Hector Martinez

Youth Empowerment Summit set for Oct. 6

SAN DIEGO -- Inspired by their own personal stories of growing up, local community members have been working hard to present the region’s first LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Summit, Y.E.S. San Diego. Scheduled for Oct. 6, organizers are bringing together numerous leaders from the LGBT community for the one-day conference, aimed at providing a place for LGBT youth 13 – 18 years old to break down some of life’s barriers.

LETTER TO COMMUNITY: How will YOU create change in 2012?

I had the privilege to attend the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change conference in Baltimore, Md., as a Blogging Scholarship Winner for the Network for LGBT Health Equity.

The event was inspiring and full of life. I met some extraordinary people from all over the U.S., each creating their own change in their local LGBT communities.

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ACTION ALERT: Help San Diego musician from Uganda seeking asylum get out of detention for Christmas

SAN DIEGO – Joseph Bukombe, a professional musician who has been living in San Diego for several years, has been in federal detention in Otay Mesa for two years fighting deportation to Uganda, where his return could endanger his life. His attorney is unable to prove to the government that Bukombe is gay, which could help Bukombe’s request for asylum.

Next week, San Diegans are invited to a fundraiser for Bukombe in an attempt to raise $10,000 for his bail and to give him a fair trial. They hope to have Bukombe home for the holidays.

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San Diegan leads effort to spare local gay man's deportation to Uganda

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego man has started a petition to stop a local gay man from being deported back to Uganda, where homosexuality is a crime.

When Hector Martinez, the LGBTQ Outreach Coordinator for Mental Health America of San Diego County, learned from a co-worker that a local gay man was being held in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services) custody for an expired visa and under threat of being deported back to Uganda, he took action.

One man’s plight, one man’s mission