United States

County to Host Inaugural LGBTQ Summit to Connect People With Resources

Santa Clara County will host its first LGBTQ Summit Friday with panels, presentations and workshops to educate county residents about LGBTQ resources.

The county Office of LGBTQ Affairs has been working on the summit since it was first established in 2016. In three years, it has coordinated trainings with staff at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and created a cultural competency program for workplaces, among its other advocacy work.

Larry Little, spokesman for the office, said there's still a lot more to be done. Individuals in the LGBTQ community are still reporting harassment, instances where people choose to disregard their pronouns, or lack understanding of LGBTQ culture, especially for young people in schools.

Transgender and non-binary residents have also reported feeling unwelcome at temporary housing shelters. Kicking off Pride Month in early June, the county opened up New Haven Inn, the second public, queer-focused shelter in United States.

"The LGBTQ Summit will assist by bridging the gap between (LGBTQ) individuals and those who work in any capacity with LGBTQ communities," Maribel Martinez, director of the office, said in a statement.

The summit will feature keynote speakers Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, an expert on transgender youth and an assistant professor at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and Aydin Olson-Kennedy, a well-known advocate for LGBTQ youth and adult services at the Los Angeles Gender Center.

Several county officials will also be in attendance, including Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian and former Supervisor Ken Yeager.

The summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Campbell Community Center at 1 West Campbell Ave. in Campbell.

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