HealthWest and the Muskegon County Sexuality And Gender Advocates Collaborative are partnering to host Muskegon Pride, a free virtual conference and resource fair for the Muskegon LGBTQ+/SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression) community.
Muskegon Pride will take place from 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Saturday. Registration is required, and those looking to participate can sign up here.
“Our goal is to educate and inform the Muskegon County LGBTQ+/SOGIE community, as well as connect LGBTQ+/SOGIE members and its allies to resources and supports in the community,” said Felipe Trevino, a clinical services supervisor at HealthWest and chair of Sexuality And Gender Advocates.
The event will include breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including suicide prevention, pronouns, support and affirmation of trans youth, navigating the adoption process and more.
“HealthWest is here to support the mental health needs of our entire community,” HealthWest Executive Director Julia Rupp said. “We are excited to be a partner in this event, and we look forward to celebrating Pride Month by connecting residents with resources and information that will improve the quality of life for everyone in Muskegon County.”
Individuals in the LGBTQ+/SOGIE community are at higher risk of experiencing socioeconomic and cultural conditions that can negatively impact mental health, such as trauma, isolation, discrimination and harassment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“The SOGIE community and community as a whole are asking for resources and support and often feel like they have to go outside of Muskegon County to get the support and resources they need,” Trevino said. “We want to show the community that help and support are available right here at home.”