Volunteer Spotlight: Rose and Zoe

April 30, 2019 in inQueery
Volunteer Spotlight is an InQueery series where we introduce you to some of the many volunteers that make up the heart of Pacific Center.  Today, we’re chatting with Rose, who is a faithful front desk volunteer.  Welcome!  
Hi! My name is Rose, my pronouns are she/her, I’m a Student and proud Front Desk Volunteer for the Pacific Center, and a Service Dog Handler. I’ve known I was Trans my whole life. In fact, I came to the Bay Area specifically to meet other people like me for the first time, to be able to attain jobs without discrimination, learn what it truly means to be LGBT, and to get proper medical care for being trans. I have a SA(Service Animal), her name is Zoe, and she’s my love, light, and balance in this world.

I’m originally from Texas, and I moved up here at 16. I’d come from a pretty bad household and moved here on my own. I figured out how to get myself up on my feet with the help of organizations like the Pacific Center, met some lovely people who helped keep me safe until I became an adult, and have embarked on my own journey as a now-adult in the Bay Area. I’d always dreamed of living up here and getting away from the dangers of being trans in such an extremely non-accepting area. And I think we should all work our best towards making our dreams a reality.

Best volunteers on six legs.

Definitely.  I have spent some years in Texas, and I know how there are some very restrictive social climates there.  (There are some good ones, of course, but it’s definitely harder to be queer in any way there!) So now that you are in Berkeley, what do you like to do outside of your studies and Pacific Center?
I love animals(I’ve volunteered at pet shelters and such before, and find it so fulfilling), books, almost any genre of music, and basically anything that exercises my brain. I also play the Ukulele, Violin, Piano, and I do Synth work! I love listening to live music, and roaming around the UC Berkeley campus. I’ve always loved nature and greenery, ever since I was a little kid. I’m also a major nerd and a bit of a gamer on the side.
 How long have you been volunteering with Pacific Center?  How did you get started?  What aspect of your volunteer role do you like best?
I think I’ve been volunteering about 7+ months? I used to go to the AMAZING L.O.U.D. youth group! By the time I aged out and graduated, I was so infatuated and impressed by the work done at the Pacific Center, I knew I had to stay a part of this. Every event gone to, every shift worked at the front desk, every opportunity to contribute and help the way I was helped is what I like the best about being a volunteer.
What kind of LGBTQ, or social justice issues more broadly, are most important to you?  
LGBTQ, POC, Immigrant rights and more are being severely threatened by the current leaders of our Government. Working towards equality and human rights for everybody no matter sex, gender, race, age, income, etc. are the very reason why I chose to move to the Bay Area. Educating people on diversity is incredibly key in my opinion. I also care deeply about improving housing for low-income people, especially trans housing, as that can be so hard to even find. Healthcare and homelessness in general are also big talking points for me, and I feel like I could go on and on about the various issues important to me, because I feel a deep and profound need to help people however I am able. Currently that’s mostly along the lines of volunteering, as I’m focused on education, work, housing, and being an adult in general. You can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself too.
True story.  Do you have any particular role models or people you admire?
For one, Jared Fields is a massive inspiration for me. I don’t even know how to begin to explain why.  He’s been supportive, educating, kind, dedicated, helpful, and just plain awesome in general. I consider him one of the best role models of my new life while I’m still also newly an adult learning how to be one.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
The Pacific Center is an amazing place, working in so many different ways to help the LGBT community and to help show us what community can be if we work together. Building a community, showing acceptance and love, having a safe place to be LGBTQ+, being able to be who I authentically am, these are all ways the Pacific Center helped keep me sane and centered when I made the massive, terrifying move up here entirely on my own. I love volunteering here, I love being a part of this amazing community, I love being who I am, and being loved especially because of who I am, not despite of it.
I think everybody has value and worth, and I hope over my life to teach as many people as I can that.
We love you too, Rose!  You are such a bright light in our community.  Wishing you the best in all your efforts, and we’ll see you at the front desk!
If you would like to be featured in the volunteer spotlight, please email Jared at jfields@pacificcenter.org