During Pride Month—and every other month of the year—Big Brothers Brothers Big Sisters is proud to support its LGBTQ community. Celebration and inclusion are our top priorities. We strive to be part of the solution in welcoming Bigs and Littles from all walks of life.
In this Q&A, Big Brother Jose Gutierrez shares about his volunteer experience and why it is important for other members of the LGBTQ community to empower youth through mentorship.
Q&A with LGBTQ mentor JOSE
Why did you want to volunteer as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters?
I have always had a drive for helping others and I knew I wanted to make a difference. Prior to joining Big Brothers Big Sisters I looked into different places where I could make that difference, but none resonated with me as much as Big Brothers Big Sisters did.
I knew the importance of having a mentor and the impact it can have in someone’s life. Big Brothers Big Sisters gives me that platform to give someone the opportunity I wish I had when I was younger.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored to be a safe and inclusive place for our LGBTQ Bigs and Littles. What has your experience been like volunteering with our organization?
From the moment I applied, to being matched and up to now, my experience as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters has been great. My match support specialist Samantha is truly amazing. I started virtually because of the pandemic, so I have not had the chance to meet any staff in person. Nonetheless, I feel included and sometimes it feels as if I have been part of Big Brothers Big Sisters for years.
Why do you think it’s important for members of the LGBTQ community to become mentors?
Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves equal access to opportunities. The LGBTQ community is among one of the most marginalized and excluded of society. We are particularly vulnerable to stigma, violence and discrimination. I believe becoming a mentor helps to teach our younger generations to be more inclusive and accepting of others.
AS A VOLUNTEER MENTOR, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR OUR LGBTQ YOUTH?
For any LGBTQ+ youth out there—it is absolutely normal to feel scared and to have doubts. However, do NOT let these fears and doubts stop you from being the most authentic you that you can be. Do not worry about what people think or what people are going to say, it’s your life. You decide how you get to live it.
We all face bumps and curves in the road, but regardless of what happens, stay true to yourself. Don’t ever forget to be unapologetically you and always remember, you are loved, you are seen, and you are worth it.
Click here to learn more about volunteering as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters.