This week, we want to introduce you to Shayla. Shayla came to the Center after living in Sacramento for only 5 days. Shayla moved to town in a desperate attempt to heal from a trauma filled past. She came to us to in search of health services and an affirming environment. She didn’t know any local service providers, let alone places that affirmed trans community members.
Although Shayla found exactly what she was looking for, she tested positive for HIV. She was devastated… and needed space to process. Shayla thought this was the end, or at least the beginning of a painful ending to her young, twenty something, life.
“I thought it was an end, and I wasn’t ready to accept that.”
Shayla came with her aunt, and when she broke the news, her aunt was equally devastated. Thoughts of a fulfilling, purposeful, and happy life for Shayla quickly washed down the drain when her aunt found out Shayla tested positive. Our staff quickly acted, however, and informed the two about their options, health care available, and most importantly, provided the counseling needed for folks who have never heard such life-altering news.
Shayla and her aunt left, fully equipped with an action plan and a list of resources. Days later, Shayla’s aunt called the Center to let us know how appreciative they both were, and although still in shock, they were so glad they received this news and help from the Center.
“This is not an end, but a new beginning.”
Shayla’s aunt is now a donor, and having experienced the community support, now wants to share her experience with others like them. Shayla and her aunt have now made plans to attend Sacramento Pride and utilize HIV and our other transgender centered services when they are ready.
Our HIV testing services are just one of many ways the Center provides the community a sense of stability and hope for a better tomorrow. The cost to provide an HIV test and counseling is approximately $25 a person. Your donation on Big Day of Giving (or today!) allows our visitors to flourish and helps build a stronger and healthier community.
Join our mission to create a region where LGBTQ people thrive by making your gift today! Otherwise, mark your calendars for May 2nd and help us celebrate the Stonewall 50th.