Our mission is to build the leadership and agency of queer youth by sustaining a space where we can explore and express the totality of our identities through activism, wellness, education and the arts.
We envision a world where queer is an identity, not a barrier.
Through our projects and campaigns, QYS creates all-ages queer spaces in Seattle that are organic, dynamic, inclusive, diverse, and safe.
We seek to address the following two needs, identified at a forum led and organized by queer youth in February 2010:
(1) community organizing that is youth-positive and youth-led, and
(2) a cultural gathering space created by – and for – queer youth.
Central to our work is the idea that young people can be the primary actors in our own personal empowerment and community growth. Beyond space, we seek to change how adult and youth communities interact – building bridges of inclusion and collaboration in organic and fresh ways.
As we plan and find our space, we have continued to serve our mission by
- Hiring and training young queers as community educators
- Operating pilot projects and creating temporary spaces
- Building a network of local organizations
- Developing a sustainable, effective youth-led organizational model
Note: QYS embraces an expansive definition of queer to engage young people across identities, including those who may be marginalized or alienated within the LGBT community. For more information, please visit our Glossary of Terms.