Goddess Tyescha Anglada started working with youths in New York when she herself was only 15. Anglada continues her work with young people today as the amplifier of health advocacy for the nonprofit Inside/Out Youth Services, which works to provide support, mentorship and opportunities to LGBTQ youth in the Pikes Peak region.
Anglada said her work deals with “anything that has to do with a health relation, and that could be mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, because the reality is our health is very connected to finances as well.
“My goal is to bring all of those intersectionalities and create as many safe spaces and opportunities to break down the privilege levels that we have in our society, the social constructs of colonization, capitalism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, classism, toxic masculinity,” she said. “So what I do is give trainings — LGBTQ 101 and 102 trainings, I give trusted adult trainings where we talk about not only terminologies, but heteronormative understandings and how to be an ally, and not only an ally as in, ‘Oh I have a flag,’ but how do you show up and show out as an ally through action and advocacy.”
After getting dual master’s degrees in education from Fordham University, Anglada moved Colorado Springs, was hired as a teacher with Academy School District 20, and saw a need to advocate for marginalized students.
“When I came here, around six years ago, it was definitely a big culture shock,” she said. “I started to see a lot of discrepancies around all of my intersectionalities, from being queer and seeing young people who could not come out to their parents because it was a very violent space, to being Black and being called the n-word or being left notes on my desk, even parents asking to see my diploma. I dealt with a lot of -isms, and that led me to want to get out of that space and into a little bit more proactive.”
Anglada’s passion for social justice made her a perfect fit for Inside/Out.
“When I left teaching I decided I wanted to do something that was going to be super impactful, and where I was going to be able to show up for all of my identities as authentically as possible, being a Black, Latinx, gender-fluid, pansexual feminine-presenting person with cis-assuming privilege,” she said. “I just wanted to show up more for the community. A position at Inside/Out came up, and multiple friends hit me up and were like, ‘You want to do this.’”
In addition to providing training to parents and trusted adults, Anglada is also getting involved in policy work through Inside/Out.
“Right now I’m working on how to build more cohesive policy to protect houseless young people,” she said, “and I’m also working on some policy around sexual violence, due to the fact that we have really terrible written policy around sexual violence — meaning that you have to have physical bruises for our system to actually function for you. The third scope of my work is working with schools and collaboration on building better policy and creating safer spaces for young people.”
Anglada looks forward to helping Inside/Out expand its services and focus its mission, as the organization has grown under the guidance of Executive Director Jessi Pocock.
“As our organization has grown and as our mission is getting so much more refined, we’re looking forward to doing a lot more strategic planning,” Anglada said. “In that, my work is really being molded by also doing a lot of anti-colonization work within our agency, making sure everyone is doing that internal work of combatting the society that taught us not only to be very homophobic and transphobic, but also very classist, very oppressive, and kind of pushing ourselves to build a structure which is totally, completely inclusive and that we’re really honoring other folks.”