by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Queer Youth Space (QYS) Three Wings - a youth-led nonprofit organization that creates and centralizes the space, tools, and resources Queer young people need to be effective leaders, organizers, and advocates - has announced its Board of Directors.
QYS officials - who say they are working against ageism in the Queer community and oppression within the community at large - wrote in a press release, 'We envision a culture that prioritizes youth voices in all organizations that focus on youth.'
The organizers believe that young people are key actors in 'challenging systemic violence and creating a dynamic Queer culture.'
'Thanks to generous individual and foundational support, we are moving forward with Queer Youth Space in opening Wing 1, a cultural arts center on Capitol Hill,' announced officials February 14.
The cultural arts center QYS envisions is a 'comfortable place for Queer youth that is open to all people and works to undo ageism, economic violence, racism, heteronormativity, and intersecting oppressions.'
'Our other two components are Wing 2, the wellness collaborative, a partnership with local organizations to provide critical education and mental health services to address queer youth disparities; and Wing 3, the community-based research and education wing, a think tank that builds youth leadership and creates policy and community change through research, education, and advocacy,' said officials.
'Together,' they continued, 'we work toward the cultural and societal empowerment of Queer identities. We hope that you will join us in transforming our collective vision into a reality.'
QYS has yet to release the location of the planned physical space. However, on February 14, the youth-led organization did introduce the community to its Board of Directors.
The board members are Andrew Nelson, Shireen Nori, Kyle Rapinan, Thomas Nguyen, Logan Thompson, Genna Watson, Emma Petersky, Sam Bottman, Sammy Grow, Timothy R. Gaynor, and Brady Friedrich.
'QYS is distinct in recognizing young people as the leaders of this movement and empowering them to effect change,' said board member Nelson.
Nori agreed, saying, 'QYS is a strong and positive force with a simple message: take action and create change.'
'I began working towards empowering Queer youth, like myself, in the small Utah city where I grew up,' said Logan Thompson, a QYS board member.
After he moved to Seattle, Thompson said, QYS 'stood out to me as a fantastic organization with its centered approach on young people.'
'As a youth-led group that was highly aware of its actions they also took a universal approach to work toward ending all oppression,' he said.
Thompson admitted that 'by living in Seattle' he though he 'would automatically be immersed in the Queer community.'
'I was shocked to find that I had no medium for meeting the Queer community. Not allowed in bars or priced out of functions, there were little to no options,' he recalls. 'It was a lonely time. Only when I began working with this non-profit, was I really able to socialize with my peers, and it was fantastic!'
'I showed up at a random meeting and I was welcomed in with open arms,' he says. 'QYS truly creates space wherever we go.'
Emma Petersky, another board member, said, 'I believe QYS will offer a unique cultural arts center that will have positive reverberations for youth throughout Seattle.'
'I live on the Eastside and I am here to represent the blossoming Queer youth perspective from our side of the pond,' she continued. 'After all the teen centers close, we have nowhere to go besides parking lots or 7-11. QYS will be a destination for young people from all over the Puget Sound region!'
QYS and Three Wings are funded by the community. If you would like your donation to be tax-deductible under federal law, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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