At Colors+, we put in a lot of time into making a space where LGBTQ+ youth and allies feel safe, welcome and can be their true authentic selves.
Our LGBTQ+ youth and allies are the most enjoyable part of our days and help make the long hours more than worth it. Our moment of triumph and joy resulting from social impact is truly inspirational. It is not due to anything we have done, but what the youth has done to overcome life's obstacles. We are going to be using the pronouns "they/them" to protect their identity.
One of our youth was in a home schooling program for several years due to limitations from a physical illness as well as anxiety. This youth started coming to Colors+ this year regularly despite the difficulties that come with anxiety and fear of becoming ill. They went from interacting mostly with family members to interacting with other youth on a weekly basis and attending special events at Colors+. They even interacted with a protester at a Pride event with love and understanding. They know that there will always be people who dislike or disagree with LGBTQ+ people, but they are getting more confident in themselves and their ability to be authentically their amazing self. While these things alone are huge, they went even farther and have made the decision to go back to public school. Has it been an easy transition? No, but they continue to surprise us each day with their bravery, strength, and courage in trying new things even though it is scary and even though it is difficult and challenging at the very least. They are going beyond their fears and their anxieties to be able to interact with even more youth and be able to have a more positive experience in the future and in their social life.
This youth has said “Colors+ is needed because kids like them need a place to go where they can trust people. They said many of us haven’t come out publicly because we know some won’t accept us and will reject or make fun of us. Colors+ is a place where they feel accepted and hopes more kids come and see that Colors+ cares and wants to help.”
We are in awe of the amazing person that they are and feel very lucky that they have honored us in spending time at our center.