Youth OUTright’s mission is empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning youth to be confident and vital members of our community. Our vision is a community in which youth of all gender and sexual identities live in safe and inclusive environments.
We are a youth advocacy and leadership organization dedicated to providing affirmation, information, support and resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth of ages 14-23 in 18 counties in Western North Carolina. We want LGBTQ youth to be self confident, compassionate about their neighbors, and to instill in them a passion for stewardship in their community and the world.
Based on 2010 U.S. Census figures, and an April 2011 report from the Williams Institute at the University of California School of Law about the prevalence of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the general population, we estimate that there could be more than 4,000 LGBTQ youth in our 18-county region.
We believe that no youth – regardless of their sexual identity, gender expression or gender identification – should be bullied, harassed or discriminated against because of who they are or are perceived to be.
A group of gay and lesbian Asheville citizens met in July 2006 and began a discussion about the gap in programs and services for LGBTQ youth, which they knew to be an at-risk population often targeted for bullying and hates crimes. The organization incorporated in August of 2006. In May 2008 the organization became a program of PFLAG Asheville (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in order to begin providing services. Youth OUTright, WNC, Inc. was designated a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization by the IRS in June 2009.
What We Do
Youth OUTright holds weekly youth support meetings for LGBTQ and straight youth on Sundays at First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Asheville. These meetings offer youth peer and adult support, cultural and health education, social activities, events, and leadership opportunities. Trained facilitators ensure the group dynamics remain safe, fun and supportive.
We provide local, state, regional and national resources that are beneficial to LGBTQ youth, their allies and supportive parents. These resources include counseling services, crisis hot lines, welcoming and supportive faith-based institutions, high school, college and university gay/straight alliances, and other similar organizations that offer vital and beneficial services, information and education.
We also partner with educational, social service, religious and cultural networks to advocate for LGBTQ youth and educate the public about the harmful effects of bullying, harassment and discrimination through programs like Safe Schools for All and No Name Calling Week.
Our Contact Information
Jim Faucett, Executive Director
Al Murray, Youth Programs Coordinator
Nik Holton, Web Manager
Youth OUTRight, WNC, Inc.
P.O. Box 1893
Asheville, NC 28802
Board of Directors:
Our Board of Directors is made up of a wide variety of people from business, education, social services, and other professionals from the community as well as at least one youth member. It is a diverse group sharing a strong common belief in the mission of our organization. Board meetings are monthly.
Our current Board of Directors:
Susan Blexrud–Vice Chair
Dee Dee Allan–Secretary
Jody Bennett Light
Leslie K. Torgow
To view Board Biographies.