Develop a deeper understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, emphasizing the transgender and non-binary population and how to provide gender-affirming support using peer support principles.
Dominique Christian supports people with mental health challenges, psychological trauma, and substance use through AYA Advocacy Group. She is a social worker and graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Being a CPS allows her to support others through their recovery journey through the encouragement of self-direction and autonomy in their choices. She finds that the greatest part of being a CPS is that she advocates for systemic and policy change at all system levels through teaching an approach that humanizes adverse experiences, trauma, and individualized coping mechanisms. In this work, she appreciates the freedom to choose herself every time, and every day, she is reminded that she is far greater than her troubles. The work is rewarding because it sees her not for what she has been through but for who she’s becoming. As a CPS trainer, her story is her candle; when she trains people, she uses her candle to ignite their flame.
Lex Salazar is a Black, disabled autistic trans male. He has personal experience with navigating the mental health system as well as the medical and special education systems. He is passionate about coming alongside other marginalized folks to identify needs and work collaboratively to address those needs. As a Certified Peer Specialist, he seeks to empower individuals to live their best lives.
Kaeden Watford is a certified peer support specialist and currently works for Safe Communities in a recovery coach position, and also works at the LGBTQIA+ Outreach center in Madison, Wisconsin as a harm reduction specialist. He is a member of the African American Opioid Coalition and has done both Alternatives to Suicide and DOULA training. As a black trans man who has embarked on a journey of healing from trauma, substance use, and incarceration he has a lot of experience being a part of marginalized communities. It’s an important value of his to build connections in all of the communities he is a part of and identifies with. To try and empower them by showing them their own strengths, supporting them in finding their own pathways to healing, and exploring ways to create a life they feel is worth living.
Gabriel Loredo has worn many hats throughout his life before coming to Outreach as the Transgender Advocate where he brings his passion for advocacy and lived experience. They have participated in The Madison Gay Hockey Association and is a current member of Perfect Harmony Chorus. Originally from Corpus Christi TX, he lives in Madison with their dog where he enjoys walking around the city and exploring the beauty it has to offer. During his off time, they enjoy playing video games in discord with friends, knitting, and reading with his dog curled up in their lap.