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Identity Youth Summit Celebrates Love and Connects Queer Teens

Annual retreat goes virtual this year to inform, inspire and empower LGBTQ+ youth in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Identity, Inc. celebrates queer and questioning youth in Alaska with a virtual LGBTQ+ Youth Summit, Oct. 5-11, 2020. This online gathering is a safe place for youth to explore their identities and themselves. They can ask questions, learn and make connections.

“This is a week of community building focused on empowering and amplifying LGBTQ+ youth voices,” says Identity youth program manager Justin Zagorski. 

Why this program matters:

  • 48% of LGBTQ+ youth reported engaging in self-harm in the past twelve months, including over 60% of transgender and nonbinary youth

  • 29% of LGBTQ+ youth have experienced homelessness, been kicked out, or run away

  • 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ+ identity

  • 86% of LGBTQ+ youth said that recent politics have negatively impacted their well-being

  • Transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all or most people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected

        (Statistics from Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey)

“The youth of our community are strong, resilient, and beautiful,” says Identity Executive Director Laura Carpenter. “We support who they are and honor their journeys. I ask LGBTQ+ people and our allies to join us and the Queen’s Guard in creating a rainbow of positivity for our youth.”

Topics at the youth summit include the transgender umbrella, confronting racism, sexual health and body positivity, and being LGBTQ+ and belonging. The summit concludes with an open mic on National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11.

Due to the coronavirus, Identity’s popular summer retreat has transformed to an online forum, which creates an opportunity to invite people from around Alaska without travel expenses and open some sessions to family members. 

Some sessions welcome all ages. Some sessions have an age suggestion of 13-18. Identity recommends that ages 12 and younger attend with a caring adult. A family brunch (bring your own pancakes) offers a time to connect with other families and answer questions on how to support the LGBTQ+ people in our lives.

Partner organizations and co-facilitators include Full Spectrum Health, YWCA Alaska, Native Movement, and Story Works Alaska. This program is supported by a grant from the Municipality of Anchorage.

October also is LGBTQ+ History Month.

Registration for Identity’s Youth Summit is free and required to attend events. Register at identityinc.org.

 

#SupportQYouthAK

 

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IDENTITY, INC.

Identity is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to advance Alaska’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through advocacy, education and connectivity. Identity envisions a world where all people are free to express and be proud of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Learn more at identityinc.org.

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