SVPC Safe Space Program
The SVPC Safe Space Program allows LGBTQIA+ and Ally business owners to register with Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations as an official Safe Space that will welcome and respect those within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Our Safe Space Pledge outlines what it means to be respectful and welcoming to the LGBTQIA community. Through this program, we hope to increase LGBTQIA+ visibility and encourage others to take action to support equality and acceptance.
Upon signing our pledge:
You will be sent a Safe Space Program progress flag decal to place in the window of your business or organization.
You will also be designated as a Safe Space within our annual LGBTQIA+ Friendly Business Directory of Monterrey County.
I WANT TO SIGN THE
SAFE SPACE PLEDGE
ON BEHALF OF MY
BUSINESS OR ORGANIZATION
A MESSAGE from S.V.P.C.
Vice President Crystal Libby
Each year, SVPC puts out our LGBTQIA+ Friendly Business Directory of Monterey County in which we list businesses and organizations who are queer-owned or run, or have demonstrated their support of the LGBTQIA community.
Our SVPC Safe Space Program is an extension of our commitment to creating a supportive network for individuals who seek understanding, acceptance, and access to essential services.
By allowing businesses and organizations to voluntarily pledge their commitment to being LGBTQIA+ safe spaces, we create a visible network of support. Displaying the Safe Space Sticker not only communicates a welcoming environment but provides a profound sense of relief. Relief that stems from the fundamental human need for safety and acceptance.
In my college years, at the age of 19, I found the courage to come out of the closet. Serendipitously, it was the very year my college introduced a course titled "LGBTQ Film & Literature." This new class brought a surge of excitement, not only because it introduced me to the existence of other LGBTQ individuals in my community but also because it signaled that our contributions were valued and significant.
For my maiden project in this class, I decided to explore the origins of the pink triangle symbol. For those unfamiliar, this symbol, now widely recognized as a gay pride emblem, has its roots in the Holocaust. It was a heart-wrenching badge that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps, while gay women were identified with black triangle badges, marking them as "asocial."
I had to make several prints of my report, so I went to a local copy shop. However, what I encountered was disheartening. The shop denied me service, citing the pink triangle on the cover of my report as a reason. They deemed me "immoral." I was still navigating the intricacies of my identity at that time, and this was my first direct encounter with open rejection. Regrettably, it wouldn't be my last.
Beyond the copy shop's refusal of service, there was the disheartening experience with a tattoo artist who declined to create a symbol associated with female empowerment due to its historical ties to lesbians. Additionally, a hair stylist refused the haircut I asked for because they decided that they needed to, quote, "keep me feminine."
While these experiences might be deemed mild, they are part of a larger pattern of discrimination that extends to more severe cases, like medical and mental health professionals refusing treatment based on their religious beliefs. These instances of discriminatory service refusals are not only emotionally distressing but also deeply impact the mental and physical well-being of LGBTQ individuals, amplifying the stress and anxiety that many LGBTQ individuals already navigate on a daily basis.
The Safe Space Program is a tangible way for businesses and organizations to be part of the solution. It is not just a program; it's a commitment to shaping a better future.
I sincerely thank each of our Safe Space business owners for your dedication, and I look forward to witnessing the ripple effect that the SVPC Safe Space Program will have not only within Salinas, but across the entirety of Monterey County.
Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations
PRIDE IN OUR PARKS
Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations partners with the California Parks Department and the Cal Parks Foundation to host "Pride in Our Parks," an LGBTQIA+ and Ally Volunteer Day.
In past events, we have spread seeds through various parks as well as pulled invasive plants from the dunes of Fort Ord which threaten our native plants and animals.
Sign up for our email list and follow us on Facebook for upcoming volunteer dates!
Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations
2023 LGBTQIA + Scholarship Program
In 2023, SVPC will be awarding four $2000 scholarships!
Application Due Date:
May 31st, 2023
[Applications are currently in deliberation. Winners to be announced soon!]
Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations is proud to offer the only LGBTQ+ focused scholarship in Monterey County.
This scholarship is designed to honor LGBTQIA+ students and allies who embody Salinas Valley Pride Celebration's mission to create community and increase LGBT acceptance.
LGBTQ+ student or Ally planning on pursing secondary education in 2023.
Completed SVPC Scholarship application form
(2) Letters of recommendation from an educator, employer or community leader
Personal Written Statement of 500 to 800 words describing how the applicant personally represents the Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations' mission
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
Progress Flag Raising Initiatives
We at SVPC believe that, particularly in today's political climate, representation is incredibly important. That is why Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations works with government officials to raise the Progress Flag all across Monterey County from the peninsula all the way to South County.
This may seem like an easy task to those in certain areas of the Monterey Bay, but our community still experiences a great deal of public backlash, hate mail, and angry protesters who do not understand how important the LGBTQIA+ Progress Flag means to those who may be closeted or afraid to live their true identities.