March 16, 2016 Staff Report
A Queens youth summit designed to support the borough’s young LGBTQ people in health, job readiness and more is scheduled for this weekend in Jackson Heights.
The youth summit – presented by the Hetrick-Martin Institute in partnership with City Council members and the Council’s LGBT Caucus – is scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Renaissance Charter School, 35-59 81st St.
Saturday’s event will be HMI’s third in a series of borough-specific, youth-targeted summits designed to increase LGBTQ youth’s access to community services and reduce the marginalization and isolation that many may experience.
Workshops led by several community-based organizations will cover a range of topics, including mental health, job readiness and LGBTQ-friendly colleges, healthy adolescent relationships, sexual rights and sexual heath, self-defense and self-esteem.
Participating Queens groups will include Queens Community House-Generation Q, the Queens Justice Center, AIDS Center Queens and Sheltering Arms Safe Space.
Two out gay Council members representing western Queens are supporting the youth summit.
“All LGBTQ youth should have access to quality mental health and support services in a safe and inclusive environment,” Council Member Daniel Dromm said in a statement. “As a long-time gay activist and founder of Queens’ first LGBTQ social service organizations, this has long been a top priority for me. I am proud to join Speaker Mark-Viverito, my fellow LGBT Caucus members and the Hetrick-Martin Institute in breaking down the barriers these young people face and connecting them with competent care.”
“Growing up gay in Queens, I often felt alone and ashamed. I wish that something like the Hetrick-Martin Youth Summit had existed for me then, which is why I’m proud to have helped secure funding for this event in my home borough this year,” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said. “Congratulations to the Hetrick-Martin Institute and its partner organizations for creating this safe, empowering space for LGBTQ young people in Queens.”