Posts Tagged ‘#LGBT youth’

Yesterday, I had the honor to address the Youth Outlook graduates, Class of 2020. It was our first Lavender ceremony; typically we attend when the schools have them and invite us. Since we knew many of our drop-in center members were not going to be able to attend a commencement, let alone a Lavender ceremony […]

Hello, Lavender Classes of 2018! Greetings, faculty, parents, family and friends! I wanted to start off saying thank you for inviting me, but “inviting me” seems so formal. As the first person in DuPage County who was hired specifically to be gay, I am not known for standing on formality. This feels less like an […]

In the Presence of Great Spirit

Posted: 26th February 2018 by admin in Blog
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A chapter from Urban Tidepool 2008 I wasn’t looking for a new site to set up another drop-in center. I already had enough to do without adding one more program. But when I was asked to apply for a foundation grant that would allow us to do just that and hire a program manager, I […]

I just watched a very poignant clip of Ellen interviewing Oprah about the 1997 coming out episode (The Puppy) on the Ellen Show. That episode aired in April 1997 and I started work at Youth Outlook in October 1998. I found it difficult not to tear up while Ellen and Oprah talked about both the […]

This past Saturday was the day of our big agency fundraiser, Dare to Dream. I joke about it being the 9th time we were running an event that we meant to offer just once. I am asked each year to provide a “state of the agency” commentary to bring our donors up to speed on […]

This week I started my 20th year in my job running Youth Outlook where I (do my best to) support the drop-in centers and other services that we offer.  That’s a long stretch of time, especially when I stop to consider that when I started working here, most of you drop-in center kids weren’t even born […]

Last night, my agency held its annual gala, four days after much of the LGBT world was shot through with a bolt of fear that brought some of us to the verge of physical illness. On Wednesday, I was in meetings marked by stunned silence, abject fear, and immutable grief. The questions everywhere I turned […]

Dear School Administrators, I’m about to share with you an idea that is so radical, it might make your hair catch fire when you read it. Ready?  Here goes. It is not the responsibility of the teenagers with whom you cross paths  to educate you about their gender identity. I know this is a crazy […]

Over the weekend, I read some of Brene Brown’s older book, Daring Greatly. It’s always a toss up as to which lens her words will register through first for me, personally or professionally. Sometimes, it’s both. During this reading, I found myself hooked on her ideas about shame being gender based, and both sets of […]

Seventeen years ago on the first Saturday in October, I sat in a park in Naperville, shivering and uncomfortable, dressed too lightly for how the temps dropped after the sun went down. I was at a Take Back the Night rally for domestic violence awareness, one of the first assignments of my brand new job […]