True Colors, Inc. Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services of CT

True Colors works to create a world where youth, adults and families of all sexual orientations and gender identities are valued and affirmed. We challenge all forms of oppression through education, training, advocacy, youth leadership development, mentoring and direct services to youth and those responsible for their well-being.
Jan 6, 2017

Whew. 2016. What a ride...

Week of Action
Week of Action

Thank you.  No, really, THANK YOU! As I am sure you have seen and felt since November 8th, our world has tipped onto its side.  Everything feels more than a bit off-kilter.  We moved from a regime that supported our lives and identities to one that we have reason to suspect will be far less kind, let alone inclusive.

We get calls and emails from kids, especially transgender kids, who fear for their futures and don’t know what to do. It is hard to comfort them when they feel so hated.

At the same time, there are people like you in the world. People who have our backs.   People who stand up, and stand out, against oppression.  People who put their time, energy – and resources into helping us all survive.

We are very, very grateful.

In the weeks since the election, True Colors has re-doubled our efforts to support the youth we serve.  We have offered a place for them to come and share their stories, get hugs or just talk. Friday night activities continue, as does our training, mentoring, conference organizing and other programming.

In January, we are hosting a week of intersectional action beginning with Brother Outsider, exploring the courage and actions of Bayard Rustin; a Martin Luther King Day Summit for High school/middle school Gay/Straight Alliance members and an Inauguation day Pot Luck. In each case we are bringing prople together to strengthen community, network and plan for our next steps in a scary new world.

We couldn’t do any of what we do without you. Thank you for having our back. Thank you for being who you are in the world. And thank you for helping us do what we do for the kids we all serve.

a recent GSA summit
a recent GSA summit
arecent mentoring activity
arecent mentoring activity

Links:

Oct 11, 2016

You made Queer Academy Possible!

beginning the day with meditation
beginning the day with meditation

Transformational is the definition of Queer Academy.

S* came into Queer Academy that first day, with her head down, hair in her eyes and covering her face and speaking in a nearly inaudible voice.  Six weeks later, she was on stage at “Draguation” singing a Capella.  T* started the program as an angry young lesbian struggling on a daily basis with unsupportive group home staff. He left as a confident young trans man who performed his own spoken word piece to a standing ovation that included some members of that same group home staff.

For some folks, summer days are for lazy afternoons, vacations and taking life a little slower. The summer at True Colors is as busy – or busier – than other times of the year.  Our main event is Queer Academy – a six week intensive summer youth program designed to develop LGBTQ youth personally, professionally and academically.

This year’s theme was “Standing at the Intersections of You and Me.”  Youth explored the elements of their own identity – beginning to see themselves and each other as intersectional beings. Some recognized for the first time the ways in which one element of their identity (queerness) impacted other elements of their identity (race, ethnicity, family structure, etc.)

They explored their identities through experiential activities, research projects, discussions, films and field trips.  They went to Northampton to learn about the ‘queerer’ side of Emily Dickinson at the museum dedicated to her.  The visited the Stonewall Bar and learned about the beginning of the LGBTQ rights movement in a way that was inclusive of transgender youth of color who helped launch the riots.  They spent time at UCONN learning how to use the library and exploring the cultural centers.  

They ‘operationalized’ their thoughts with art, spoken word, research posters and through a “presentation of learning” where they described their experiences and what they learned to people from the community – donors like you, legislators, family members, clinicians, and even group home staff.  

It was transformational. And YOU made it possible. Queer Academy has no direct funding source except people like you who donate $5.00, $50.00, $500.00 and in one case, even $5,000. YOU change lives.  And, we are so grateful.

Queer Academy Logo thanks to Artist Ricky Mestre
Queer Academy Logo thanks to Artist Ricky Mestre
Lunch after the Emily Dickenson House visit
Lunch after the Emily Dickenson House visit
At Stonewall
At Stonewall
Presentation of Learning
Presentation of Learning
Jul 12, 2016

In the aftermath of Orlando

Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter

Our work this quarter was made even more poignant by the recent events in the US – the murder of 49 innocents at Pulse in Orlando; the murder of another two unarmed Black men in Minnesota and Baton Rouge; and the murder of 5 police officers in Dallas. Each of these tragedies directly impacts the LGBTQ youth we serve – especially the LGBTQ Youth of Color.

True Colors’ organizational theme is intersectionality – the recognition that each of us is made up of different identities – race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, class, religion, ability and many more. We believe it a core part of our work to respect, reflect and honor the different lens, privileges and experiences of our board, staff, volunteers and constituents. That means walking the talk and we are working hard to do that. 

  • Last year, our Board of Directors took on anti-racism as a strategic initiative.  Our board and staff have objectives related to personal and systemic biases within our organization, our work as organizers and advocates, and in the society at large.

  • True Colors and our board/staff and volunteers are active participants in the Black Lives Matter movement across Connecticut. In fact, our Executive Director was arrested for civil disobedience at an event last year.

  • True Colors collaborated with the Islamic Community in CT after Orlando to host a rally and a teach-in exploring the ways in which homo/trans phobia and Islamophobia are connected. We are now part of an on-going LGBTQ, Islamic, Christian and Jewish initiative to continue this work.

This theme of intersectionality plays out in all the work your support allows us to do. In the second quarter of the year, in part because of you, we were able to provide:

  • Youth Leadership and Mentoring: In April – June, we hosted 29 social and recreational activities for 212 youth! We also met face-to-face with 9 school Gay/Straight Alliances reaching a total of 280 additional youth. Your donations directly support that work.   Imagine how many kids were impacted because you care.

  • Training for professionals to more effectively meet the needs of the LGBTQ youth and families we serve. In this quarter, we provided 48 trainings to over 1,540 youth serving professionals – CT and nationally. Many of those workshops were offered free or at reduced costs to schools or other non-profit organizations. Imagine how many lives each of those participants go on to touch? Imagine the difference your support continues to make.

Thank you for your support. It truly makes a world of difference.  We know we couldn’t do what we do without YOU! And we are very grateful.

Mentoring Teamwork
Mentoring Teamwork
Walking the Talk
Walking the Talk
A recent mentoring activity
A recent mentoring activity
After Orlando
After Orlando

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $40
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $125
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $375
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,250
    give
  • $2,000
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $125
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $375
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,250
    each month
    give
  • $2,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of True Colors, Inc. Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services of CT

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about True Colors, Inc. Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services of CT on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.