By Britt Brown LMT
In honor of World Pride Month, Well-Go tiny spa would like to shine the spotlight on and celebrate some of the amazing LGBTQIA+ resource providers and community leaders here in Lane County. The groups of super-humans organizing and managing these groups, resources, and services are nothing short of amazing. The way these groups show up for their community to lend support is truly inspiring and truly exemplifies what World Pride Month celebrates – love.
TransPonder – is a transgender founded and led non-profit organization here in Eugene, Oregon. In addition to hosting social gatherings and support meetings, TransPonder offers a super rad multidisciplinary resource directory that lists local providers who are trans-inclusive and vetted by our (Lane County) trans/gender diverse community members and their allies. TransPonder also offers inclusivity trainings through their Transgender Education and Awareness Services program that help local businesses and organizations better understand how they can be more inclusive and better support their transgendered and gender diverse community members. If you’d like to learn more about TransPonder, or how to access their resources, be sure to check out their website and follow them on Facebook.
HIV Alliance – has been providing HIV/AIDS testing and support services to Lane County since 1994, and these services have been essential to maintaining the health and well-being of our LGBTQIA+ community all throughout Oregon. Their educational programs, needle exchange program, and commitment to DEBI’s has been keeping our community safe and slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS for more than two decades, and that’s astounding! In 2019 HIV Alliance saw more than 9000 hours of volunteer time reported between 169 volunteers, helping provide more than 1300 tests as well as educational programs to more than 7,700 of Oregon’s youth and adults annually. The positivity and uplifting support they bring to our community here in Lane County, as well as the rest of Oregon, really is priceless. To find out more about HIV/AIDS resources available in your area and learn more about how you can help support HIV Alliance make sure to stop by their website and follow them on Facebook.
Eugene Pride – is an annual local LGBTQIA+ event that typically takes place the second weekend in August. This year the Eugene Pride Event will take place at Alton Baker Park from 11am – 6pm on August 14th! To learn more about Eugene Pride and how to be involved go to their website or send a DM to one of their lovely volunteers helping to coordinate their Facebook page. If you plan on attending Eugene Pride in August be prepared to be surrounded by kind people, beautiful artwork, and lots of love!
As You Like It – queer owned, super eco-friendly, body and sex positive adult toy store serving up knowledge and acceptance like no other toy store around. The staff are committed to demystifying and destigmatizing sexual health and expression, they put acceptance not only at the forefront of their business, but in the storefront as well; offering a wide variety of sexual health and educational products as well as toys to aid you in your gender expression so you can love and be loved “as you like it.” For more information about the resources and products As You Like It has to offer be sure to check out their website and follow them on Facebook and YouTube for product reviews and sexy tips!
Spectrum – is so much more than just a cafe lounge and event space, it’s a social hub for the LGBTQIA+ community where people can truly feel free to be themselves. They are a safe haven for our community, often lending their space to groups like C.O.R.E. Eugene and Food For Lane County for street feeds and other community events. They even collaborated with TransPonder and White Bird Clinic to host a “Drag Queen and Vaccines” event promoting local vaccination against COVID-19! The staff at Spectrum truly are one-of-a-kind humans who are dedicated to making a difference in our community, and we love them for it. Spectrum is currently closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown, but they are constantly updating their Facebook page with the latest LGBTQIA+ positive events and resources, so be sure to “like” and follow the page.
Soromundi – is a lesbian choir that has been singing here in Eugene and throughout the state of Oregon since 1989. They’ve partnered with local groups such as Grrlz Rock and Sexual Assault Support Services in events that helped boost community awareness and support for those groups, and last year they celebrated their 30th anniversary! For lesbians living in Lane County who have hearts filled with song, Soromundi might just be the group for you, if you want to hear more give their performances a watch and a listen on their YouTube channel.
Eugene Gay Mens Chorus – is a gay mens choir here in Lane County this is accepting of all genders and orientations, and performs all throughout the Eugene/Springfield and South Willamette Valley areas. If you’d like to learn more about what this awesome choir is up to, or if you’d like to check out some of the online concerts they streamed throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown, just check out their YouTube channel!
To all of the Lane County LGBTQIA+ positive businesses and organizations, we just want to say thank-you. Thank-you for existing, thank-you for being you and for being passionate about creating safe and inclusive places for people to be who they are and love who they love. There’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure our queer siblings will always be allowed to love who they love and how they love without fear of the repercussions of the judgements of others, but knowing they have the backing of such a strong community gives me hope that one day our right to exists happily upon this earth will no longer be something we need to fight for.
Did I forget to mention your favorite Lane County LGBTQIA+ resource provider or community leader? Let me know! Drop me an email and let me know who you think I’ve missed, a little about them, and why you support them. I’ll be sure to include them in a shout-out in one of my 2021 Pride Month blogs!