The Community Work Spotlight is a place where you can share news about the work you are doing with LGBTQ+ young people and their families (or nominate the work of others). To submit information about your program to be highlighted on our website, please email us at SOGIECenter@UConn.edu.
Growing up can be tough for any teenager, but for those who are queer it can be a struggle. A local program hopes to change that by creating a safe and affirming place for LGBTQ+ youth. The Queer Youth (QYou) Initiative at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland is a safe and affirming place for LGBTQ+ youth ages 11-20. “So, we basically create a safe space for our youth where they can find community and meet other youth. And, they also have adults, queer adults, who they can interact with and just see that representation in the world,” said Carmen Recchia, QYou coordinator. At QYou, staff work to collaborate and provide youth with a network of support and opportunities to express themselves, make new friends, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Programs include a virtual after school drop-in, leadership training, a queer arts group, and a zine where youth can share their artistic endeavors with the community.