Skip to comments.Colorado Queer Youth Summit offers place for gay teens to connect, find support
Posted on 02/14/2010 9:42:36 AM PST by Libloather
Colorado Queer Youth Summit offers place for gay teens to connect, find support
By Heather McWilliams
The Denver Post
Posted: 02/14/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
For Josh Scott, being gay and out in his Elizabeth high school didn't mean teasing just from other students.
"When it moved to the staff, I really didn't feel safe," Scott said.
Scott, now 18 and a student at Metro State College, wished an event like Saturday's Colorado Queer Youth Summit had been available to him at the time.
"With an organization like this, I'd have known how to deal with it a little better," Scott said.
Denver's second annual Queer Summit so named to reclaim the pejorative term and as an umbrella word meant to encompass all in the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community hosted 150 people ages 12 to 24 from as far away as Durango. Organized by area GLBT groups such as Rainbow Alley, the day included dancing, art creation, group activities and workshops, said Andie Lyons, Rainbow Alley program coordinator.
Gay youth, or those questioning their sexual identity, often feel isolated and fearful, she said, which can lead to trouble with grades, drugs and alcohol, or even suicide.
"You can see youth really internalizing the homophobia around them," Lyons said.
Such was the case for Scott, who feared telling his parents about the harassment because it meant telling them he was gay. His grades suffered and he eventually dropped out of high school to get his GED.
Gay youth face suicide rates two to three times that of their peers, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For 16-year-old Ayub Hirsi, the summit offered him a chance to connect with people who share his experience and to express himself.
"I want to let people know people can't change you," Hirsi said. As a Somali Muslim, Hirsi faces an added dimension of discrimination from his community for "cultural reasons," he said, including intense pressure from his family to change his sexual identity.
Free, on-site, rapid-result HIV testing was offered throughout the day by a Children's Hospital program. Trained counselors attended to provide follow-up care if needed.
As long as it’s not the Boy Scouts. Because they’re exclusionary.
Round em up and send them to Nigeria.
“”When it moved to the staff, I really didn’t feel safe,” Scott said.”
He should have (a) reported whoever it was that molested him; and (b) refrained from advertising his resulting compulsion to engage in sodomy.
It’s like a free dating service for NAMBLA!!!
Relevant to your interests ping.
Taking these guys for a hike in the woods will look like Mardi Gras! lol
Was this Summit funded by the CO Dept of Health ?
Is there a Straight Summit’?
Then he sent his mother pictures of models of phallic symbols.
I'm done the i phone is off,the rent is off, and he is on his own.
I will not tolerate, in your face gay any more..........be what you want but be civil, polite and pay your own bills.
That rant feels better!
Nambla mambers should be chained and drug behind pick up trucks.
Prepare for the lawsuit.
Nah he doesn't have the balls for it..........I really am done I shutoff all funding.
I Love him but I can not condone this anymore, breaks my heart too.
Where is the barf?
You got my prayers.
Thank you, he is truly talented..........
Tolerance for me, but not for thee!
My stepbrother isn’t gay, but he didn’t like my dad’s house rules and he treated the rest of us like it was our fault that he couldn’t be a freak. Finally after he graduated from a tech school (paid for by my dad), he asked to borrow my step mom’s Audi to take it to a Korn concert 3 hours away. My dad had just given him $5,000 to buy a used, but reliable car. Instead he bought 12 non-working Volkswagon Bugs and Vans, then he expected to be able to use my parents cars.
My step mom told him no, and he stopped talking to the family. He visited the family at Christmas for the first time in 9 years. It caused my step mom a lot of grief, but it was the right decision.
To try and socially engineer young impressionable kids like this is criminal in my opinion. At that age, they are far too young to be recruited into such an unhealthy lifestyle. I believe their parents should all be notified of the disgusting agenda of this ‘summit’. I really respect Laura Ingraham when she reported the homo students who were meeting at a college without their parents knowledge. If you are going to pursue an alternative lifestyle choice, then you need to own up to it.
You did the right thing. The less you do for him the more he’ll do for himself.