Tampa Bay LGBTQ group hosts self-defense class in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay-based LGBTQ support group Found Family Collective hosted a self-defense class aimed at the LGBTQ community on Saturday.

The event was held in collaboration with self-defense training company Weapon Brand at Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg.

In a news release, Found Family Collective said they were hosting the event “in response to antagonistic legislation and an increase in hate crimes, as well as protest and attack against pride parades and drag events.”

“We are urging those in the transgender, lesbian, gay and queer community–especially queer and trans people of color, entertainers, and prominent queer activists– to take this opportunity to gain the tools needed to protect ourselves, our spaces, and each other,” the organization wrote.

As part of Weapon Brand’s basic self-defense course, attendees learned pre-contact cues, managing distance, defensive framing, how to defend against a punch, choke or grab, and utilizing defensive striking, according to the event description.

Representatives from CAN Community Health, an organization that provides care and education regarding HIV and other STIs, also attended the event to provide sexual health information to attendees.

Found Family Collective said they believe learning self-defense is an important step towards combating bigotry and hate.

“It’s important specifically to the trans and queer community because it’s one of the most dangerous times in recent memory to be queer or trans – in America, but in the state of Florida in particular,” said Cet Mohamed-Moore, a founder of Found Family Collective.

Found Family Collective plans to host three more self-defense classes aimed at the LGBTQ community (times and locations TBD):

  • Advanced Self-Defense – May 20
  • At-Home Visit Safety – July 15
  • Active Shooter/Aggressor – October 21

“The transgender, lesbian, gay, bi+ and queer community remains under attack, but we must be vigilant,” Saturday’s event description read. “We will not crumble in despair, instead we will do the work to prepare.”

You can find more information about Found Family Collective on their Facebook page.

As Reported by WFLA