BENEFITING: The University Corporation San Francisco State
"I live everyday a lie by not expressing who I really am and who I want to be" - Joel (pseudonym), 16 years old.
"Anytime I've liked a girl before I always stopped. People just don't understand it...If I admitted I even remotely had these feelings people would hate me." - Tesa (pseudonym), 27 years old.
myConfidant is an online program that supports the wellbeing of people, like Tesa and Joel, who are struggling with issues related to sexuality or gender. The people we serve (aka Seekers) often come from areas in the U.S. with high rates of homophobia and transphobia in their home, schools, and local community. As a result, people living in these environments undergo mental and physical harm with limited access to resources and support networks. myConfidant was designed to address this issue by connecting Seekers to trained Confidants via a private chat portal that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Our unique approach provides seekers with emotional support in a secure, judgement-free zone.
✅ CONVENIENT AND SECURE. Seekers remain anonymous...they access our service via an encrypted mobile web page sent to them via text along with an access code. No need to set up an account or download an app to use the service.
✅ CONFIDANTS ON CALL. Our system allows our confidants to chat conveniently on the go, at night, and on the weekends. There will always be someone around to listen and let our seekers know that they are not alone.
✅ PERSONAL. Our trained confidants act as a sex-positive, trustworthy, and compassionate new friends. This allows them to surpass the barriers faced by licensed professionals. Still, our Confidants are trained to identify when seekers need professional help and make appropriate referrals (e.g., therapist, suicide specialist, etc.).
✅ PERSONALIZED PAIRING. Seekers can set confidant preferences based on who they are comfortable talking to.
✅ ON-GOING CONNECTION. Each seeker can connect with the same confidant on a regular basis to establish a long-term, trusting relationship.
✅ PROVEN TO WORK. We did a test run in late 2016 and the results were overwhelmingly positive. The majority of our seekers expressed feeling better after using our service and most people preferred to talk to the same confidant over time.
With these funds we will be able to provide an ongoing safe and supportive space for thousands of people like Joel and Tesa. In addition to providing hands-on-support, data collected via our system, with consent, will be utilized to inspire policies and additional programs that protect the health and wellbeing of LGBTQQ people nation-wide.
myConfidant was founded by a brother and sister inspired to use their talents for social good. One is a published sexuality researcher, documentary filmmaker and serial entrepreneur. The other is an activist, event organizer, and talented software developer. In June of 2017 myConfidant became a program of the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality for San Francisco State University.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in pain at this very moment. Together we can heal the nation from the negative affects of ignorance and fear, one chat at a time.