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February 2024

Hi friends,


It's hard for me to sit down and write this up, knowing how difficult this time is for so many of you...

There are alot of unknowns at the moment, and we'll try to keep you up to date as best that we can about any changes or opportunities for advocacy/allyship. There are still events going on that you'll want to be aware of. Try to take advantage of what's in the area...establishing community and friendships are so important...Remember: you are not alone in all of this, and there are many, many allies in our area who love and are happy to support you. Including us, at OutSupport.


We do want to thank everyone who came out to celebrate OutSupport's 10 year Anniversary with us! About 130 folks braved the cold to dine and dance and be in a room with friends and allies. As I looked out into the room, at all of our friends there, and realized that it was all of you who have been a part of our 10 years, and we are grateful to you all for being a part of our organization, in whatever way you have been!


We mentioned that we will have a scholarship opportunity for graduating High School Seniors in our area. I'll be sending out a separate email next week with the application and other information. There will be 2 $500 scholarships! Thank you to The Kovack Family Community fund for funding the Scholarship!


Here are some possibilities:


1) ADVOCACY**** Monday, February 5 at 5:00pm is the deadline for comments to the Ohio Department of Health regarding Gender Transition Rules for Adults. Please email:

Subject: Comment on Gender Transition Rules

Then write why the new proposed rules are unnecessary and likely unconstitutional, and you can include whatever reasons you are opposed to these changes. While you can share personal reasons, it's advised to not give too much personal identification information.


2) Opportunities for getting together for adults: There are a variety of organizations that have gatherings for LGBTQ+ adults, including TransAlive, PFLAG Akron and Cleveland, Queer in Canton, the LGBT Center in Cleveland, the Bayard Rustin Center in Akron. There are outings from Facebook groups such as Rainbow Social, G2H2 Social community, Cuyahoga Valley Queer Hike, and other groups.

OutSupport is holding our Adult Support Group meeting this month on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:00-8:30 at Unity of Medina 655 N. Broadway. Adult LGBTQ+, Family and Allies are all welcome!


3) Opportunities for Youth: Please check out offerings for youth at Colors+ Youth Center, Queer in Canton, GSA groups at many high schools and middle schools, Medina and Brunswick Libraries (last meetup this winter is at Brunswick Library on Feb. 28 from 5:30-7:00)

OutSupport's February MeetUp is Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 7:00-8:00pm at Cool Beans Coffee Shop on the Medina Square.


4) Pride events will be coming up! Our OutSupport 4th Annual Pride Picnic and Chalk Art Event will take place on Thursday, June 13 from 6-8pm. If you would like to volunteer to help out this year, we would really appreciate it!


The Transgender Day of Visibility will be held on March 30 at the Cleveland LGBT Center. Please see attached flier.

Kent State University LGBT Center has a variety of events coming up.

The Cancer Network is asking for assistance to better understand health barriers, etc...in order to make a difference with larger organizations. They are compensating for your time while you share your story. For more info: www.cancer-network.org/transhealth


TransOhio, Equality Ohio, ACLU and Kaleidoscope Youth Center (Columbus) all have Emergency Funds you can donate to, to help families of transgender children leave the state (currently, over 100 families are strongly considering this option), OR assistance with starting care in another state for their medical care. Please consider donating if you can.


So. This is the time when we all really need one another. Please seek out a friend to talk to or hang out with or do whatever self-care means to you. 


If you need immediate support, please reach out to the Trevor Project. www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help or text START to 678-678/call 1-866-488-7386


Sending hugs to you all,

Sandy

she/her

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