A Letter to Our Community

To Our Community:13625050_599792210182848_2027933871_n

This year, Stonewall Youth’s Staff Collective decided to support a group of Queer and Trans People of Color in creating space for an Ancestor Procession during the Pride Parade. Our youth participants and numerous community members contributed in the creation of the altar, brought flowers, herbs, signs, and other items they felt relevant to celebrate, remember, mourn, and call on our Queer Ancestors. (At the end of this letter, we have posted the text from the invitation the group posted on Facebook.)

As a contingent, we decided to walk at a pace that could accommodate the mobility of all people who marched with us in the procession. Due to this, many people who otherwise would have opted out of participating were able to do so, and we received feedback that our section of the parade this year was the most accessible it had ever been. The Procession also paused for several minutes near Sylvester Park to honor QTPOC ancestors and to acknowledge their living presence in our lives. For this particular day, our group intentionally decided that grieving and honoring the dead should not be rushed. We wanted to be respectful of ourselves and of the dead and not move on too quickly to convenient distractions.

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Intergalactic Space Dragons!!!!

2016 pride dance save the date

Calling all intergalactic space dragons and/or LGBTQQIA youth (age 21 and under):  Come one come all, and show off ur best dance moves at our Pride Dance!

When:  Saturday, June 18 at 6:30 to 10:30pm

Where:  The CoLab at 317 4th Ave E in downtown Oly

Theme is: Intergalacticspacedragons. Yeah! Galaxy, space, and dragons! What?

This is a FREE event for LGBTQQIA youth and their allies aged 21 and under.

Additionally:
This is a safe & sober event, with ADA accessibility and gender neutral restrooms. We also expect **all**attendants to follow our Ground Rules!
-No drugs or alcohol plz
-Stay on the 4th floor of the Co-Lab building
-Ask for consent before touching, hugging, taking pics etc
-Keep PDA (public displays of affection) PG! Affection is awesome just be mindful, ok?!
-NO HATE IN THE SPACE. Racism, Transphobia, Homophobia will not be tolerated and you will be asked to leave.
-Be respectful of each other and the space!
-If you have questions, staff and volunteers can answer them, so ask!

QUESTIONS? Call us at 360-705-2738 or email info@stonewallyouth.org

For adults who want to get involved, please contact Amira at amira@stonewallyouth.org about being a volunteer chaperone or for donations of much needed food and beverages for the event.

Stonewall Youth Queer Prom on Friday, May 13

emo prom rosesAdorn yourself with eyeliner and  your emo dancing get-up* and join us for our annual Queer Prom!

 

Emo Glitter Prom

 

Theme: ♥ EMO DANCE PARTY ♥

Who’s invited:  LGBTQQIA youth and their allies age 21 and under.

When: Friday, May 13 at 6 to 10pm

Where: The Co-Lab at 317 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.

Important Details: This is a sober event with ADA accessibility and gender neutral restrooms. And let’s make it hate-free!

*Is emo not your style? S’alright! Dress how you want. And no need to dance if you don’t wanna…there’ll be video games, board games, a photo booth, a quiet room, snacks, karaoke, and general hanging out.

cute emo pony

Are you a youth who wants to help make the prom happen?  Stop by during drop-ins on:
Monday – May 9 4pm-6pm
Wednesday – May 11 3pm-5pm
Friday (day of) – May 13 4pm-6pm

Are you an adult who wants to get involved?  Please contact Amira at amira@stonewallyouth.org about being a volunteer chaperone or for donations of much needed food and beverages for the event.

QUESTIONS? Call us at 360-705-2738 or email info@stonewallyouth.or

Stonewall Youth Stands Up for Trans* Rights!

Stoneall @ Anti-Trans Counter Protest

(This article is from our Community Update. Click here to see the entire Update.)

For the last several months, Washington state has seen a host of anti-transgender legislation and lots of negative public attention opposing our current anti-discrimination laws that allow people to use a public facilities that match their gender identity. (This means areas such as shelters, locker rooms, and yes, bathrooms.) There were 6 heinous bills that would have undermined the current anti-discrimination law. A few came close to passing. As of now, none are moving forward thanks to the coordinated actions of a statewide coalition of trans* rights groups (including Stonewall!). However, a ballot initiative seems likely. Opponents of the anti-discrimination laws regarding gender identity have already filed several proposals for ballot measures, and will soon be gathering signatures. We’ll need to continue to actively and fiercely protect our current anti-discrimination laws. Let’s keep ourselves and each other safe during this season of intensified anti-trans* hate!

As an LGBTQQIA-serving organization, it was a unanimous decision to stand up for trans* rights. Two senate hearings were held at which Masa, one of our Co-Directors, brought written testimony to the hearing from community members, including youth from Stonewall, who were unable to attend. We are working with a coalition of groups to develop several other strategies to oppose the anti-trans* legislation. All the actions ramped up to the February 15th protest at which Stonewall Youth joined forces with 250-300 trans-rights activists at the Capitol.

Masa and several other community members spoke at the protest. Most notably, three of our very own youth spoke to the crowd of hundreds. On the same day, we got to visit Senator Bob Hasegawa and Senator Pramila Jayapal’s offices to let them know we appreciate their opposing stances on the anti-trans* bills. Youth shared stories and perspectives on how such bills could affect them and other youth. Visibility is a difficult thing for the LGBTQQIA community, so it was no small feat to speak that day!

Stonewall Youth is partnering with several other organizations and individuals in the creation of a Thurston County chapter of the WA SAFE Alliance to help stop the spread of these hate-based bills. For more information, go to WA SAFE Alliance

OMG: Costumes! Bowling! Diner Food! Music! Prizes!

Come out & play with us! 

We hope you’ll participate in Stonewall Youth’s Bowl-O-Rama fundraiser. This annual all-ages and child-friendly event takes place on June 4, 2016 at 6pm to 8pm at Westside Lanes.

SY Bowlarama-1There will be costumes, games, prizes, music and diner Food! Oh, and bowling! (But you can participate without bowling or even showing up!)

Ways you can participate:

~ Be a TEAM INSTIGATOR or TEAM MEMBER. Each team of 5 people fund-raises together, devises a team name and costume theme, and participates in the actual event. Team Instigators, well, instigate the team & help them organize!  Perhaps your business, workplace, organization, or group of friends would have fun organizing a team! We make it easy by providing several tools such our Facebook event page and our Bowl-O-Rama fundraising page where people can make online donations.

Click these links to get the rundown on how to be a Team Instigator or Team Member.

~ Individuals, businesses and organizations are welcome to SPONSOR the Bowl-O-Rama! We’ll promote your business to the greater Olympia LGBTQ* community and our supporters on our Facebook, website and at the event. Click here for more info.

~ DONATE! You’re invited to donate items that we could use as prizes at the event. You can also donate funds by visiting our Bowl-O-Rama event page.

sass betterWhy it’s important to support Stonewall Youth:  LGBTQQIA youth need a safe and sober place like Stonewall to talk about their experiences, and to get support, feedback, referrals, and mentorship to assist them to successfully navigate the difficulties they face. Along with being marginalized due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, many LGBTQQIA youth contend with homelessness, racism and other types of oppression, abuse or neglect from parents or guardians, hunger, mental health or substance abuse issues, poverty, bullying and disrespect at school, and other struggles. It’s estimated that approximately 40% of youth who are homeless in our community are LGBTQ+, and LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than other youth.

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