Frequently Asked Questions

LGBTQ+ Program

Other than the Pride Festival, what LGBTQ+ Programming does PPF offer?

Pacific Pride Foundation takes a lifespan approach to LGBTQ+ Programming, with all offerings explicitly inclusive of Transgender and Gender Diverse individuals, including...

PROUD LGBTQ+ Youth Program (12 – 17 years):

  • Weekly PROUD Youth Group meeting on-site in Santa Barbara Office for therapeutic social support.
  • PROUD Prom, open to LGBTQ+ youth, 12 – 17 years, across the Central Coast.
  • 10-week (90) Days of Summer—life skills-building summer program for LGBTQ+ youth, including field trips to UCSB, LACMA and end of summer beach party.
  • Youth Advocate Leadership Program—including youth leaders’ designing and administering of (90) Days of Summer, while receiving mentoring from our LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate.
  • Youth Connect Conference—designed and led by our Youth Advocate Leaders to provide a jump-start to the school year and extra support, as well as youth networking opportunities, for LGBTQ+ School Clubs.
  • Models of Pride Field Trip—bringing over 45 youth from Santa Maria and Santa Barbara to the only national LGBTQ+ youth-designed and –led conference, hosted at USC.

Support for Caregivers and Families of LGBTQ+ Individuals:

  • Online resource center at
  • High-quality sliding scale therapy for caregivers, parents, family, and friends working toward accepting their LGBTQ+ loved one.
  • Coaching from our LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate.
  • Active referrals to partner organizations like Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network & SB PFLAG.

Middle and High School Outreach:

  • LGBTQ+ School Club support—including curricula building and execution, youth leadership support, and teacher adviser coaching.
  • Safe Schools Survey—designed and administered once in Fall and once in Spring of school year, collecting student reports of homophobia and transphobia at school.
  • In-class presentations on sexual orientation and gender diversity at teacher and administrator request.
  • Training UCSB Teacher Training Candidates in LGBTQ+ K – 12 Sensitivity.
  • Supporting targeted youth school initiatives, such as advocating for all-gender restrooms where existing single-stalls are available—or observing Transgender Day of Remembrance on campus.

New LGBTQ+ Young Adult Program (18 – 25+ years):

  • Weekly Young Adult therapeutic support group on-site in Santa Barbara Office.
  • Mentoring program planned for next year.
  • LGBTQ+-themed Film Nights and under-21 social events in planning stages.

LGBTQ+ Sensitivity Trainings:

  • Pacific Pride Foundation offers a variety of trainings that can be tailored to any site's needs or area of focus.
  • Most organizations request our LGBTQ+ 101, which covers the vocabulary needed to understand and welcome people of all sexualities and genders.
  • Presentations cover all Transgender & Gender Diverse identities and Sexual Orientations in full (with full attention given to Bisexuality, Biphobia, and Bi-invisibility).
  • Current presentation series include:
    • Four-part "Welcoming" series: "Welcoming Gender Diversity in Children," "Welcoming LGBTQ+ Adolescents," "Welcoming Parents & Families of LGBTQ+ Individuals," "Welcoming LGBT Elders."
    • Three-part “Supporting Survivors” series: "Supporting LGBTQ+ Survivors of Sexual Assault," "Supporting LGBTQ+ Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence," and "Supporting LGBTQ+ Survivors of Family Abuse/Rejection."
  • Replete with the latest research, lesser-known LGBTQ+ histories, and with your field's professional best practices—our trainings are grounded in cultural competency and the direct acknowledgment that LGBTQ+ people of color, of elderhood, of diverse abilities and citizenship statuses present differing constellations of experience and oppression that require unique and nuanced care.

LGBT+ Elder Program:

  • Supporting Santa Barbara Lavender Elders/Mayores’ (SaBLE) monthly potlucks.
  • Actively present LGBT+ sensitivity trainings to area senior care facilities, alongside a panel of LGBT+ elder volunteers who speak from their own experience and support increased learning for senior care support staff and residents.
  • Video archive project planned for next year, geared to collect and preserve LGBT+ elders’ histories.
  • LGBT-themed Film Afternoons proposed along with other social gatherings at PPF.
  • We leave off the “Q” in this program title in deference to the fact that one word it stands for (other than “Questioning”) was and is a violent epithet for many of our Elders. It is a very living trauma trigger for them, even as younger generations work to invest the word with more positive meanings.
Who oversees the LGBTQ+ Program and provides the sensitivity trainings?

At present, our LGBTQ+ Program and sensitivity trainings are overseen by our LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate Patrick Lyra (a two-name first name like “Mary Beth”) Lanier, under the supervision of our Executive Director.

Patrick Lyra holds a B.A. in African-American literature from Vassar College, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Somatic Psychology Emphasis, ten years of teaching experience (preschool & kindergarten), and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 98562. In addition, Patrick Lyra has spent the last five years as an MFT Intern in PPF’s Counseling Center—where they co-facilitated the PROUD Youth Group from 2011 - 2012, and where they still see clients at present.

What if my workplace doesn’t have LGBTQ+ Sensitivity Trainings?

Our LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate provides individualized trainings in-house to groups of 4 – 6 individuals, the cost of which varies depending on the number of participants. If you’re interested in such personalized trainings, contact Patrick Lyra at for more information.

Does PPF provide Transgender- and Gender-specific trainings?

All of PPF’s sensitivity trainings provide full coverage of Transgender and Gender Diverse identities—an important concern for our LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate, who identifies as transgender (agender) and queer. Whether as part of a full LGBTQ+ training (paired with Sexualities 101), or whether as a specialized module focusing just on Gender Diversity, PPF can tailor a training to suit your needs.

HIV & Hepatitis C: Education & Prevention

How does PPF prevent the spread of HIV and Hep C?

  • PPF offers free and anonymous HIV and Hep C rapid testing out of two offices in Santa Barbara County (Santa Maria & Santa Barbara). Our walk-in testing hours are 3 – 6 PM, Wednesdays, in Santa Barbara and 3 – 6 PM, Thursdays in Santa Maria. Rapid testing is otherwise available by appointment. All newly diagnosed clients are linked to follow up care, including our Counseling at the PRIDE Center.
  • Our Health Utility Vehicle (HUV) is present county-wide to provide free, anonymous HIV and Hepatitis C rapid testing off-site to vulnerable populations.
  • We are expanding our definition of prevention and incorporating conversations and education around HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (known as PrEP).
  • We offer our HIV and Hep C educational and harm reduction presentations county-wide.
  • We provide Syringe Exchange as a means of prevention (more on this in below section).

How impactful are PPF’s HIV Education & Prevention efforts?

In 2014-15, PPF…

  • Conducted 1,602 free, anonymous rapid HIV Tests (1000+ to High Risk Clients) and 1,117 free, anonymous rapid Hepatitis C Tests. Each person tested was offered a one-on-one harm reduction counseling session.
  • Provided 65 Education & Prevention Presentations, reaching 637 high risk individuals.
  • Designed and implemented 6 Education, Prevention & Testing full day events at local campuses including UCSB, SBCC, and Allan Hancock College.
  • Offered bi-monthly rapid testing with Community Health Centers in Santa Maria at Free Mobile Clinic.
  • Sponsored an annual monolingual (Spanish) Health Fair in Santa Maria—including rapid testing.
  • Partnered with Public Health Dept., Planned Parenthood, SBCC, Allan Hancock College, Community Health Centers, UCS, SB Neighborhood Clinics, Good Samaritan Shelter, Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness, PATH, American Indian Health, SB Transgender Advocacy Network, GRACE, and more—to provide education and prevention outreach and, often, rapid testing.
  • Provided on-site rapid testing at Pacific Pride Festival (and in 2016, through our own Health Utility Vehicle)
  • All of the above services will continue at these rates or higher, into the future.

Syringe Exchange

How does PPF’s Syringe Exchange relate to our HIV and Hepatitis C Education & Prevention?

One proven method of preventing the spread of HIV & Hep C is to offer injection drug users harm reduction counseling and syringe exchange—as exposure to both HIV and Hep C can occur from sharing unsterilized needles. PPF offers harm reduction, risk assessment, sterile syringes and various other supplies and materials to help reduce the spread of blood born pathogens and support those who may be struggling with substance dependency. PPF’s Syringe Exchange has not been cut and will continue to offer services Wednesdays, 3 – 6 PM in Santa Barbara, and Thursdays, 3 – 6 PM in Santa Maria. 

How impactful is PPF’s Syringe Exchange?

In 2014-15, PPF collected 68,976 contaminated syringes, supported 394 unique clients via 1,286 discrete exchanges and distributed 54,654 sterile syringes. Our Syringe Exchange staff offer each exchange client harm reduction counseling, frefer interested clients to substance abuse treatment programs and to other resources—including the many LGBTQ+-friendly Anonymous sobriety groups that meet weekly in PPF’s offices.

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