Taylor Stockett works for The Q, an HIV intervention program in Austin. Thanks to our upcoming Austin event (register here!), I was able to connect with Taylor for an interview. Read on to learn about how The Q helps young gay, bi, trans, and questioning men in Austin.

What is the mission of The Q?

The Q, an HIV intervention program of AIDS Services of Austin, is dedicated to building a safe, affirming, and healthy community that empowers young gay, bi, trans, and questioning men in Austin.  We work alongside the people most affected by rising HIV infection rates in Austin using a variety of effective approaches to fight stigma and promote sexual health.

At the physical space that houses The Q, we provide safer sex supplies like lube and condoms, and offer free confidential testing for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis C, as well as hosting community events, discussion groups, and providing individuals and organizations with volunteer opportunities. Online, we continue our work to reduce the rate of HIV infection in our community by posting content that promotes safer sex, testing, and the use of PrEP. We work with our Core Group of volunteers to develop social media materials (print materials, too!), and use trending topics and pop culture references to engage with our target audience. We post new content frequently, so there’s always something fresh to see.

the q crewHow did you first get involved with The Q?

My best friend was part of The Q’s core group of volunteers and invited me to a weekly Wednesday night meeting. Before I knew it, I was on their parade float at Pride passing out condoms and other safer sex supplies and goodies. When I found out they had a social marketing and promotion position open I immediately applied. I love working with my team!

 

If you’re open to it, can you share a powerful moment or story of someone who has been helped by The Q?

I was working on a video project to promote the space and its services last year and lined up a bunch of guys to do some video recording. I sought out guys who regularly volunteer with us or are in our core group and asked them what The Q Austin meant to them. I was expecting answers about our free food at events, but what I got was heartfelt gratitude. They each went on to describe how The Q Austin was their safe space and chosen “family.”

Watch the video here:

 

How has the LGBTQ community in Austin impacted The Q? How would you like to impact the Austin LGBTQ community?

Events and material development at The Q Austin is primarily guided by our Core Group of volunteers, so members of the local LGBTQ community have a direct hand in everything we do. Every Wednesday evening at 7pm, The Q Austin’s staff and the Core Group meet to brainstorm and discuss how to better empower our community with sex-positive messaging, outreach, and events that support our mission to encourage safer sex, testing, and the use of PrEP. We strive to be a safe place that encourages the community to be their authentic selves and make informed safer sex decisions.

Why are you excited about this event?

I am excited to network with my peers and colleagues while learning more about how to utilize Google Analytics. Social media advertising and health promotion can be difficult to justify in terms of ROI, but with the help of a custom Google dashboard I hope to capture KPI’s that will show areas of opportunity/success to improve The Q’s campaign management.

Keep up with the Q Austin online through their Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account, Tumblr, and Website

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