How fit are you... emotionally?

We’re pretty fortunate in Las Vegas. We enjoy weather that is warm and invigorating almost all year round. Take it from this Midwesterner. I am reminded that in many areas of the country, with the passage of Spring, people are looking forward to a healthy and active summer. “Spring has finally sprung in Chicago,” some good friends texted me just the other night from Chicago. Winter and the long season of inclement weather is over. People are looking forward to the invigoration of going outside. We’re motivated to get active, to lose weight in order to get into our bathing suits. There’s a general sense of getting fit and making ourselves fit. It is an annual and cyclic ritual of sorts.

I’m constantly reminded of our ability to be emotionally fit and well balanced. We’re made aware of those challenges in our work at The Center where we have the privilege to serve a wide variety of individuals in our LGBTQ community. As LGBTQ we face extraordinary odds as we live life out and proud. But living in a way that is true to ourselves can sometimes be extraordinarily challenging. We have to stay healthy amid the stresses. And, like those who are gym buddies who rely on the support of one another to pursue fitness and well-being, we need to rely on one another to challenge us to be emotionally fit and strong.

Social CirKish teaches youth circus skills, self-esteem and so much more

Starting in the summer of 2014, The Center began offering free circus skills classes to youth 10-19 years of age. Juggling, clowning, high wire, acrobatics, plus performing in a show in front of an audience all for free. The only requirement is that the student commit to showing up twice a week to classes for the entire nine weeks of the course. The program is called Social CirKish and is funded through generous contributions from the John C. Kish Foundation.

Beyond the circus skills, which also impart confidence, self-esteem and discipline, the classes improve etiquette, manners and positive interactions between youth of disparate backgrounds and their instructors. That’s the social part of Social CirKish. Inner city youth, LGBTQ youth, and youth of a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds all come together to train in circus arts and acquire more social skills.

New Trans* Programs at The Center Strive to Strengthen Relationships

When Holly Reese joined The Center’s staff as senior and transgender programs manager in 2014, she had a goal of adding numerous new trans* and gender non-conforming programs and services. Almost immediately, she introduced the hugely successful SWITCH Trans* Clothing Swap and the FLUX support group for youth, facilitated by clinical psychologist Susan Vincent, PhD. These joined the existing Trans.lation, Out of the (Gender) Box and Transmasculine Group meetings to form what is known collectively as the Identi-T* program.

The next new group to be added to the lineup is called T*gether and will launch at The Center on June 3.

Bet on your sexual health and win!

“Play it smart and practice safer sex. Ante up by using a condom. Double down by knowing yourself and your partner’s HIV status. Bet on THIS Nevada! Because when you bet on your sexual health, you always win!”  That’s the important message being relayed by a recently launched website, mobile app and playing card set.

BetOnThisNV.org offers a wealth of information on the most common sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS testing locations and places to get free condoms throughout Nevada, and tips on condom use, safer oral sex and safer needle use. For those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, the website also provides a detailed guide of resources throughout Nevada and helps explain the Ryan White CARE Act programs. A “Living Well with HIV” care binder kit can be downloaded and printed to help positive persons list their doctors, support groups and other resources, keep a log of doctors’ orders and maintain a journal of daily feelings, activities and vital statistics. Numerous safer sex images and memes are also available to download and use on social media.

STD vs. STI — What the heck is an STI? What’s the difference? Is there one?

It is no secret that the medical community loves its abbreviations. Abbreviations like SVT just roll off the tongue more naturally than scary-looking words like Supraventricular Tachycardia.

The sexual health and prevention community is no exception. Over the years, we have seen the language evolve to describe those little unwanted gifts we get in the bedroom (often from unwrapped packages!). We have gone from VD (Venereal Disease) to STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease).