ASK A QUESTION!    Archive   
  • Hi, my friend Martin and I are looking to start an LGBT youth group in a small town in Georgia. We both had GSA’s in our high schools when we lived in Wisconsin and want to start one here since neither of the high schools have one here. It will be outside school; we are looking into using library space. We also won’t be asking for donations, so we won’t have to claim as a non-profit. But one challenge we do face is that we are 19 and 20. Do you have any advice for us?”

    -Question submitted by loundhazza and answered by Sara Kost as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

    Sara Says:

    Thanks for writing! I think it’s great that you’re looking to start an LGBT youth group, especially in a rural area where access to information about LGBT communities can be limited or nonexistent. Your idea about using a library space is a good one. Libraries are a great place to meet for free or limited cost, and they provide good cover for any youth who isn’t out or has homophobic family. I mean, what parent wouldn’t want their child to go to the library more?

    I suggest you begin by thinking about what your group will look like. What do you want the youth to get by attending your group? Do you want an educational space? Social? Activist? A mix of all three? Early on ask your youth members what they’d like to get out of the meetings. Your youth members’ needs may be different from your own. Pay attention to that. As Youth Leaders, you should attend to your members’ needs first; their needs are most important.

    I asked a few students from my GSA for their advice, and they told me that they think you should start your youth group slowly. Don’t jump right in and start talking about really heavy topics like bullying or depression or suicide, even if your group wants to talk about those kind of topics right away. Get to know your members and build a trusting community first. My students said that their favorite thing about our GSA is that we are a very close community because we spend a lot of time at the beginning of the school year playing games and doing ice-breaking activities to get to know one another. Even though some of my students were confused why we weren’t doing more LGBT related things, they understood by the end of the school year how important that getting-to-know-you process was. Once we created a positive and supportive group, then we moved on to heavier things.

    Also think about how to create a safe space for your members. I recommend you create some norms and expectations to read at the beginning of each meeting so that the youth will understand what behavior you expect from them. Things like “What’s said at the meeting stays at the meeting,” or “Pay attention and be respectful when others are speaking,” or “Speak your truth and assume good intentions,” or “Everyone is at different levels of learning and sharing.” And maybe create a contingency plan for any drama or conflict that might occur and what you as leaders can do to resolve conflict.

    Don’t let your age or lack of experience deter you from making a great youth group. Use the knowledge you gained through the GSA’s at your high schools to guide you to create the space your youth members need it to be. Your meetings don’t have to be formal or even strictly planned out for your members to get a lot out of them. A sense of community, camaraderie, and support are the most important things you can provide to your youth members.

    ***
    Click through to read more about Sara and our other Second Opinions panelists!

    Everyone Is Gay has started a new project to help parents who have LGBTQ kids: Check out The Parents Project!

  • parentsproject:

    Book Excerpt #2: The Introduction!

    We are so excited to share these tiny pieces of our book with you all — this tells you a little bit about who we are, our experience with Everyone Is Gay and why we wrote This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids!

    Read more on Scribd!

    Pre-Order Your Copy Here! Yayyy!

    <3<3<3

    Look, look! You can read our introduction  

  • everyoneisgay:

    Compilation Cast 2013: The Very Best of Everyone Is Gay

    It’s not a big deal… it’s just our best moments from three years of videos condensed into five minutes. So.

    <3 <3 <3

    K&D

    This is the compilation cast from last year… we’ve all been missing webcasts, so figured it would be a nice reminder of what life is like when we are f*cking around in pools and hotels and giving you advice via video!

    New videos coming your way this fall — we can’t wait to be back atcha in TV-land or whatever you call videos on the internet etc etc.

    *kissy face emoji*

  • "How can I casually get my family to come to this website without coming out? Some of them are super homophobic especially my little brothers one of whom once told me ‘I just don’t like how gay people are’ but I think if they read the advice you guys give they might be like ‘hey these people are super funny and they’re gay maybe being gay doesn’t make you terrible.’ I really think you guys could help but I don’t know how to get them here and keep them thinking I’m straight."

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

  • Your (Book) Questions, Answered: Week Two!

    This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out on September 9th! AHH!

    Many of you, understandably (and awesomely) have questions about wtf this book is all about - sooooo, we are taking your questions in our Tumblr ask box, and will answer 4 every Saturday until we answer them all!

    TADA!!!!

    Is there a chapter in your book for parents that deals with how to handle when your gay kids want to get married? Just curious.

    You bet your bippee. Sorry for saying bippee.

    Yes, the book has several questions that discuss marriage — from the religious conversations/question/issues, to the political, and everything in between. What’s more, there’s a whole chapter called “Thinking About the Future,” where we talk to parents about the many structures of family, and being open to the many possibilities that lie ahead for any of their kids.

    Hi Kristin and Dannielle! I really want to buy your book for my parents, because I’m not sure they’re handling me being gay as well as they could. I know they love me, and they care enough to try and be supportive, but I’m afraid they’ll be angry that I’m trying to educate them or that I think I’m smarter than them. (I know I’m allowed those things, they’re still refusing to understand that) I’m not sure how to even approach the subject with them… - shinybloodredapple

    This is a great question, Shiny Apple.

    Although this may not be the reality… no one should ever be put off by the idea of learning more about a community with which they don’t have much experience. However, we get it. People, your parents or not, can be defensive when it comes to things that they don’t know. 

    So, we suggest that, instead of making it about them learning, you make it about you wanting to be closer to them, because they are your family and you love them. If you present it as something you did because you love them and want to feel closer to them, that is very different than saying, “You don’t know anything, read this.” You know?

    Let them know that the book is, at it’s core, about talking to one another. Maybe your parents don’t have (or don’t think they have) questions, maybe your parents don’t  feel they “need” to read a book. That doesn’t mean that they can’t work with you because of things that would mean a lot to you. Try saying something like, ‘Here’s the thing. There is a ton of stuff in this book that I’d love to talk to you about, but I don’t know how to bring it up, or I don’t know what exactly to say or how to phrase things. So, it would mean a lot to me if you’d read it. Then maybe we could talk?”

    Essentially, that’s the truth. You want your parents to read it for the good of your whole family, and not because you think they are stupid! 

    Will your book be available in Spanish or in any other foreign languages?

    This is all dependent on interest! If other countries learn about our book and decide/realize/etc that their community would also benefit from it, then they will request the book in another language and then grown up stuff happens that we don’t understand and VOILA, THIS IS A BOOK IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE, SUCKASSSS.

    Will there be content in the book addressing parents of kids who are bi or pan? I wanna get it for my mom but I’m not a kinsey-6 gaymo. :)

    We absolutely address pan & bi identity. In addition to having specific questions like “My child is bisexual. Does this mean that they can later choose to be straight?,” the majority of the questions are written to address parents of kids with a huge range of identity. Check out the reasoning for our title here!

    We also have a glossary at the back of the book which has a full list of terms for parents / folks who don’t know what a lot of words mean. ALSO, a lot of our advice isn’t about who you’re sleeping with, specifically, it’s about communication, honesty, and how to create a warm and open environment in your home so kids of any identity can feel safe and comfy as f*ck.

    This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out on September 9th (*squeals*), and is already totally available for pre-order (*squeals*)

    <3<3<3

  • "This girl gave me her number…. She never texts me first…. Whatttt givessss? Should I just not text her?"

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

Theme: Linear by Peter Vidani