As experts on culture, we understand the importance of building community. Having a shared space to connect on experiences and topics can bring many positive outcomes into people’s lives. More importantly, for marginalized communities, these spaces can offer opportunities that they would not have otherwise. That’s why, to close Pride Month, we want to highlight a local pioneer organization who has been committed to fostering community, providing resources, and extending opportunities to the Upstate South Carolina LGBTQ+ community.
From Health & Wellness to Social Support, Pride Link can now serve over 130,000 members of the LGBTQ+ community in the Upstate in an unprecedented way. As the very first LGBTQ+ wellness center in Upstate SC, Pride Link is a good indicator of the value that community building can bring. Recently, Think Up Consulting was a part of their first LGTBQ+ Friendly Career Fair, joining several other businesses and corporate partners in the area. As a certified LGBTQ+ owned business, Think Up Consulting was grateful for a chance to connect and be a part of a greater push for change in Greenville, SC.
The mission of Pride Link at the Queer Wellness Center recognizes the great lengths Greenville, SC has to go to in order to create a sufficient quality of life for LGTBQ+ people in the area. In fact, according to an evaluation conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, Greenville, SC is one of the least LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the country, based on its current laws, policies, and services. However, Pride Link sees an opportunity for growth, envisioning “a thriving Upstate, SC community where all LGBTQ+ people are strong, safe, and successful.”
Pride Link offers many programs and partnerships to support their vision. When dreaming of the concept, Liz Serricchio, Founder and Co-Owner of Amaryllis Counseling says the center was intended to be an all-inclusive safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals, bringing social, mental, and physical support into one building. “We will have mental health providers,” Serricchio said. “We will have medical providers. We will have individuals who assist with name changes and HIV testing and gender marker changes, connections to hormone replacement therapy all in one location.” It also contains a computer lab to help with job search assistance, an event space, a food pantry, shower and washing machine and dryer.
Don’t let your support for the LGBTQ+ community stop after June. If you would like to contribute to the great work Pride Link is doing, check out their website and choose to either donate, volunteer, or sign up for their newsletter to stay up-to-date on all their events. However, if you are not in the Greenville area, take some time to review the inclusivity of your own community. Ask yourself how you can contribute to its progress.