The Inside Scoop
September 2018
Welcome to Youth Pride, Inc.'s September edition of The Inside Scoop ! Within you will read about our annual Rainbow Party, a new and upcoming author, and how YPI's partnerships with two local environmental agencies are connecting our youth to nature!
Annual Rainbow Party Deemed A Success!
YPI's Annual Rainbow Party is our organization's largest fundraising event of the year. Hosted at the Dune's Club for the third year in a row, the 2018 Rainbow Party was a success! Over 80 individuals attended and raised more than $10,000 on behalf of YPI.

Guests enjoyed an open bar with speciality cocktails, a wide selection of hors d'oeuvres, and a dessert station all while taking in beautiful views of Narragansett Beach. Board members, staff, and YPI youth were present to talk with guests and provide insight into YPI, what we do, and how contributions directly support our programs and services. A slide show highlighting important YPI moments ran throughout the afternoon. Photos from Pride, RI's NOH8 campaign, statehouse events, holidays, and more were included. Custom YPI t-shirts designed by our youth were available for guests to take if they donated at the door.
Board Chair, Michelle Saunders, and Executive Director, Elana Rosenberg, addressed the room. The longstanding history of YPI was told along with snippets of how and why Michelle and Elana became involved with the organization. Michelle's son, Rowan, and Ollie are two active YPI youths that spoke about our space and how it has impacted their lives for the better. Ollie says YPI has treated them like family and has offered unwavering support when their biological family and friends could not.

Heartfelt appreciation to our sponsors, host committee, and donors were expressed. We would like to thank one final time, Bank of America, Locke Lord, and IGT for being our sponsors. Without the generous support of all these individuals, our Rainbow Party could not have happened.
We are incredibly overwhelmed with the generosity of our guests. These contributions will immensely help LGBTQQ youth in Rhode Island get connected to the resources and services they need. We look forward to seeing everyone next year!

A full album of photos from the event can be found on our Facebook page in the month to come!
So Many Outings, So Little Time!
Late last month, YPI in conjunction with the RI Chapter of the Sierra Club hosted a kayaking trip for our youth! The group kayaked for four hours at Narrow River Kayaks in Narragansett, RI. Participants were in tandem (two-seater) kayaks and started the adventure with several team building exercises and activities. Afterwards, youth were educated on the wildlife that live in the salt marshes and surrounding ecosystems while paddling along the Pettaquamscutt Watershed (a.k.a Narrow River). The waters opened up to Narragansett Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, where everyone enjoyed swimming and relaxation.
Overall, the outing was a success and the next outdoor trip is already in the making! The Sierra Club hopes to take YPI apple picking sometime this October, and continue to implement activities for the remainder of the year.

Syrundipdously, around the same time of the kayaking trip, The Nature Conservancy of RI reached out to YPI for another potential outing. This year, on National Coming Out Day, October 11th, YPI and The Nature Conservancy are hosting " Come Out and Hike" (double meaning intended ) at Limestone Preserve in Lincoln, RI. Youth are invited to join us for an easy two hour hike around Manton Pond within the preserve. Snacks, water, and transportation will be provided. Interested youth must talk with a staff member to sign up.
RI Dept. of Health Offers Incentives to Try Newest App
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recently released the beta (trial) version of their newest app, RIghtTime: Rhode Island’s Sexual Health App. RIghtTime offers RI residents information and resources on sexual health topics like healthy relationships; prevention, testing, and treatment of HIV/STDs; sexual health and family planning services and locations; where to find free condoms; information on birth control options; PrEP and PEP (medications to prevent HIV) and a lot more.  

RIDOH wants more feedback on their app before launching the full version. As a means of collecting relevant feedback, anyone who signs into the app and takes their survey will receive a $5 Lyft credit or a $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card for their time. The app available for download on the Apple App Store for iPhone and Google Play store for Android.
Monthly Spotlight
Natalie Perry
Author of Dad #1, Dad #2: A Queerspawn View from the Closet

Earlier this month, YPI receive a copy of Dad #1, Dad #2 in the mail with an attached letter from Natalie briefly describing her upbringing, experiences, and efforts to share her book. We instantly added her work to our library. We wanted to know more about Natalie and introduce her to the YPI community, so we have chosen to highlight her in this edition's Monthly Spotlight!
"My name is Natalie Perry and I’m queerspawn. Queerspawn is an identity term for people with at least one LGBTQ+ parent or guardian; I’m queerspawn because I have gay dads. I also have one mom and an older sister.

I was born and raised in Idaho. My dad came out to my immediate family when I was 12 years old. He’s a former Chief Judge for the Idaho State Court of Appeals and had to run for reelection every few years. He would have lost his job if he’d come out publicly, so for two decades I lived in a closeted gay family.

A few years ago my dad retired from his position and marriage equality became a reality. Suddenly, our world shifted as my family was able to step out of the closet.

I realize that there are still many families who are closeted. I felt a need to share our story to educate those that still don’t understand LGBTQ+ families and to represent those who still aren’t able to speak up due to safety concerns. Writing has always been therapy for me; a way to deal with all the negative forces in the world. I decided to use this avenue to share my story.
Dad #1, Dad #2: A Queerspawn View from the Closet ’ is a memoir about those 20 years. It chronicles the ups and downs of growing up in a closeted gay family in one of the most conservative states in the country.

I also do public speaking. This year at TEDxBoise, I gave the first queerspawn talk on a TED affiliated stage in the U.S. It was an incredible experience and I was so proud to be able to give this talk in my home state. I’ve also done speaking in local middle schools and high schools, which has received positive feedback. In an effort to reach more youth, I’ve started a campaign where I’m donating free copies of my book to schools in Idaho. As part of my advocacy efforts for LGBTQ+ families, I’ve also been donating books to LGBTQ+ Centers with libraries across the country.

The other project that I’m particularly excited about right now is my artwork. I do painted wood pieces with a focus on LGBTQ+ identities. I incorporate quotes from my writing in some of my pieces and just finished creating 10 new ornament designs for the holidays. I’ve also started creating abstract art pieces, many of which still include LGBTQ+ themes. All of my work is available through my website.

For those growing up with LGBTQ+ parents, it can be challenging growing up in a world where many people question your right to exist. Some (within and outside the LGBTQ+ community) may not understand how queerspawn experience and are affected by this discrimination. But please know: you are valid, you are important, and you are loved ."
Q Chat Space is a digital LGBTQ+ Center where teens can join online live-chat support groups facilitated by adult mentors. Q Chat is partnered with CenterLink, PFLAG, and Planned Parenthood.

Q Chat is taking applications for interested Youth Advisory Panelist ages 13-19 until November 5th, 2018. The panelist will be in charge of setting up and producing content for social media profiles for Q Chat Space; promote Q Chat Space to their own social circles; attend support groups regularly; and provide input and feedback to facilitators about how groups are going.
In an effort to combat sexual racism and discrimination commonly seen on Grindr, a popular gay and trans dating app, the creators have updated their community guidelines and rules. Users who openly discriminate in their bios will be banned from the app. Users are also encouraged to report discrimination and bullying received in private messages.

Grindr is calling this change, Kinder Grindr with the slogan "It's time to play nice". Their website states, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Their type. Their tastes. But nobody is entitled to tear someone else down because of their race, size, gender, HIV status, age, or – quite simply – being who they are." This is referencing the not-so-uncommon theme of insensitively discriminating in Grindr profiles where descriptions such as, "No asians, no fats, no blacks" is commonplace.
Meet Our Interns!
Taylor Cutolo

Hi! My name is Taylor Cutolo and I am an intern at Youth Pride! I have been interning in the space since July and will be here until March. I received my Bachelors in Social Work from Salve Regina University in 2015 and now I am working towards my masters.

During my free time I love to spend time with my family, friends, and two cats! I also love to be outside either at the beach or on a walk in the woods. I have loved spending time and interning at YPI and I can’t wait to continue with my experience here! I am in the space three days a week with the youth.

Noah Bogdonoff

I've had a super eclectic set of careers, academic experiences, and extracurricular interests. I earned my BA in Environmental Studies from Vassar College, where I studied the way in which identity, social power, and belief systems impact people's understandings of the environment and environmentalism. After undergrad, I worked in health care delivery science trying to bridge the gap between doctors' goals and their patients' needs. When I moved to Providence, I began to work as a sex educator and English instructor at School One, eventually branching out to teach sex education in nearly ten schools for Partners in Sex Education, an organization based in Newton, MA. For my first clinical placement in my MSW program, I worked in sexuality and relationship therapy at The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, an adult sex education and therapy clinic based right here in Providence. I'm also an award-winning fiction writer and a passionate cat dad.

I'll be at YPI through the summer of 2019. I hope to work extensively with both the thirteen-and-unders as well as the older youth to help build healthy relationship skills, address common difficulties with anxiety, depression, and mood, and provide support around issues of sex and sexuality. I'm excited to work at YPI because when I came out, I had no place to go like YPI. I spent my high school years trying as hard as possible to fit in with the straight kids, and I didn't get a chance to figure out who  wanted to be until much later. By then it was very hard to un-learn all of the shame and fear I'd experienced by trying to fit in. At YPI, I want to help people be who they want, in the way they want, when they want.
New York City Adds Third Gender to Birth Certificates
Corey Johnson, Speaker and member of the New York City Council, introduced legislation that would add a third non-binary gender option to birth certificates.

Prior to 2018, New Yorkers who wished to change their gender marker on official documents had to provide a doctor's note or affidavit by a licensed healthcare provider. Prior to 2014, New Yorkers were required to have undergone gender confirmation surgery in addition to having a physician's letter. The new legislation requires neither and adds a third gender option – female, male, and "X" for those who do not identify as female or male.

New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, will sign the legislation that will go into effect January 1, 2019. The bill was approved in a 41-6 vote by the City Council on September 12th, 2018. In addition to the laxed requirements for changing gender on a pre existing document, the legislation also allows parents to designate newborns or themselves with a non-binary "X" designation. The X designation could be utilized by parents of intersex children (Intersex individuals are born with sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, genitals, reproductive organs, and hormonal levels that don't fit the typical definition of male or female anatomy. Being intersex refers only to sex characteristics, not sexual orientation or gender identity)or by parents who want their child to choose a gender at a later point in life.

Johnson states, "Today is a historic day for New York in its role as a worldwide champion for inclusivity and equality...New Yorkers will no longer need a doctor’s note to change their gender on their birth certificates, and will no longer be treated as if their identity was a medical issue". In reference to the bill, De Blasio states that it will, "allow transgender and gender nonconforming New Yorkers to live with the dignity and respect they deserve".
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