.

Office of Diversity and Equity:

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is dedicated to addressing health disparities, health inequities, and stigma in the areas of mental health and substance use, and supporting wellness and recovery among underserved, unserved, and inappropriately served communities in San Mateo County. Visit the Office of Diversity and Equity Website

ODE VALUES

  • Cultural competence and cultural humility
  • Shared and multicultural leadership
  • Building bridges and sustainability of partnerships
  • Forward and out-of-the-box thinking
  • Advocacy and community capacity
  • Using data to determine outcomes

Outlet:

Founded in 1997, Outlet empowers Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and builds safe and accepting communities through support, education, and advocacy. Outlet envisions a world that embraces, empowers, and celebrates LGBTQ+ youth. Outlet officially became a program of ACS in 2013.

Outlet is youth-centered, respecting all individuals and honoring their differences.  Outlet program staff provide a safe environment that is confidential, inclusive, and non-judgmental.  Striving for social justice and engaging youth in achieving freedom, fairness, and equality for all are the core elements of the program.  Outlet services support the emotional, physical, and social development of youth as whole individuals.

Visit Outlets website.