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News / 2018 / March / Youth Spotlight
March 6, 2018
Youth Spotlight

Andy, 20, she/her/hers or any pronouns with respect

Q: What was happening in your life when you started coming to IYG: were you doing okay at school? How were things at home?

A: I started coming to IYG partially because I had friends who were already attending but also because my sister had just come out as trans. Personally I felt school was going fine and I was finding myself in that. Home was a little tense because having two kids come out at once was a lot for my parents.

Q: How did you hear about IYG?

A: Through all my queer friends at school.

Q: What went through your mind when you first heard about IYG?

A: I already knew about my sister, she just hadn't come out yet but I was more just excited to hang out with my friends and bring my sister to a place where she could find community. 

Q: Was it hard to come to IYG the first time? Did you come with friends or by yourself?

A: I wouldn't say it was hard, maybe a little nerve-wracking. I wasn't sure if any of my friends would be here that night. The first time I went by myself, and the second time I brought my sister. I wanted to check out the place to make sure she would feel welcome. 

Q: How long have you been coming to IYG? Why do you keep coming?

A: I've been coming to IYG for almost 3 years now. I keep coming not only because the staff are amazing but the friends I've found are irreplaceable.

Q: What types of IYG activities do you participate in? Why do you like participating in them?

A: At IYG, I participate in Queer in the Mirror, Open Mic Night, and ArtReach. I really just enjoy them because they allow me to express myself. Queer in the Mirror has really helped me with my self-esteem issues and because of that it helps me express myself in other groups.

Q:What has been your greatest challenge since coming to IYG (either at IYG or school or home or ???)

A: I think my biggest challenge within IYG was definitely learning more about myself, how I associate with my gender and sexuality. It took me awhile to find the right words to describe where I stand. And I had a lot of people unintentionally question me during that process which made me feel insecure. But those were different times.

Q: In general, what has IYG done for you or why is IYG important to you?

A: IYG gave me a sense of self. There was a point in time when I was questioning my leadership abilities. I was questioning my ability to help many of those around me, my friends. But at IYG I ended up being dubbed the nickname, "Mom." among my IYG friends. That really helped impact decisions in my life. It's a place that I know that if I need to be somewhere just for me I can be.