Queer Poly Alumn Marks History for the LGBTQ Community in the San Fernando Valley

Queer Poly Alumn Marks History for the LGBTQ Community in the San Fernando Valley

Queer Poly Alumni Marks History for the LGBTQ Community in the San Fernando Valley

December 10, 2020

By Gina Morales

 

Kevin Perez Co-founder/President of Somos Familia Valle/ Photo by Gina Morales

 

Poly Alumn, Kevin Perez tells his story about his journey to start an LGBTQ nonprofit organization called Somos Familia Valle in the San Fernando Valley. As a proud Poly parrot, Kevin’s strong commitment and hard work paid off with the support of the young LGBTQ members in SFV to make a mark in history with winning their first Community Power Youth Award, to leading the first-ever Pride in the Pacoima community and onward to aiding hundred of LGBTQ youth, men and women of low-income background. 

 

With the start of a Poly alum student who was just passionate about history, he became one of the most important influencer for the start of Somos Familia Valle (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus nonprofit organization). Though becoming President of a successful Latino based LGBTQ nonprofit organization didn’t just happen overnight. It took about seven years for this small local organization to strive into how successful it is today. Starting with a Poly alum that was part of class 2009, Kevin Perez queer activist, the journey starts in 9th grade at Francis Polytechnic Senior High School when he started to realize the changes he was going through liking other boys and not having the same way of looking at things just like his straight peers did with sexuality.

With the changes Kevin was going through he became conservative about keeping his sexuality hidden from his family. Having to live two different lives at the same time at school and home. Being open about his queerness at school, getting in heated LGBTQ debates with his teachers and classmates to arriving at home and not mentioning a single word of sexuality to his traditional Mexican household. When one day it all changed, after coming back from his cousin’s quinceanera practice he came back to see his mother’s rage from finding a journal Kevin kept in exchange for love letters from his boyfriend and an image of both Kevin and his loved one kissing. To his result Kevin’s mother scolding yelled at him asking him if he was gay, “She had the bible and everything,” Co-founder of SFV Kevin Perez added. “It made me into the person I am today, I know that in high school I was just always the gay kid but I used it as my defense shield to be proud, be queer, that’s when my activism came out,” Co-founder of SFV Kevin Perez stated.

As Kevin was turned away from his family’s support because of his sexuality and resorted to fear of getting kicked out of his household. Kevin took off from high school and became a successful organizer that inspired him and Ronnie Velez (Co-founder of SFV) to organize a small vital conference to gather some LGBTQ members in the San Fernando Valley in 2014. The small muse of thoughts brought the first-ever Pride to the Van Nuys area. “We took the street, we marched to la curacao in Van Nuy all the way to the Vienna store,” Co-founder of SFV Kevin Perez added. Having over 100 people join this Pride conquested the start of Somos Familia Valle. With the support of the youth, men, and women of color in our community the organization went on to, having four more conferences each year. To the start of their featured programs such as the youth program, men of color group, and women of color group and providing food relief, providing services, providing fun times, drag shows online.

“I always get shooked, when I look back like it was six years ago and I was like dayum thinking I just wanted to make a small baby event and now look, I’m now becoming the president of a nonprofit”, Co-founder of SFV Kevin Perez stated. After just three years later SFV had been awarded a Community power award by the state of California winning out of 200 participating social groups on December 9, 2020. 

 

Somos Familia Valle Contact Information

Email- [email protected]