Recently, Imi, a woman who has found a place to belong in the Heart to Heart discussion group, wrote an open letter that describes how she made it through each day before coming to the PCSO Pride Center.
“According to my mother, I was born into this world not sure whether I wanted to live or die. Who would choose to be born this way—out of wedlock, bi-racial, half brothers and sisters with different fathers, moving from household to household, foster care, adoption…lesbian? My landscape changed yearly, and each time I moved I had to re-orient myself. Sometimes reinventing myself to fit in. I could never really figure out what was right for me, or who I was. Labeling my sexual orientation was something I could never do comfortably, and didn’t do, for most of my life.”
Unfortunately, this is just one of many stories that plague LGBTQIA+ community members, even here in Lexington. Providing the help the PCSO needs in order to keep the many programs and services up and running means that you are helping individuals who need it. Everyone needs a place to belong and a place where they can feel welcome. YOU can help Lexington become that place.
“I arrived at PCSO’s Heart to Heart, grieving for both the life I had left behind and the life I had hoped for, and fearing the idea of being alone…As soon as I opened my mouth, I began to cry. The letting go and emptying felt good, and right, and true. I blurted out stuff that probably didn’t make much sense. Someone gave me a box of tissues, and a comforting hand on my shoulder. I had come to the right place.”
Stories like this-of people figuring out who they are and loving themselves for everything they find-reveal the deep impact that even one donation of $25 could have on someone’s life.
This open letter gives the best reasons we have for trying to create a close-knit community, and also reveals just how important it is for these programs to remain available.
“I have found at Heart to Heart that many have suffered from the loss of friends, families, and churches who are led by the religious convictions that being any letter of LGBTQ is a sin. Everyone has a story to tell about being marginalized, hated, or treated with disgust. Nobody chooses to live in fear. We are not disfigurements of the social landscape. We are the landscape. Heart to Heart supports and educates people in a safe environment, and allows people to express themselves authentically with the pronouns with which they are. I feel it is fortunate that I stepped in those doors that night.”
Your help will provide hope for a sense of belonging to a group of people whose stories often consist of loneliness.
For 39 years, the PCSO has been helping LGBTQIA+ people, through various programming and services such as:
· Lexington Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
· “Heart to Heart” Weekly Discussion Group
· Seasoned Independent People
· LinQ Magazine
· PCSO Pride Center
· PCSO Pride Library
· Free Mental Health Counseling
· Free & Reduced Legal Advice
· Company Q Drama Troupe
· LGBTQ Sci-Fi & Horror Discussion Group
· & THE LEXINGTON PRIDE FESTIVAL!
Today, I ask you for your help in bringing much needed assistance to these programs with a gift of at least $25 toward the PCSO. Remember that any and all donations are applied to the PCSO Membership program that ends on June 30, 2016!
In Pride and Service,
Chad C. Hundley
“Heart to Heart” Discussion Group Head Moderator