San Jose Strong is putting on a virtual event called Queer Homecoming. Our vision is a day-long event, taking place in November, in which queer community is engaged and celebrated in several ways: livestreamed performances, educational workshops, shoutouts from queer celebrities via Cameo, and a community-sourced zine. We’ll also be providing space for queer youth across the South Bay to connect and get to know each other!
We see a lack of community spaces that stand for and honor queer youth and their experiences. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the few physical queer spaces for youth to gather in and find community have found themselves closed, or with reduced staffing, funding and resources, making it impossible for them to serve as many individuals as they previously did. Community is a major driving factor in creating our event. At the grade-school level, many queer youth are unable to fully express themselves or explore their identities. Being away from in-person classes, and unable to partake even in campus GSAs, some queer students are likely feeling lonely and misunderstood. By connecting youth with resources and opportunities, we hope to remedy some of these issues and leave space for continued expression and support.
Our goal is to present resources in the forms of different workshops to teach things like mental health skills and management, different artistic forms and expression, writing, and other subjects. We will also introduce them to different queer organizations they can join going forward, such as the LGBTQ Youth Space in San Jose, which provides queer youth with a safe space, and also resources like food and clothing for those in need.
Leading up to the event, we are will be selling merchandise to raise funds, scout queer musicians and artists, and potentially create a zine or anthology that includes queer students’ work. We are also planning to auction off items from local queer-owned business and artists.
Funded by San Jose, CA (October 2020)