Coming out as LGBTQ+ can sometimes fracture relationships with those unable to accept our most authentic selves. This can make the holidays a particularly challenging time for many of us who experience distant or strained relationships with family. Celebrated days, like Thanksgiving in the States, can feel painful and daunting. In response to this need, the Henderson Equality Center of Henderson, Nevada has offered Thanksgiving meals to the local LGBTQ+ community.
The Henderson Equality Center is a community supported organisation to engage, empower, enrich, and advance the LGBTQ+ community of Henderson, NV. They seek to provide a safe space, pursue resources and provide courses focused on educational, social, support, skill building and job assistance for at-risk, low-income LGBTQ+ youth and adults.
Their vision is to provide the LGBTQ+ community with the necessary resources and opportunities to promote visibility, understanding, and equality through education, social support, networking, and advocacy.
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Yesterday, the centre provided a dine-in Thanksgiving dinner for those who do not have the funds or resources to cook; this is especially the case for homeless LGBTQ+ people. They, ingeniously, also offered free takeaway meal kits with turkey, sweet and mashed potatoes, vegetables and soup that were given ready to cook says executive director Chris Davin.
As the only daily full-size food pantry in Henderson, Davin says, “We want people to come to the center, to feel appreciated and be part of a community that supports them.”
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The volunteers and community partners of Henderson gave out 165 turkey meal boxes and provided 100 hot turkey sit down meals for vulnerable youth and/or their immediate families last night.
Wonderful projects like these often originate from needs that LGBTQ+ people identify in their own communities. Not only does this initiative provide life-necessary food to vulnerable populations, but it also highlights a larger effort of LGBTQ+ people and allies to make everyone a part of the queer community feel supported and empowered, especially during emotionally-loaded holidays.
Support services for the LGBTQ+ community attempt to fill the often endless lack of necessary institutional or social accommodations. It’s fantastic to see that in Henderson, Nevada, individuals gathered and celebrated togetherness, in their homes or at the centre itself, with an LGBTQ+ friendly Thanksgiving.
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