December 31, 2021
Hi, Fam. Steven here. Hope you’re nailing it this New Year’s Eve.
As much as I hate to admit this, I’m a bit of a pageant and/or scholarship program queen; and one of my favorite moments during any such event is when the reigning title holder says goodbye. Well, it seems that this is as close as I will ever come to having that moment, so here’s hoping I nail it.
I became head of TriVersity for a two-year term on January 1, 2020. I was green in the best of circumstances, but thankfully I had a very supportive Board in my corner. Despite my relative inexperience, those first two months were absolutely amazing. The Winter Film Series was more popular than ever. First Fridays and Share Your Heart packed in crowds, and I was prepared to ride the wave as long as possible. Then came March, everything turned upside down, and I became the COVID President.
Thanks to a dedicated team of Board Members, Advisory Council Members, and wonderful volunteers and supporters–individuals and Organizations alike–we not only survived this tumultuous period, we grew stronger as a Community. Using Zoom and Facebook Live, we kept our Community engaged with a variety of different events & programs while behind the scenes preparing the Center for its grand reopening. We created the TriVersity Media Center and Lending Library, providing our Community and allies a safe space to learn more about our past struggles & triumphs and the present tools and information we need to thrive. Seeing the Center eventually reopen and bring in such a wonderful collection of Community members and allies will always work to lift my spirits.
For all the days I wanted to cry or pull my hair out, growing into the role of TriVersity’s President gave me the tools and confidence I needed to reignite my own career, which is why I chose not to seek another term as President.
Next week, I will introduce you to our new Executive Board and the outstanding woman who will be TriVersity’s next President–a women who at a very young age has a proven track record for leading a Pride Organization. For the next few months, I will continue in the role of Interim President so that our President-Elect (how official!) can grow into the role. I expect great things.
I know I was not perfect–remember I was pretty green even before COVID hit–but I do hope that on balance I did right by you and by this Organization. For those of you who lifted me up as I struggled, you have my undying love and gratitude.
Some last thoughts. To our allies: please remember that being an ally is so much more than just an empty word, a sticker, or a rainbow flag during Pride Month. Being an ally requires an active determination, emphasis on active, to support our often marginalized Community. You are necessary for us to break through our oppression. Please do not take that role lightly, and don’t forget about the work of your local Pride Center in the process.
To my “Alphabet Mafia”: TriVersity is YOUR organization and is ultimately what YOU make of it. Get involved. Donate. Care. To be a rural Pride Center means you are constantly fighting an uphill battle for survival. This Organization is over a decade old, so let’s work to ensure TriVersity will be around for decades to come.
As for me, I’m not going anywhere. I will remain on the Board, and I will continue opening the Center for as long as I can. In fact, (prepare for a shameless plug), I will be there on Tuesday, January 4th, from 3 -5 pm with Owen from the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center. Owen is joining us to help answer your questions about Pennie — the PA Health Exchange — and to help find the right policy for you. Open enrollment ends soon, so Owen is an invaluable resource. Even if you have a health insurance policy you are comfortable with or you are not from PA, please reach out to anyone who you think could benefit from Owen’s help. Owen’s assistance is entirely free and for the benefit of both our Community and our allies.
All right, that’s all I’ve got for now. I thank you for all your support, and I look forward to seeing what TriVersity has next to accomplish.
All the best and Happy New Year!
Steven C. Teague