There is good news to share -- LGBTQ youth are courageously coming out across rural Maine, thanks to your support and OUT Maine’s work. Yet, as the numbers of LGBTQ youth facing discrimination and denigration grow, the work of OUT Maine is even more critical to improve outcomes and change lives. You make that change possible.
Despite national and state efforts to undercut LGBT rights and increased bullying and harassment in our rural schools and communities, OUT Maine is replacing stigma with knowledge and defeating isolation with belonging. We seek to change the narrative of LGBTQ youth in crisis to youth who are proud and resilient, by offering safe spaces where they belong and where they can develop leadership skills and self-confidence they need to succeed.
With your support so far, we have already:
- Trained 3500+ educators, doctors, nurses, mental health providers, clergy, crisis and youth service workers to provide safe space for LGBTQ rural youth.
- Created safety and community for hundreds of LGBTQ youth through overnight programs, weekly drop-in centers and our weekend retreats.
- Made even more schools safe for LGBTQ youth by building and providing ongoing support to dozens of Gay Straight Trans Alliances, including those in middle and even elementary schools.
- Strengthened support for parents and families to reduce youth homelessness through monthly parent support and information nights.
But we all know there is more work to do. Since going statewide, we have reached into more than half of Maine’s counties. By the end of 2018, we will have reached almost 90% of the state’s counties, including the most rural.
OUT Maine is ready. Your continued generosity this year will help us reach more youth, families and care providers in more rural communities around the state, building a web of safety that reaches far and wide. We will:
- Broaden and deepen our provider safety net with trainings, consultation and support.
- Expand our community-based safe space options through additional retreats and overnights in collaboration with organizations like Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Camp Kieve-Wavus.
- Strengthen our rural safe schools network through regional school trainings and GSTA work to reduce bullying and harassment for ALL students.
You make the work of OUT Maine possible. Please continue to stand with us by making a tax-deductible donation —or become a monthly sustaining donor—using the enclosed card or online at outmaine.org.
For the youth we serve, everything is on the line. You allow us to reach them. Thank you so much for supporting this work.
Lucie Bauer, Board President Jeanne Dooley, MSW, Executive Director