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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 12-23, 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!

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This discussion group is open to anyone (12-23) 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.

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Are you being bullied by your peers?

Bullying has reached epidemic proportions.

Each day, an estimated 160,000 students stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied, and 1 in every 4students in middle and high school are bullied, according to national statistics.   If you are a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender youth , or perceived to be gay, your odds of being bullied are much higher – 9 out of 10 students were bullied last year because of their perceived sexual orientation.

Learn more here.

Are you facing hostility from your family?

42% of LGBTQ youth live in unaccepting environments. We want you to know that you are not damaged, and you are welcome in our organization. This is an issue so many LGBTQ youth face, and talking about shared experiences can lessen their sting.

Learn more here.

Are you facing problems with religion?

Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning IS NOT A SIN. Using religious teachings to cause enormous harm to innocent people is wrong, and if you feel you’ve been a victim of this, we understand. The website Faith In America is a wonderful resource for teens who are facing problems with religion.

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Are you being cyberbullied?

Cyber bullying of LGBT youth is three times higher than other student’s experience. 33% report sexual harassment online, which is four times higher than the experience of other students. 27% of LGBT youth do not feel safe online. 20% report receiving harassing text messages from other students. We can provide a supportive environment and give you resources that will help you deal with these problems.

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didyouknow
  • 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.

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