Diversity collective visits Pride Club

Michael Schouten from Diversity Collective explains The Gender Unicorn concept.

Angelina Kulick

Michael Schouten from Diversity Collective explains “The Gender Unicorn” concept.

On Tuesday, April 4, Pride club president, sophomore Lola Forbes-Black and vice president, sophomore Jenevieve Clark hosted guest speaker Michael Schouten from Diversity Collective in room 6-21 to explain gender, sexuality awareness, and what Diversity Collective is, and lastly, what they offer.

Diversity Collective is Ventura County’s LGBTQ community. This queer company offers resources to LGBTQ youth who may need help transitioning, exploring their sexual identity, and giving them a safe space to be themselves while finding others like them. Their mission is providing advocacy, visibility, safety, and wellness for the  LGBTQ+ community. They are able to do this via our community resource center, programs, and community-building events.

Schouten explained it as “The home for the LGBTQ in Ventura County.” This company is also completely confidential when it comes to involving parents, Schouten said, “They are not required to tell parents why their child is involved. Minors have sexual rights over the age of twelve years old, including sexual identity, education, etc.” Diversity Collective also holds National Youth AIDS Awareness weeks, access to condoms, HIV testing, and counseling. 

During this meeting, Schouten handed out “The Gender Unicorn,” a piece of paper that he uses to break down sexuality and attraction. He said, “Emotional attraction and physical attraction are different and work differently between genders.” Schouten implies that just because someone is romantically attracted to someone does not make them physically attracted to them. Many don’t realize that you don’t have to be romantically attracted and physically attracted to that person. It’s also important to respect the pronouns, and sexual identity of others. While someone’s gender identity may be one way, their gender expression may be the opposite. The community is really big and has all different kinds of people, it’s imperative to keep in mind that everyone is and will be different. These differences should always be respected and celebrated.

If you would like to get involved with the Diversity Collective and learn more about their goals:

Newsletter – https://diversitycollective.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=42ed82a6ed62da54a51979c4b&id=020d9e40d9

Sign up to help out – https://forms.monday.com/forms/bd327851c8a34c51bd83e004d1d10555?r=use1

Diversity Collective website – diversitycollectivevc.org