The OUT Maine team is very grateful for a generous grant of $11,000 from United Midcoast Charities. This funding supports programs that provide connection, support and adult mentors for LGBTQ+ youth. Programming includes weekly virtual programs, regional overnights in Knox and Waldo, and the next Rainbow Ball weekend scheduled for April 2022.
The funding also supports collaborations with a variety of regional youth program providers, both to connect LGBTQ+ youth with OUT Maine programs and ensure that local programs are culturally competent. Collaborations include Trekkers, Hurricane Island, Tanglewood, The Landing Place, the RSU 13 After-School Alliance, PenBay YMCA and Camp Kieve-Wavus. OUT Maine also is with the Department of Education, Maine Health, Maine Family Planning and the Centers for Disease Control to support LGBTQ+ youth and build cultural competency.
“This last year has been extremely difficult for many, but particularly LGBTQ+ youth, who were locked down in too often unsupportive homes,” says Jeanne Dooley, Executive Director of OUT Maine, “Our virtual programs literally saved lives. Recovery from the pandemic will take a while, and we know that our combination of both in-person and virtual programs scheduled for this year will be essential to help rebuild LGBTQ+ youth resiliency.”
OUT Maine has an ambitious goal: to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. For more information, visit www.outmaine.org
Photo: OUT Maine teens at a Pride month event. Photo by Lin Gould.