With the Texas Legislative Session and Special Session over, our transgender and gender non-binary youth are breathing a sigh of relief. But their stories show there's still a lot of work to be done.
Out Youth is expanding its reach to youth in Title 1 middle schools and high schools with the help of Lead Clinician for School-based Services, Renée Randazzo, LPC-Intern (1). Thanks to a generous Opportunity Grant from the Saint David’s Foundation, Renée was hired in November to facilitate supportive counseling groups in middle schools and high schools in Central Texas, and is charged with the long-term vision of growing the program.
Almost everyone has a story from their high school senior prom ranging from magical to forgettable.
Out Youth’s second annual Second-Chance Prom Saturday, April 1, offered everyone the chance for a prom night “do-over.
Hosted by the W Hotel in downtown Austin, approximately 150 guests enjoyed an evening of dancing, entertainment and a silent auction amid tropical plants and decorations supporting the “Prom in Paradise” theme.
The event raised more than $20,000 for Out Youth and some of the proceeds helped support our annual Youth Prom for LGBTQ+ teens two weeks later at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
We’re grateful to our Prom Co-Chairs Suzanne Alley and Kody Silva (Out Youth Board Members) and their hard-working committee that included Out Youth board members Gabby Ayala, Krissi Lindsey, Nathan Michaud and Ted Burton. Plus Out Youth supporters Roseann Ferraro, Layne Box, and Crystal Lantrip.
It’s been a busy Spring here at Out Youth, especially with how much we were out and about in the community.
Out Youth received an ACC Community Equity Activists Award
Awarded at the first annual ACC Regional Equity Summit, Out Youth received the award in recognition of our dedication to breaking down social, demographic, and economic barriers throughout our community and for our commitment to equity and inclusion.
We were nominated and selected by the ACC Equity Leadership Subcommittee, a body comprised of college staff and community members.
February 10th through 12th
Kathryn Gonzales attended the Transgender Leadership Institute
Our Operations & Programs Director, Kathryn Gonzales, MBA, was selected to attend the second Transgender Leadership Institute in Dallas. The institute was organized by Equality Texas and mad possible with the generous support of the Gill Foundation and the Hollyfield Foundation.
Over three days, Kathryn networked with transgender, gender non-binary, and cisgender parents of transgender kids, to learn way to effectively advocate for inclusion and dignity in schools, workplaces, and the legislature.
Raised All the Money for Out Youth
This year’s Amplify Austin was another big success for Out Youth! In just 24 hours we raised over $22,000 to support the life-changing and life-saving work we do here in Central Texas.
We were so successful this year that Aubrey Wilkerson, Out Youth’s Executive Director, was invited to speak to other nonprofits who participate in Amplify Austin about our marketing and outreach strategy.
Out Youth Testified at the Senate Bill 6 Hearing
Out Youth staff members Sarah Kapostasy, Kathryn Gonzales, and Izzy Star, along with clinical associate Cassidy Laminack spoke passionately about the impact the passage of SB 6, better know as the “Bathroom Bill” would have on transgender youth across Texas.
While SB 6 appears to be dead in the water, SB 2078 was passed by the Texas House of Representatives on Sunday, May 21st, and explicitly targets transgender schoolchildren.
2nd Annual Out Youth Adult Prom
Out Youth’s second annual Adult Prom offered everyone the chance for a prom night “do-over.” We know that so many LGBTQ+ adults didn’t have the chance to attend Prom or take the date of their choice, so we did the only thing we could think to do - help people make new memories.
27th Annual Out Youth Prom
It never ceases to amaze us that Out Youth has hosted a Youth Prom every year since our founding. This year’s Youth Prom was hosted by our friends at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and offered our youth the chance to make Prom memories in a safe and affirming space.
April 28th through April 30th
HavenCon, Hosted Its 3rd Annual Convention
HavenCon, the first LGBTQ+ geek and gaming convention, and sister organization to Out Youth, held its third annual convention this April. Not only was Out Youth the beneficiary of HavenCon, Kathryn Gonzales, our Operations & Programs Director, was the Youth Liaison and tasked with creating programming and providing help and support to youth on site.
Aubrey Wilkerson spoke to the Apple Pride Group
At Out Youth, we always love the chance to tell people about the amazing youth we work with and the amazing work that Out Youth does in Central Texas. That’s why when Apple Austin’s Pride Group contacted us about coming in to speak, Aubrey Wilkerson, our Executive Director, jumped at the opportunity.
Not only did he receive a warm welcome, we’re now working with the Apple Austin Pride Group to plan a group volunteering opportunity here at Out Youth.
In March, Texas Health Action's KIND Clinic opened a free transgender care clinic, the first of its kind in Central Texas. Through a new program called Transgender Wellness, Out Youth is piloting an array of holistic services in partnership with the KIND Clinic to promote the wellbeing of transgender Texans.