The Inside Scoop
June 2019
Thank you for reading Youth Pride, Inc.'s June edition of The Inside Scoop! Within you will read about our newest staff members, our recap of 2019 RI Pride, the National School Climate Survey and how it helps LGBTQ students, and how Alex and Ani and Frog & Toad are giving back to YPI!
Rhode Island Pride
Did you attend the RI Pridefest and Illuminated Parade this month? We did and loved every moment of it. RI Pride had record breaking attendance this year, with some sources saying ~100,000 people celebrated the event!

At the YPI booth during the festival, we talked to festival goers about our programs and services, gave out temporary tattoos, hosted various games, and promoted our YPI t-shirts. Staff, board members, volunteers and youth also marched side by side in the illuminated night parade. Twenty one youth carried flags of every sexual and gender identity along with several YPI specific flags. The remaining 50 some odd youth just as energetically marched alongside, proudly showing off the glow-in-the-dark body paint we provided. Several youth at the front of our group led the way holding our youth made hand painted banner that read, "YPI Youth Living our Truth" in accordance to this year's Pride theme; Live Your Truth.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth or extended kind words and gestures of support throughout the day. We truly appreciate all of the donations we received, and are already look forward to Pride 2020!

We would also like to note that our 2019 Pride t-shirts (pictured above) are still available when you donate $25 or more! For more information, or to donate, email
Be Kind
Frog and Toad is at it again with their phenomenal philanthropy! For those of you unfamiliar with Frog and Toad, they are a wonderful local shop that sells a variety of interesting and unique goods; graphic tees, hand-knit sweaters, Rhode Island specific gifts, funny greeting cards, niche nik-naks, and plenty more. They have two locations, one on Hope St. in Providence and the other a few doors down from us on Westminster St!

Frog and Toad have run fundraisers on our behalf in the past, and this is no different. Their 8th special edition "Be Kind" iron-on patch from  Frog & Toad Press  is available for $5 with 20% of all sales benefiting YPI. They are such great neighbors and community partners, and always create such beautiful and unique products. If you're interested in their special edition patch, it can be purchased in store of online through their website.
Summer Hours
Summer is finally here! At least in regards to school closings, that is. Starting the first week of July, YPI will begin running on our summer schedule. Drop-in for 14 and older youth will take place Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12-6pm and Thursdays from 12-4pm. Drop-in for 13 and under youth will take place on Thursdays from 4-7pm. All groups and programs will run as normal.
Charity by Design
Join Youth Pride, Inc. and Alex and Ani for a Charmed by Charity Event benefiting YPI!

On Saturday, July 13th from 1-4pm at Alex and Ani Newport located at 1 Bowen's Wharf, 15% of all purchase will benefit YPI.

If you've been itching for a new charm or bracelet, this is a great opportunity to treat yourself and shop to to give back to a cause close to your heart. Alex and Ani has even rolled out their exclusive Pride Collection featuring rainbow bangles!

YPI board members will be in attendance to mingle and chat about YPI so don't miss this awesome event! Thank you Lauren Ruggiano, Newport assistant store manager, for reaching out to YPI and making this happen!
National School Climate Survwey Gives Voice to LGBTQ Students
GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) is the nation's leading education organization focused on acheiving safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students. Founded in 1990, GLSEN has made valiant efforts to improve public school environments. One such effort is conducting the annual National School Climate Survey, which asks questions to assess the challenges LGBTQ students face at school as well as recording what, if any, school-based resources are available to support LGBTQ students’ well-being.

If you are a LGBTQ youth, or know someone who is, we strongly urge to to fill out the survey and have your voice be heard. GLSEN wants to inform education policymakers of your struggles, but they need to know what they are first! The below link will take you to the survey.
Save the Date for YPI's 25th Anniversary Gala!
More information and registration coming soon.
Meet Our New Staff!
Melissa D. DeLuca, MSW
Director of Youth Services
Her, She, They, Them

Originally from Rhode Island, Melissa attended undergraduate at Northeastern University where she majored in Journalism and Political Science. After working in multiple systems in Massachusetts pertaining to youth she decided to get her Master's degree in Social Work from Simmons College. She has a post masters fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation from the Psychology department of the VA Hospital in Bedford, MA.

Melissa is also pursuing getting certified as a personal trainer and enjoys biking long distance and working out (an amateur boxer with USA Boxing). Her dog Pete is a certified emotional support animal and is always by her side. She worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center advocating and overseeing LGBTQ adult services, worked in Calcutta, India to help stop human trafficking and loves advocating and contributing to bring positive systemic change to marginalized groups. She came to YPI to continue advocacy and services for the marginalized LGBTQ youth population.
Dev Devine
Center Coordinator

Dev is a fairly new Rhode Islander, having moved here from Westchester, New York where they grew up. They went to Kenyon College in Ohio where they earned a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. After college, they did a year of service with City Year Providence, where they served at Pleasant View Elementary School with an incredible class of fourth graders.

Dev came to Youth Pride because they are proud of their intersecting queer identities, and after spending a year working with Providence youth they were so excited to put their passions together. YPI seemed like the perfect place to do that. Dev is passionate about good stories, D&D, hiking, and dogs!
Rhode Island Votes on The Reproductive Privacy Act
Discussion around Roe v. Wade has skyrocketed in recent months as more states have proposed or enacted laws that aim to restrict access to abortion. Many fear these recent push-backs put Roe v. Wade at risk for being overturned by the current administration. If this were to happen, each state would be given the authority to make their own laws around abortion rather than abiding by a federal law that lays out a standard set of rules and regulations. According to planned Parenthood, if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned "more than 25 million women [would be] at risk of losing access to abortion — more than a third of women of reproductive age in this country."

Despite the cloud of uncertainty that looms over the country, many states are taking proactive measures to protect abortion and healthcare rights at state levels in anticipation of the overturn. Rhode Island has recently been added to the list of stating taking matters into their own hands. The Reproductive Privacy Act was introduced in January of this year by representatives Williams, Blazejewski, Alzate, Barros, and Shanley. The act serves to "codify the current state of the law on reproductive rights in Rhode Island set forth under the landmark Roe v. Wade case, limiting restrictions on an individual’s right to terminate a pregnancy." To put it another way, this act says the current rights outlined in Roe v. Wade, the right to privacy that protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment, will remain rights in Rhode Island even if Roe v. Wade eventually is overturned.

The Reproductive Privacy Act was voted on on Wednesday, June 19th at the State House in Providence. It took only a few hours for the state Senate to approved the bill in a 21–17 vote, and then the state House in a 45–29 vote. Governor Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law the same day.
Proposed Roll Backs to ACA Target Transgender Patients
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to just Affordable Care Act (ACA), is health reform legislation enacted in 2010. The ACA aimed to provide insurance coverage to more Americans at lower rates; typically to those who would be uninsured otherwise. The ACA also worked to eliminate certain practices such as denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of ACA which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in health programs or activities that receive Federal funds. In 2016 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)expanded the definition of sex to include "discrimination based on gender identity and the termination of pregnancy". This helps to protect transgender individuals.

The HHS proposed changes to Section 1557 on May 24, 2019. One of the changes put forth includes the removal of the definition of sex to include gender identity. The HHS states it would like to return to existing civil rights laws as "previous regulations exceeded the agency’s regulatory authority by defining discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination based on gender identity...those definitions [are] inconsistent with Title VI and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal nondiscrimination rules."

Comments on the proposed rule are open until August 13, 2019.
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