Photo of Rose Gelfand (they/she), a confidential teen advocate and violence prevention educator. Confidential Advocates, present at the wellness night, are a support system for teens dealing with issues involving relationship safety, sexual harassment, violence, boundaries, communication, and more. Photo by Will Lowe.

On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, an event for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals and allies was held in Franklin High School’s main hallway, near the cafeteria, from six to eight p.m. This event was for students and parents alike, and hosted a number of booths from different Portland organizations targeted towards the support of LGBTQ+ people. The event ended with a presentation by Elliott Hinckle, which covered how to support the LGBTQ+ community, emphasizing support for trans and gender nonconforming people. Elliott Hinckle is the founder and president of Unicorn Solutions, an organization, according to its website, that was created to “support youth and young adults impacted by youth-serving systems like child welfare and youth mental health — with a particular focus on the LGBTQ community.” Youth-serving systems refers to any political or economic system that affects or serves youth-aged people.

The booths attending this mental health night ranged from larger organizations to groups specific to the Franklin community. One group present was Black & Beyond the Binary Collective, an organization located on Division and 56th. According to their website, they are dedicated to encouraging safety, healing, and leadership to “Black-African transgender, queer, nonbinary, two-spirit, and intersex (TQN2SI+) Oregonians.” The organization hosts various events that are welcome to everyone. One of their biggest events is the Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL) which takes place annually on the first Tuesday of August. As stated on their website, this event is aimed to “redefine and reimagine what safety means for our communities. Shifting away from fear, punishment, and criminalization and towards building power relationships and creating true safety in our communities, #WeKeepUsSafe.”

Confidential Advocates, mentioned at the beginning, were also present. Dedicated to giving teens a safe place to get advice, Confidential Advocates are a great resource for students to talk to someone without worrying that what they say will be reported before they are ready. This is possible as those at Confidential Advocates are not mandatory reporters. They are well versed in your rights under Title IX, and are a safe space to talk about any and all issues you may have. Anybody is welcome to use this resource, not just LGBTQ+ youth. Rose Gelfand (pictured above) is available at Franklin every Friday, from lunch to four p.m., in classroom SS-013. Students can visit them by just dropping-in or scheduling a visit.

Multnomah County Student Health Center, another resource at Franklin, is described on their website as “a doctor’s office in school.” They welcome any students ages five through 18, no matter what race, religion, gender, income, or other factors about your life that may exist. One significant benefit is they do not have out of pocket costs and will see anyone regardless of health insurance status, which makes them accessible to everyone. They can be found throughout Portland Public Schools (PPS) at Roosevelt, Jefferson, Cleveland, Franklin, and McDaniel; as well as at Parkrose, David Douglas, Reynolds, and Centennial high schools. They offer services such as regular check ups, sports physicals, immunizations, COVID-19 vaccines and testings, mental health services, reproductive health education, and more. This beneficial resource is encouraged and for everyone, not just LGBTQ+ kids.

Also attending this wellness night was Jory, a mental health care and therapy group in Portland that provides various mental health supports, such as, but not limited to, group and individual therapy sessions. The group provides therapists who are able to work online or in person, with no limited age range for who is able to access them. Specifically for middle and high school students, Jory also provides a summer group therapy program with therapists that are able to offer support to people dealing with depression, anxiety, oppression, trauma, grief, and more.

There was also information for groups like Bridge 13, an organization that provides educational workshops for any LGBTQ+ persons; Franklin’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA); and Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC), that provides free, harassment-free safe spaces for queer and trans youth aged 13-23. All booths were meant to provide resources and support to those who need it, especially LGBTQ+ people. To get in contact with these resources, you can use the following contact information provided.

To get into contact with Unicorn Solutions you can email. For Black & Beyond the Binary Collective, you can email, and text or call (971) 258-1713. Confidential Advocates can be reached via text or call at (971) 313-1421. Jory can be contacted through email at, and their phone number available for text and call is (503) 567-8407. Last but not least, SMYRC can be reached through email at, and phone number for text or call, at (503) 872-9664.

%d bloggers like this: