Teen Pride & Pops Ups: Being the Change You Want to See

The Teen Pride Gay-Straight Alliance meeting on February 20 teens discussed the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the unique issues that black LGBT+ people face. Queer prom will be on April 16 at The Oakroom at the Citadel in Benton Harbor, 6-9 PM. The newest addition to the OutCenter Program lineup is the Teen Pride Pop-Up initiative.

As you all know, February is Black History Month and the Teen Executives created a curriculum around notable Black Figures in History and the way the black community has impacted our society. At the Teen Pride Gay-Straight Alliance meeting on February 20 teens discussed the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the unique issues that black LGBT+ people face. As someone noted, “We all left the GSA meeting feeling educated, empowered and appreciated with the mission to make sure that our black brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings are empowered, appreciated and defended.”

In other teen related news, the OutCenter is proud to announce  partnerships with Lake Michigan College and Saint Joseph High School’s Gay Straight Alliances to launch the OutCenter’s 3rd Annual  Queer Prom! The prom will be on April 16 at The Oakroom at the Citadel in Benton Harbor, 6-9 PM. Our friends over at LMC and St. Joe are dedicated to providing a fabulous evening of music, laughter, dancing and more! There will be more updates on the event as the big day approaches, but we’ve attached our save the date announcement for your use and reference.

WE ARE GREATER THAN THE 1

The newest addition to the OutCenter Program lineup is the Teen Pride Pop-Up initiative. The mission is to take Pride Meetings to other cities and towns in Southwest Michigan. Aside from creating additional  safe spaces for teens at local restaurants, cafes, and other sites, we are also bringing with us the feelings of belonging, friendship and safety to teens who may not be able to travel to the OutCenter. The meetings last roughly two hours and we work in partnership with local businesses willing to host the Pop Up and interested in making sure folks know their establishment is a safe, warm and welcoming space. So far, the OutCenter has taken  Teen Pride Pop Up to Union Café in Bridgman, Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for Halloween, Coloma UCC during the Holidays, and the Hawks’ Nest at Lake Michigan College (LMC) on March 3. After a brief introductory meeting where people shared their ages, their names and their pronouns, the teens ate pizza and mingled. Amongst Uno and pool, the teens really opened up and enjoyed the time they could spend with their peers and OutCenter staff and volunteers without worry or fear because of who they are.. The next Teen Pop Up will be at Water Street Glassworks on March 16 from 3:30-5:30.

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On March 26, 2016, The OutCenter will be hosting it's Campus Pride GSA meeting at the Phoenix from 3pm to 5pm. 


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