Fauds (Familiares y Amigos Unidos por la Diversidad Sexual), or in English, Family and Friends United for Sexual Diversity, is an NGO founded by a close network of relatives and friends of people from the LGBTQ+ community in Medellín, Colombia. Fauds seeks to provide safe, welcoming, understanding, helpful, and sometimes, confidential spaces to help anyone who needs to understand, accept, and love someone close to them that may be sexually diverse.
Fauds wants to build a society where diversity coexists in harmony with love and peace, that’s why their motto is, “Transforming paradigms through family love.” Fauds’ work focuses, not on the person from the LGBTQ+ community, but rather on their families, relatives, friends, or anyone who wants to understand better their loved ones. The goal is to help shift stereotypes and misjudgments from a place of love and respect.
How Does Fauds Accomplish Their Goal of Transforming Paradigms Through Family Love?
Whether it’s in a monthly support group that runs every first Saturday of the month from 4pm to 7pm, a private phone call, a personal talk over a cup coffee with a Fauds member, Fauds seeks to help everyone who may need it. If you need someone to talk to, follow Fauds social network @faudscorporacion, or book a personal phone call or videocall through their WhatsApp.
Fauds is made up of mothers, friends, allies, fathers, anyone who wants to share their own experience, life story, or anyone who wants to be an emotional support and believes that their lived experience could be helpful to someone else. These experiences are shared though monthly support groups, either virtually or in person where the main idea is to share worries, learn from one another and share experiences around a common subject that changes from month to month. These support groups and activities are the perfect place for people looking for a supportive community, a loving, forgiving, and peaceful space to share fears and concerns. However, it’s also the perfect space in which to learn, to grow, to understand, and to love your family a little more, no matter their sexual orientation or diversity.
Fauds focuses on various strategic categories: Support networks, communications, diversity education, and cooperation. Each of the strategic areas of the organization maintains different objectives and activities.
- Objectives: Strengthen the bond between children and their parents, other family members, or friends, as well as provide communication with other people who can serve as support, speaking from personal experience.
- Activities: Personalized calls and conversations, support groups, and a telephone support line.
- Objectives: Educate society on issues of sexual and gender diversity to transform perceptions, we implement educational strategies in public and private organizations to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues.
- Activities: Sensibilation talks, workshops and courses, conferences, and investigation projects.
- Objectives: Inform, communicate, and spread messages for the transformation of negative perceptions about sexuality and people that identify as LGBTQ.
- Activities: Events, campaigns, publications, brochures and materials for distribution, social media, and public relations.
- Objectives: Approach companies, groups, NGOs and people who wish to join forces to achieve mutual goals, contributing from their knowledge, economically, or through alliances to meet the objectives of Fauds.
- Activities: Honorary members, benefactors, strategic allies, and volunteers
How Was Fauds Founded?
It all started in Medellín, Colombia, 15 years ago with Gloria Ruiz when her son told her he was gay. When she learned the initial news, Gloria felt confused, alone, and didn’t know who to talk to. At this time in the history of Medellin, there was not much information available or support given to the LGBTQ+ community or their loved ones. In fact, it wasn’t until 2011 that Colombia passed a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
So, Gloria took it upon herself to find other mothers that had gone through similar experiences. She spent time talking with people from the LGBTQ+ community and learning all about gender, sexuality, and diversity. From that moment on, she wanted to share her experience with other parents that may be going through similar situations. That’s when Fauds was born; to bring together people, communities, and families that were experiencing similar scenarios and lacked information and support.
A Cause Close to el LinKe’s Heart
Agustín Valderrama, our graphic designer, is a volunteer at Fauds as the Co-director of Communications. He’s in charge of all the visual content, making presentations, setting events, and also goes with his family to the support groups every now and then to share their story. And, when necessary, he accompanies the Fauds moms to seminars, speaking with parents and teachers at schools.
At el Linke we believe in diversity, we believe that everyone deserves the same opportunities no matter their race, sexual orientation, gender, or nationality. We want to encourage and build a safe environment for our collaborators, clients, and the world. We believe that everyone deserves to be loved and understood, that their appearance or preference just makes them more interesting, and their own stories help us grow as team. It’s incredibly important to us to support and invest in organizations doing great work in the communities where we live.
How can you support Fauds?
There are many ways to show your support for Fauds, including:
- Donate – Any contribution is greatly appreciated. Information is included for donations originating from outside Colombia.
- Volunteer – Mostly for those in Colombia, but if you speak Spanish, there may be opportunities to participate virtually. Please contact Fauds for more information.
- Think you can provide guidance or help? Email email@example.com with your contact information, area of expertise, and how you can help.
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