Thanks to a new program called Queer Youth Initiative, or QYou, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland is becoming an even better safe and affirming environment for LGBTQ youth between the ages of 11 and 20.
According to the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland‘s page on QYou:
QYou encapsulates all aspects of LGBTQ+ development by prioritizing the celebration of identities while providing an educational platform, highlighting opportunities through community partnerships, engaging activities, intersectionality of identity and art, and ultimately methods for youth to find confidence and a voice of their own.
However, because how far it is or having parents that aren’t supportive of their sexual orientation, or sometimes, both, it can be difficult for LGBTQ teens to get a ride to the LGBT Center in Cleveland.
To help LGBTQ youth in their need for community, the center uses $100,000 for bus fares each year. The prepaid bus fares offer secure and confidential alternative for teens who have yet to come out to family and friends.
It can be expensive for the LGBT Center to pay for the bus fares, but the reward is helping teens handle challenges easier.
Brian Lutz, Queer Youth Initiative Director, explained, “You need to get here in order to feel safe and affirmed. We’re going to make certain that you get that.”
The QYou program directors have requested more grant funds for transportation, but there is uncertainty as to how much money they will obtain for 2020.
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