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North County LGBT Resource Center Offers Safe Place To Celebrate Thanksgiving

North County LGBTQ Resource Center
Staff at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center pose at their Oceanside facility.

A Thanksgiving lunch at North County’s LGBT Resource Center will offer a safe place for those who don’t feel comfortable taking their same-sex partners to meet the family.

Executive Director Max Disposti said the holidays can be particularly difficult for the LBGT community, especially young people who are freshly “out.”

“Their partners are not yet welcome in the family,“ he said. “Every time you come together with family is the time they start questioning you about your relationship, the way you look. The holidays are a very difficult time for a lot of people - it’s a challenge.“

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Thanksgiving can be awkward for some families, Disposti said, even if a young person’s parents start to accept their sexual orientation.

“Now your parents are starting to support you,” he explained. “They understand a little bit, but now even your own parents need to come out with family and friends: the grandma, the uncle, or the aunt that you see once a year, and it becomes a very stressful time."

Disposti said national studies show up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. He said people in the older generation, aged 60 to 70, can also find they feel isolated at Thanksgiving.

Disposti said the Resource Center in Oceanside has hosted a Thanksgiving lunch every year since it opened three years ago, and the number of people who come increases every year.

The Salvation Army has donated some of the food the center will serve and volunteers are bringing pie.