Name: My given name is “Casey”. As a non-binary person, I love that it isn’t typically associated with one gender. My parents must have had a sixth sense about me. A lot of my friends and family call me “Case”. I also respond to “love,” “darlin,” “hon,” and “friend.”
Job Title at LGBT Life Center: Community Engagement Coordinator
Where’d you come from and what’d you do there? I was most recently serving as a Youth Development Specialist for the Peace Corps in Thailand. My site was a rural farming village in the Isaan (Northeast) region of the country. My work focused on collaborating with schools, youth councils, government organizations, and health centers to develop and implement youth programming in the areas of English, life skills, gender/sexuality, leadership, creative arts, and health/wellness. Outside of my community work, I was also involved with the Peer Support & Diversity Network, the Gender & Development/Sexual & Reproductive Health Committee, and the Thai Youth Theater Festival. Before the Peace Corps, I worked at the University of Texas at Austin as a Student Development Specialist and served as Chair of the Pride & Equity Faculty/Staff Association.
I’m here to help you with: All things related to community engagement! I am your main point person if you are looking to volunteer with the Center, if you would like us to table at one of your upcoming events, and/or if you want to schedule one of our trainings/workshops. Our current pre-packaged offerings include: “Cultural Diversity”, “Safer Spaces in Schools”, “Gender & Sexuality Alliance [GSA] Trainings”, “Gender Identity”, and “USA Epidemiology of HIV”. I am also happy to collaborate with you on building a custom training that fits the specific needs of your organization! Follow this link for more info and/or to fill out our online request form: https://lgbtlifecenter.org/wellness/trainings-workshops/.
How did you become interested in this job/type of work? It has been a dream of mine for the past decade to work for an LGBTQ+ center. In 2013, I received my Master of Science degree in Sociology with a specialization in “Gender, Sexuality, & Society” from the University of Amsterdam. Outside of my studies, I was heavily involved in the autonomous, non-commercial queer scene, where I helped organize weekly and monthly queer performance nights, as well as an annual festival for queer politics and arts. My experience as an active member of this thriving, diverse, and affirming LGBTQ+ community was transformational for me. It taught me a lot about the life-enhancing and, oftentimes, life-saving power of community, and it inspired me to commit my life and career to serve the LGBTQ+ community, wherever I go.
What’s an interesting thing about you that most people don’t know? I was the spelling bee champion at my school from 5th to 8th grade. During my final year, I made it all the way to regionals but lost on the word “obsequious.”
What excites you about joining the LGBT Life Center Team? Throughout the interview process, I was blown away by the warmth and professionalism with which my interviewers conducted themselves. They truly cared about my experience and well-being and asked thoughtful and important questions. I could also tell that they liked and respected one another. I told myself that if I was lucky enough to get a job offer, I would take it in a second. In my experience, you can have the best job on paper, but if you don’t like the people or the organizational culture, you won’t want to come to work. I am so excited to get to know the rest of the staff and to start engaging with all the incredible LGBTQ+ and HIV communities here in Hampton Roads!
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