About - Mission

Every year, Youth OUTright invites LGBTQ youth throughout Western North Carolina to attend Creating Change, a national conference focused on LGBTQ organizing. In January 2017, LJ Lund (17) and Noah Watson-Pratt (14) received scholarships sponsored by YO and the Mandel-Rodis Foundation. Here are their reflections about the experience…

From LJ Lund:

“I found it hard to come up with the right words to say to express my feelings about my trip to Philadelphia. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but because my experiences were so incredible and enriching that I just didn’t think my words could do this experience justice. Even so, I can say with 100% certainty that I will cherish the memories I made there for the rest of my life. Overall, I couldn’t be more grateful that I was lucky enough to be chosen to go on this trip. It was truly an amazing experience.”

From Noah Watson-Pratt:

“This year’s Creating Change Conference was one of the most magical weeks of my life, from the friends I made along the way, to the eye-opening workshops, Creating Change 2017 was one of the best times of my entire life. The conference workshops provided a variety of important and valuable workshops and activities, such as suicide prevention training and workshops lead by role-models of our community. The conference also had an outstanding array of events and gatherings, such as the youth hospitality room, a Women’s March, a room dedicated to art and poster-making, and my personal favorite, the Youth Dance. Creating Change was easily the most extraordinary and fantastic event I have ever attended.”

Youth

FAQs

  • Q: Do I have to bring a parent?

    A: No. Youth OUTright was created to be a safe space for youth ages 14-20 only. They need a space that is confidential, welcoming and based on a peer-only model. This is a social environment in which LGBTQ child can flourish. We encourage you to positively communicate at home regarding LGBTQ issues, because it is important for them to have a clear, open line of communication between parents and children.
  • Q: How do I talk to my parent about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender issues?

    A: We encourage open, balanced discussions at home at a time that’s right for you. Remember to listen with an open mind, ask questions to understand, and don’t be offended if your child or parent doesn’t communicate everything to you immediately. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your child or parent at home, try making an appointment with a local mediation center or getting together with a member of PFLAG or Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (http://pflag-chapter-map.herokuapp.com/) together as a family.
  • Q: How do I know if a meeting is cancelled?

    A: We will change the meeting status on the meeting schedule on the website, post an announcement on our Facebook account, and tweet. Unless we can help it, meetings will never be cancelled, but it is a good idea to sign up for meeting updates via Twitter or check the web site frequently.
  • Q: Can parents enter the building at the end of the meeting?

    A: No. In order to respect the privacy and confidentiality of the youth attending the meeting, we ask parents, guardians and others providing transportation to please wait outside in their cars until the meeting is over. Sunday meetings end at 6:00 p.m.
  • Q: Can youth come to a meeting if they don’t identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?

    A: Yes. We encourage all questioning youth and straight allies to attend.
  • Q: Can you recommend other local resources?

    A: Please visit our Resources or contact us so that we can make recommendations that fit your situation.
  • Q: How do you recruit volunteers and group facilitators?

    A: Volunteers are recruited on an ongoing basis. All volunteers must fill out a volunteer form and have a brief informal phone interview with the Volunteer Coordinator or the Executive Director. Youth meeting facilitators must complete a volunteer form, have a brief informal phone, attend an orientation session, and are subject to an official background check.

Meeting Information

Youth Outright offers several free and confidential Discussion Groups that serve youth ages 11-13 and 14-20. These groups offer a welcoming and friendly atmosphere where LGBTQ youth can feel safe expressing their true selves. Trained adult volunteers are on hand for all groups to ensure that meetings are safe and that youth feel supported. For more information about each, please check out our calendar of events.
CLICK HERE FOR A FULL MEETING SCHEDULE

  • Meeting Location

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  • Parking Information

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Special Opportunities For Youth

Youth Outright supports youth participation in a range of opportunities including attendance at regional and national events including Creating Change, LGBT in the South, and the Carolina Conference on Queer Youth.

Check back here for announcements regarding upcoming opportunities.