When The Invisible Becomes Visible

The Center consistently showed up for me through the years, which gave me the courage to show up for myself.

I rarely feel seen as a queer, neurodivergent person. Growing up, I perpetually grappled with being invisible in a biracial and gender-binary household where I had to mask my gender identity. This was exacerbated as I got older and was diagnosed with late-in-life ADHD and mild autism. Even if we don’t think we need it at first, affirming places like the SF LGBT Center are essential for community members like me who need a safety net.

I still remember my first experience working with the Center back in 2007. I completed my undergrad studies and came to San Francisco to be with my partner. For months, I struggled to find work in the city. Realizing I needed a safe community space with resources, I connected with the Center’s Employment Services team, and the pieces began to fall into place.

I met the Center’s friendly Employment Services team during their Drop-In Job Club hour, and little did I know our partnership would span over a decade! Through the years, the Center’s ability-informed employment specialists, Drew and Slay, remained collaborative and compassionate, guiding me as I navigated systemic workplace issues. They helped me determine which transferable skills to highlight as I transitioned from library work into digital asset management and then taxonomy. They also created a safe space where I could talk about my queer and neurodivergent experiences in the corporate world.

As I started to peel back my layers to understand what it was like living with ADHD and autism, I felt constrained in a world where neurodivergent folks are often stereotyped in mainstream society, including in the workplace. Thankfully, places like the Center support people like me on the neurodivergent spectrum who can slip under the radar and become invisible.

Through the Center’s excellent service, I created spaciousness in my life which helped me realize my goals. Looking ahead, I will be working with the Center’s Small Business team to launch my own creative media company.

The Center consistently showed up for me through the years, which gave me the courage to show up for myself.

Your support keeps the Center’s mission alive. Can we count on your gift today to sustain our community during these profoundly challenging economic times?

I’m excited about what’s ahead for me. I’ve started to dream up business ideas, like organic hair products, clothing, and skincare. I’m also enjoying my new apartment, where I can finally cook, paint, and even get to know my neighbors! It all still feels so surreal, and I’m so grateful to be in this new stage of my life.

With gratitude,

T. McCarthy
(pronouns: she/they)
Employment Services Participant

Back to Blog