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Triangle Speakers - FAQ

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What is Triangle Speakers?

Why "Triangle" Speakers?
What is Triangle Speakers' Mission?
What is Homophobia?
How does Triangle Speakers go about achieving its organizational mission of eliminating homophobia in Santa Cruz County?
Why is Triangle Speakers' Message important?
Does Triangle Speakers have an "agenda"?
What is the format of the panels?
How long has Triangle Speakers served the community?
If I have no training in public speaking, can I become a Triangle Speaker? What is involved in being a speaker?
How can I invite Triangle Speakers to speak to my organization?
Is there a charge for having Triangle Speakers come to speak?
Can I get involved in the organization without becoming a speaker?
How can I contact Triangle Speakers?

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What is Triangle Speakers?

Triangle Speakers is an educational speakers bureau for Santa Cruz County that provides 100+ panels to classrooms and organizations each year. Our speakers, volunteers, and staff are concerned individuals who work to eliminate homophobia - the fear, prejudice, hatred, and discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people - so that a healthy environment exists for all members of our community.

Our members include counselors, health educators, parents, college students, business people, members of the faith community - people of all walks of life.

  • In 1997, Triangle Speakers was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
  • In 2008, Triangle Speakers merged with The Diversity Center,a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation serving as the LGBTIQ community center of Santa Cruz County.  Triangle Speakers dissolved it's non-profit status and now functions as a program of the Diversity Center., but the programs identity remains the same.
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Why "Triangle" Speakers?

Our name comes as a reference to the historical persecution of gay people. During World War II, prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were forced to wear pink triangles if they were known homosexuals. They were sometimes killed because of their sexual orientation. Since that time, the inverted triangle has become a symbol of gay pride and speaking out in the gay community.

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What is Triangle Speakers' Mission?

Triangle Speakers works to eliminate homophobia in Santa Cruz County so that a healthy environment exists for all members of our community.

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What is Homophobia?
Homophobia is the fear, prejudice, and hatred directed against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people.
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How does Triangle Speakers go about achieving its organizational mission of eliminating homophobia in Santa Cruz County?
At the request of local schools and organizations, we provide a panel of trained speakers, which often includes a lesbian, a gay man, a bisexual person, a transgender person, and a family member of an LGBT person or an ally. Panel composition varies depending upon who is available for the speaking engagement. Each person speaks only about his or her own life and life experience and then answers questions from the audience. We do not lecture. All of our speakers are volunteers who live in Santa Cruz County.
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Why is Triangle Speakers' Message important?
Our message is important because:
1. Negative stereotypes are common about gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people  who live and work in our community. These stereotypes lead to discrimination, prejudice, and violence.
2. Sexual minority youth are often invisible and receive less support from society. They are at greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse, leaving school, running away, and suicide.
3. Diversity is important in Santa Cruz County. Gay people belong to the local faith community and are served by local businesses and agencies.
4. By speaking about our lives, we can make a positive difference in our community. 
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Does Triangle Speakers have an "agenda"?
Our speakers come from all walks of life, many different faiths and various political beliefs. They are trained to speak only about their individual experiences and do not push any agenda other than that of creating an environment in our community of understanding and compassion.
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What is the format of the panels?
We strive to include at least four members of the LGBT community and one family member or ally in each speaker panel. The speakers introduce themselves for about 3 minutes, talking briefly about their lives. A question and answer period follows. At the close of each speaking engagement, a resource list is provided to each audience member. Speakers provide answers to questions that are age-appropriate, depending on the group, and answer questions based upon their own personal beliefs and experiences. The panelists speak from their hearts. They do not lecture or act as experts on anything other than their own lives.
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How long has Triangle Speakers served the community?
Triangle Speakers was founded in 1991. Since then, we have addressed over 1,224 audiences, reaching an estimated 42,800 people in Santa Cruz County. We have spoken in classrooms in the local school districts, at colleges, at teacher trainings, to faith and civic groups, to employees of local firms, and non-profit organizations.
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If I have no training in public speaking, can I become a Triangle Speaker? What is involved in being a speaker?
Yes. We provide training for you to become a speaker. This one-day event occurs twice a year in English and once in Spanish. Once you are trained you will speak on panels with 4 other individuals, as your time and availability permit. We ask that individuals commit to remaining on our speaker roster for a minimum of one year. The average speaker speaks 3-5 times per year.
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How can I invite Triangle Speakers to speak to my organization?

Contact us with your name, organization name, your day and evening telephone numbers, the day and time you want a panel and information regarding the general size and audience make-up. Please give us at least 3 weeks notice prior to the date you need the panel. Our staff person will call you back to confirm the engagement and get more information from you.

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Is there a charge for having Triangle Speakers come to speak?

No. Generally we provide panels at no charge to our hosts. If organizations can provide a stipend or donation, we gladly accept them.

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Can I get involved in the organization without becoming a speaker?

Yes. Our organization is primarily run and staffed by volunteers and interns. There are dozens of ways that you can help in either an on-going or one-time capacity. You can register to become a volunteer by calling or by registering online at www.trianglespeakers.org.

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How can I Contact Triangle Speakers?

Triangle Speakers can be reached by phone at (831) 425-5422  x.6 or by mail at P.O Box 8280,  Santa Cruz, CA 95061

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