December 16, 2020
Author: Roy Gonzalez
I think it goes without saying that the end of 2020 cannot come quick enough. As I reflect back on this past rollercoaster of a year, devastated by an on-going pandemic and polarizing political climate, it’s difficult to identify the good things that came out of it and spot the silver lining.
I recall first meeting with the Next Gen Club at the start of 2020, excited to join the team and plan out everything we had in store to raise both awareness and engagement around ALTSO’s mission. We planned social outings and bar trivia events with goals of increasing our reach to new networks and expanding our membership base.
When March hit, we encountered roadblocks as work from home orders started coming through and overall uncertainty of how long the situation would last began to set in. Admittedly we held off on any events for the better half of the second quarter as we each tried to take hold of our own situations and check in with friends and family. It was at this time that I really began to engage with the Black Lives Matter movement and take inventory of my own privileges and resources as a cisgender, Latinx, gay, able-bodied individual. A group of friends and I banded together to raise money and awareness for racial justice and COVID-19 relief efforts. We even put on a virtual trivia during Pride Month to highlight intersectionality and managed to raise over $4K towards The Center, The Trevor Project, and ALTSO’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Although I may have felt strongly toward being an advocate in the past, I really think 2020 was a catalyst to push me to act. Action comes in many forms; whether it is by contributing time or funds — organizations like ALTSO can only succeed with the support of the community. I reflect on what this year means to me, and in a way, it was a year of personal growth and fine-tuning what is important. 2020 was a difficult year, with too few ups and far too many downs, but it was a year of reflection, strength, and perseverance; to forget that would be a disservice to all of the sacrifices made.
I look forward to turning the page on this year, but I’ll bring with me my new found dedication towards making my voice heard. For those finding themselves in a similar situation to myself, I urge you to reflect on your takeaways and hold yourself accountable to making future contributions.