The Inside Scoop
J u n e 2 0 2 0
Thank you for reading Youth Pride, Inc.'s June edition of The Inside Scoop! Within you will read about our newest virtual program for 13 and under youth, Lavender Graduation, the summer session of OUTspoken, how community partners are fundraising for YPI during Pride Month and our newest board members!
New Virtual Programming for 13 and Unders!
YPI is excited to announce our newest virtual programing for our 13 and under youth! Each Thursday, beginning 6/18, from 4:30-6pm YPI staff and clinicians will offer a social space for our 9 to 13 year olds on Zoom. The sessions will allow folks to see each other, catch up, and spend some time with familiar YPI faces during this time of social distancing.

We want to bring a little bit of YPI drop in to the youth at home, so each week we will spend some time chatting as well as occasional fun activities and games together. 

Interested youth should have their parent or guardian fill out our consent form below.
YPI Welcomes New Board Chair and Vice Chair
Youth Pride, Inc. names Guillaume Bagal as chair, and Tayla Reo as vice-chair of YPI Board of Directors. Outgoing chair Michelle Saunders will remain on the Board and serve alongside a team that embodies YPI’s core values of leadership, affirmation, and community for all LGBTQ+ youth in Rhode Island.

Guillaume is the Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Tayla is the Publishing Product Development at Hasbro, Inc.
Congratulations Guillaume and Tayla! You are both exceptional leaders and we look forward to the insightful perspectives you each will bring to the organization in your new roles.

Also, thank you to the entirety of our board for all of the hard work they put into Youth Pride, Inc. year round. Thank you, Michelle Saunders, Monique Collins, Tom Canterino, Lisa Carcieri, Alex Hartley, Aliya Johnson, Jeffrey LaValley, Paola Mejia*, Erin Pavane (leave of absence), Nielle Taylor*, Greg Tumolo, and Henry Walther!
* = Youth Board Member
Providence Monthly Highlights YPI
The June edition of Providence Monthly is out! In addition to RI Pride, Askew Providence, and EGO, YPI was highlighted in the magazine's recent article, Celebrate Pride Month from Home. We are mentioned for our online support services and how incrediibly helpful they are for LGBTQ youth during social distancing.
Congrats Grads!
On Saturday, June 13th YPI hosted our first ever Virtual Lavender Graduation! We had the privilege of recognizing nineteen graduates from twelve different high schools and one college.

Guillaume Bagal, newly appointed Chair of YPI's Board of Directors and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield RI, and Justice Gaines, community organizer and poet, addressed the graduates with deeply impactful speeches about the current climate for LGBTQ individuals and how to forge a positive path forward into the world. A link to the speaking portion is below.

The graduation concluded with each graduate turning their camera on and partaking in a live group tassel turning. The celebration was a success and we look forward to turning Lavender Graduation into an annual YPI event.
Connect With us on Instagram!
We recently relaunched our Instagram account. Give us a follow to keep up to date on YPI and community happenings!
Summer Session of OUTspoken
The summer session of OUTspoken is beginning Monday, July 13 from 2-4pm on Zoom. OUTspoken meets every Monday for eight weeks, ending August 31.

Outspoken is Youth Pride, Inc.'s leadership program designed to be a first step on a pathway to becoming a community leader by learning about advocacy, community involvement, and cultural awareness. OUTspoken creates space for youth who are looking to dive into their own identity and experiences while learning how that information can impact their community.

Youth ages 14-23 are encouraged to join us! The program is free AND offers a monetary stipend to those who participate the entire 8 weeks.
Local Businesses Fundraising for YPI During Pride Month!
Cuts by Chels,  a custom tailored barber, is selling rainbow logoed t-shirts to spread awareness and give back to the community. When purchased, 25% of the proceeds from each shirt will be donated back to YPI.
If you're looking for the perfect RI gift for a friend, or just to decorate your own space, look no further. Kevin Bowden Photography has some amazing Providence based photo prints for sale on his website. 50% of the proceeds will be donated back to YPI.
In honor of Tricycle Ice Cream's 6th Birthday, they have released their annual June exclusive;  Birthday Cake Batter Ice Cream on Confetti Cookies, dipped in White Chocolate, and topped with Birthday Cake Crunch! The only thing sweeter is that Tricycle Ice Cream will be donating part of the proceeds made from this flavor to YPI!
Wildflour Vegan Bakery & Juice Bar is donating back 10% of the proceeds they make from their vegan, gluten free, Pride Whoopie Pies during the month of June! What a perfect reason to indulge in something sweet.
If you haven't had your fill yet, Clover Desserts is taking pre-orders for their Rainbow Pride Cakes! If you order by noon, 6/18, 20% of proceeds will be donated to YPI! Cakes are 6" tall, feed 6-10, and you have the choice of cake flavor and buttercream filling.
Day Lover is a queer-operated vegetable and wine project based in Providence, RI with a CSA garden on occupied Wampanoag land in Seekonk, MA. For Pride Month they
are selling these $30 large tote bags with 100% of the proceeds benefiting YPI! The back read, "The Garden is minute, and the sky is limitless. -Octavio Paz"
The Stop&Stop located at 275 Warwick Ave. in Cranston is supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters Rhode Island and Youth Pride, Inc.'s B.R.I.T.E Mentoring Program. The program will receive $1 for every $2.50 reusable community bag sold at that location!
Thank you to everyone involved in fundraising for YPI.
We truly appreciate the time and effort you put into supporting us and we are very grateful!
YPI Resources
Are you really missing drop-in hours? Need someone to talk to? Are you experiencing crisis? Have concerns, fears or mental health needs that you need to express to someone? Here are a couple of resources for you that were compiled by YPI staff.
Monthly Spotlight
Alok Vaid-Menon
If you're not familiar with Alok Vaid-Menon, aka ALOK, you'e missing out on some great inclusive and thought provoking content. ALOK is a gender non-conforming mixed-media artist and writer that covers themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition.

Beyond the Gender Binary (2020) is ALOK's newest publication; a pocketsized guide for  LGBTQ youth that " deconstructs, demystifies, and reimagines the gender binary" while also providing strategies on how to respond to the rise of anti-trans discrimination. In honor of the publication, Alok is donating 5,000 copies of Beyond the Gender Binary to youth around the country and YPI will be receiving 50 copies this summer! Youth will be able to read and borrow them from our Lending Library.

In addition to providing us with copies of the book, ALOK also allowed us to ask them a few questions to be published here in our newsletter:
1. Tell me a little about your experiences growing up in Texas as a member of the LGBTQ comunitty. Did those experiences help you get where you are today?

"Growing up in Texas was remarkably challenging. I felt isolated and didn't have anywhere to go to express myself and what I was going through. But, I was resourceful and started to express my pain through creativity at a young age. I started writing poetry when I was twelve or thirteen years old, and as a professional artist now I can't underestimate how important it was for me to get an early start. I learned that even though I couldn't always control what was going on in the "real" world, I could create my on world through my writing." 

2. What inspired you to write  Beyond the Gender Binary  and how long has it been in the works?

"Over the past few years we've seen a rise in anti-trans legislation and discrimination at all levels. I find that so many people want to support trans and gender non-conforming people, they just don't know what to say. I wrote this book as a handbook for all of us to speak out and advocate on behalf of trans rights. The publishing cycle is kind of slow, to be honest. I wrote this in early 2019, and it's being published in 2020. But it's still (unfortunately) as pertinent as ever!"
3. What else do you have going on right now?

"I've been writing a lot of poetry and preparing for a digital show that I'm doing in June as part of a virtual poetry festival. You can get your   tickets here! "

4. If you could give one piece of advice to LGBTQ youth right now, what would it be?

"You come from a sacred legacy of healers and leaders. Even though it might feel like you're alone right now, know that your ancestors are watching over you and rooting for you!"


Thank you ALOK for being such a great activist, leader, and educator during these current trying times. We cannot wait to read Beyond the Gender Binary.

*P hoto by Eivind Hansen | Illustration by Maanya Dhar*
RI Pride Celebrates From Afar
Although it may not feel like it, it IS Pride Month! Every June LGBTQ individuals and allies around the nation celebrate the impact LGBTQ people have had in the world while simultaneously celebrating and highlighting diversity and inclusion.

In Rhode Island, June normally ends with Pridefest and a Illuminated Pride Parade hosted by RI Pride in downtown Providence. This year, due to COVID-19, things are going to look a bit different. RI Pride has postponed the annual event and has scheduled several different virtual Pride related activities and events throughout the month.

For the first time ever, all 8 RI cities, Providence, Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, East Providence, Woonsocket, Newport, and Central Falls, raised Pride Flags to celebrate LGBTQ Rhode Islanders everywhere! The event happened Monday, June 15 and wasl streamed live from Rhode Island Pride’s Facebook.

In conjunction with Askew Providence, Beledi Dance Company, and Sweet Little Variety Show, RI Pride co-hosted a Sweet Little Virtual Pride Show on Thursday, June 11th. The event fundraised for RI Pride and the Rhode Island Solidarity Fund and was streamed on Youtube with access to it through their Facebook event page. Eva Destruction hosted the show and introduced the performers: Musician Lara Herscovitch, Aba Armoo-Daniels, Sasha of Beledi Dance Company , Vatic Kuumba , Joe Conscious Vacca , Comic Rich Hite, Kristen Minsky , Assa Sination, Christopher Johnson and Sarah Rich .

In addition to these awesome events, RI Pride has several other initiatives in the works such as a virtual parade, art gallery, and social media contest. Keep an eye on their website and social media pages for updates!

We would also like to note that as of 5/28 RI Pride's Emergency COVID Supply Drive has concluded. Through an all volunteer effort, RI Pride was able to provide supplies to over 13,000 Rhode Islanders in just ten weeks. We sincerely thank them for all of their efforts and for truley supporting the RI community when it needed it most. We cannot wait to see how all that effort and energy is redirected into planning the best virtual pride month ever!
Global Pride 2020; The First Worldwide LGBTQ Pride Event
InterPride has its roots in Boston, MA where it was founded in 1982 under the name, National Association of Lesbian and Gay Pride Coordinators. The group consisted of representatives from a small handful of pride organizations throughout the country and together they planned annual LGBTQ oriented conferences hosted in different cities each year. As the gay and equal rights movements vamped up, the annual conferences began seeing delegates attend from outside the USA. Eventually, the conference itself left USA soil and concluded it's first international conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 1999. The organization then changed its name to InterPride to better reflect the new international structure.

The talented and dedicated individuals from InterPride, along with the European Pride Organisers Association, are now taking on a colossal project; hosting the first ever worldwide LGBTQ+ Pride event, Global Pride. Global Pride is scheduled to be livestreamed Saturday, June 27th with the online platform to be determined. Musical performances, political speakers, celebrity cameos, and possibly at-home videos shared by participants will be streamed. More than 350 different Pride organizations have requested to participate and it is expected to be a very exciting and inclusive event.

Make sure to check out the Facebook event and their website!
Our Mission
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.

Values:
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 info@youthprideri.org
If you have a story you feel should be included in an upcoming newsletter, email Info@youthprideri.org