The Inside Scoop
January 2019
Thank you for reading Youth Pride, Inc.'s January edition of The Inside Scoop! We hope the new year has brought our readers love, happiness, and relaxation. This edition highlights YPI's new support group launching in February, our Diversity exhibit that is currently on display, and an interview with award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer, and LGBTQ activist, Ryan Cassata.
Diversity Exhibit on Display at YPI
YPI was thoughtfully lent a four piece exhibit that was previously on display at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Wilton Manors, Florida. The collection, Diversity , includes four panels individually titled Diversity, Selma, Seneca Falls, and Stonewall. Diversity explores the LGBTQ civil rights movement along with other historical civil rights movements that occured throughout US history. Viewers are drawn in with historical photos, significant court rulings, and excerpts on key figures from each movement.

Dr. Jodi Glass, long time social justice advocate and friend of YPI since our incorporation, purchased the exhibit with her wife while visiting the museum. Jodi states that the piece "really shows that one -ism is like any other -ism...If we could respect everyone the same way, there would be less barriers in society." YPI is the first organization the exihibit will be lent to; remaining in the space until RI Pride in June. Jodi decided to lend YPI the exhibit in order to bring a little history and herstory to the center, especially with this year being Stonewall's 50th anniversary. She also donated several books on Stonewall to our library.
Diversity is currently on display in our conference room. We encourage our youth, interns, volunteers, board, staff and guests to take a few moments to absorb and reflect upon the history within these four panels.
2019 Pride Date Announced
The 2019 date for Rhode Island's annual PrideFest and Illuminated Parade has been set! Mark for your calendars for Saturday, June 15th 2019 . We look forward to celebrating with all of you!
New Support Group to Help Youth Transition Into Adulthood
YPI serves youth up to the age of 23. Each year, we see many of our youth approach age 24 without the skills needed to confidently enter adulthood and the workforce. To help prepare for the transition, YPI is commencing a new support group for youth ages 18-24 that will help with developing skills in the areas of job readiness, developing and maintaining healthy relationships, financial responsibility, and other topics identified by the participants.

The group will meet every Tuesday, starting 2/12, from 1-2pm in our space and will be facilitated by our clinician, Molly Heller LICSW. Healthy snacks and RIPTIX will be provided.
Music is In the Air
YPI has never sounded better! Thanks to multiple donors, YPI has collected several guitars and an upright piano over the past few years. The instruments have a new collective home in our library where our youth can freely jam out!
Monthly Spotlight
Ryan Cassata
Ryan Cassata is an LA based award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer, and LGBTQ activist and motivational speaker. To name just a few of Ryan's accomplishments, he has features in The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed along with apparences on The Larry King Live Show and The Tyra Banks Show. LOGO and Billboard put him on their “9 Trans Musicians You Need To Get Into” and "11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know" lists respectively. Of utmost importance, Ryan visits schools and universities nationwide to speak to students about acceptance and hope; aiming to disarm ignorance and promote equality and understanding. We are excited that Ryan has graciously agreed to an i nterview for publishing in this edition of The Inside Scoop!
1. Tell me a little about yourself; where you came from, what you have coming up, and any tour plans around New England.
My name is Ryan Cassata. I grew up in NY. This year I have plans to release a new record of music with some music videos. I hope to come to the East Coast to tour this year as well. I'm a huge Red Sox fan so hopefully I'll make my way to New England. 

2. Where/how did your music/acting career start?
My career started when I was around age 13. I started playing shows on Long Island and playing local Open Mics. I fell in love with performing immediately and worked hard to do it as much as I possibly could. Eventually I was getting calls to play all over the country. 

3. What is your favorite medium to work on/create; music, film, or otherwise?
I can create almost anywhere that I am. I am constantly scribbling down lyric ideas and recording melodies that pop into my head. I just have to have this feeling of inspiration come through me to be able to create. Luckily, I get that feeling very often so I can create a lot. It's totally magical for me. 

4. Do you find producing media therapeutic?
I enjoy getting my thoughts out with the world especially if they are empowering towards other people and also to myself. Helping other people helps me so much. 

5. If not for music/film, what do you think you would be doing now? 
I know that I would be doing work to help others even if the work wasn't as creative as it is now. 

6. What is the biggest misconception about the trans experience? 
The biggest misconception that I have come across is that everyone transitions the same way or style. A lot of trans guys have pressured me to go on testosterone but I realized quickly that I need to transition for myself and not to please other people. We all have to go our own way. 

7. In your opinion, how can an ally be a  good  ally to the community?
Listen. Listen to trans people. Listen to the trans people in your life. Ask them what they need/want. Different things are comfortable or not comfortable to other people. Communication is so important. Treat us like we are human, because we are human. 

8. What piece(s) of advice do you have for LGBTQ identified youth in today's society? 
It's totally okay to experiment and give yourself time to figure out who you are. Exploring is part of life. Exploring is part of being trans. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't valid enough. Just follow your own path and have hope for a brighter future. Stay true, stay you. Spread peace and love and light in all that you do. Help others as much as you possibly can. 

9. What other YouTube channels, websites, blogs, or otherwise are run by, and represent, members of the community that could be of interest to LGBTQ youth?
TomboyX has a super cool blog, there's also an LGBTQ section on Rock The Pigeon
Project Weber/RENEW Opens New Location in Providence
Project Weber/Renew is a peer-based, harm reduction and recovery services organization for at-risk Rhode Island residents. Although the organization is a single entity, it was once two different organizations; Project Weber was founded in 2008 to meet the needs of male sex workers in RI, while Project RENEW began in 2005, hiring outreach workers to support female sex workers in Pawtucket and Central Falls. The two organizations merged in 2016, "in order to serve the full range of sex workers and high risk women and men, including transgender sex workers, while reducing administrative overhead" according to their website.

On Monday, January 14th 2019 Project Weber/Renew celebrated the opening of their new space at 640 Broad St. in Providence with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. This Providence location is home to a men's drop-in space, a women's drop-in space, and an overdose prevention/harm reduction drop-in space. Their Pawtucket location offers a Women's Support Center.

Project Weber/RENEW currently offers a variety of different services. Sexual health services include free HIV, Hep-C, and Syphilis testing and access to safer sex products such as condoms and lubricant. Narcan/overdose training and a needle exchange program make up their harm reduction services. Project Weber/Renew's recovery support services include access to recovery coaching and information on how to enroll in a detox treatment plan. The inhouse Transgender Outreach Team can help connect Trans* clients to Trans* friendly doctors and/or therapists. The team also offers weekly support groups for high-risk transgender individuals.

Project Weber/RENEW has so much to offer the community. We hope all of our readers in need of their services visit their new space and see what they have to offer firsthand.
YouTuber Raises $340k for Trans Youth
Harry Brewis, also known by his online handle HBomberGuy , raised over $340,000 for the UK based charity Mermaids that advocates for transgender and gender diverse youth. Brewis raised the funds by live streaming himself playing the video game Donkey Kong 64 straight through to completion for 57 hours straight. The donation goal was originally $500, but was quickly surpassed as the livestream gained traction and publicity. Ocasio-Cotrez, Chelsea Manning, and Cher all either joined the livestream or publicly promoted it.

The catalyst behind the livestream was Graham Linehan, comedian and co-author of sitcoms such as The IT Crowd. After Mermaids received a substantial grant from the Big Lottery Fund, the UK based public body responsible for distributing funds raised by the National Lottery for 'good causes', Linehan criticized Big Lottery for giving funds to an organization that has an " extreme ideological agenda” and deals with it's youth in  experimental” and “non-evidence-based” ways. He also encouraged the public to write to the Big Lottery Fund to express their concerns and re quest a review of the funds. In reference to Linehan, Brewis states, " You have a massive audience and the power to choose to fight for progress in all the many forms we need in the world right now and you used it to make sure some children won’t have access to helpful resources.”

The funds for Mermaids from The Big Lottery Fund are currently being reviewed.
Our Mission
Youth Pride, Inc. is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression while working to end the homophobic and transphobic environments in which they live, work and play.

LEADERSHIP:  YPI is committed to creating the leaders of today. Youth voices drive our process, and we seek to develop the leadership skills necessary both within the organization and outside of it.
AFFIRMATION:  YPI believes all youth must be affirmed for who they are and how they express themselves. We are committed to making that a reality in all of the environments in which young people live.
COMMUNITY:  YPI believes building strong connections is essential to youth success and empowerment. We strive to create a caring, respectful and diverse community of young people and adults.
Your tax-deductible donation helps YPI continue to do the important work we do in accordance to our mission. Your gift would be directly investing in our state's LGBTQ youth so that they may have a chance to share their gifts and light with the world.
Our Programs and Services
Youth Pride, Inc. serves over 700 Rhode Island LGBTQ youth and their straight allies a year through a variety of programs and services.
Our Center, located on Westminster Street in Providence, primarily serve as a drop-in and programming space, and is currently open to youth ages 13 to 23 on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-8pm and Thursday from 3 to 5. Youth ages 9 to thirteen are welcome at our exclusive 13 and under drop-in time on Thursdays from 5-8 pm. All YPI Center services and activities are free to youth. YPI youth get to attend events, workshops, cultural, educational, social, and wellness activities at YPI and around the state.

Our center is home to a Basic Needs Pantry, open to youth in need of food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies. We offer one on one counseling with in-house clinicians. Our clinicians facilitate and supervise three peer-support groups.

YPI also offers support to those who work with youth through policy and advocacy, and by providing professional development workshops and technical assistance to service providers and educators.

For more information on getting involved with YPI as a volunteer or if you or someone you know is in need of our services, contact
If you have a story you feel should be included in an upcoming newsletter, email