Located at the heart of Long Beach’s beloved “gayborhood,” the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach has provided a variety of health, social, advocacy, and legal programs to the city’s queer community for over three decades. One of these programs, Mentoring Youth Through Empowerment (or MYTE), provides Long Beach’s queer youth with a safe space where they can gather after school. The program is run by Joel Gemino, the Center’s youth services manager.
“The MYTE program,” said Gemino, “is something that’s centered on providing resources, leadership skills, and activities for peer support and mentoring through an LGBTQ lense.”
In this interview, Gemino speaks on the program and the impact that MYTE youth have had on him as a mentor.
“It’s amazing how they can flourish when given the opportunity,” Gemino said.