Did you know OUTright Youth is the ONLY PLACE in the Catawba Valley that provides a unique, youth-centered, safe environment for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Questioning) youth ages 12-21, and their allies, to come together, receive unconditional support, and make friends who understand who they are as they struggle with sexual orientation, gender identity and other issues?

OUTright Youth’s goal is to reduce the isolation felt by LGBTQ youth by providing a sense of community and developing programs and services to counteract the prejudice and oppression that LGBTQ youth often face.

OUTright Youth strongly believes that it is essential to create a safe space for young people who are, who believe that they might be, or who have friends or family members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. We offer educational programs, social activities, peer support groups and community outreach and FUN!

This discussion group is open to anyone (12-21) who is trans-identified, non-binary, gender expansive, or questioning their gender identity and looking for a space to be in a community with others who share this identity. Discussions designed to be appropriate for youth and young adults.

Adult LGBT community role models share their personal journeys, including coming out stories, career paths, their success and challenges.  Their stories provide support and inspiration to our youth and their allies – that they can lead productive and rewarding lives in our community or wherever their paths may lead them.

Discussion Group topics are determined by the youth members and relate to issues that they are experiencing in school, at home, at church and within the community and allow youth to  receive peer and facilitator feedback,

Discussion topics include: making healthy choices (safer sex, dating and relationships, suicide prevention, self image, and drugs/alcohol/tobacco) to reduce at-risk behaviors as the youth mature into adults.

Facilitate the formation and the ongoing support for Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) through technical support.  Create and promote leadership opportunities for LGBT youth and their allies and provide a means of communication and support for youth.  Support for national awareness days.

Research has shown that just having a GSA in a high school can affect the atmosphere of the whole school toward LGBTQ students with a decrease in harassment and bullying at schools and an increase in school attendance and grade point average of LGBT students.

– Speaking engagements to interested organizations and groups about the issues facing LGBTQ youth.

– Training educators, community leaders and organizations, youth services and faith based organizations, and medical professionals on LGBT issues and bullying prevention.

– Our goal is to educate the greater public on the aspects of, understanding, acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ youth, to raise awareness and advocate for equal rights.

Program  provides support, education and advocacy for all students and parents, collaboration and consultation for bullying prevention programs in area schools and community bullying prevention events and activities.

  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students have experienced harassment at school.
  • LGBT teens are bullied 2 to 3 times as much as straight teens.
  • More than 1/3 of LGBT kids have attempted suicide.
  • LGBT kids are 4 times as likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.
  • LGBT youth with “highly rejecting” families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than those whose families accept them.

LGBTQ teens need extra support, and it’s our mission to help provide it.