Mission: The mission of Outright Vermont is to build safe, healthy, and supportive environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth, ages 13-22. Outright''s goal is to make Vermont the safest, most supportive, and most empowering state for queer youth in the United States.
Programs: Our youth center is based in Burlington and is open five days a week from 10:00am - 6:00pm. It includes a drop in space with a wireless internet lab with computers, lending library, and safer sex supplies. The youth center is also home to weekly Friday Night support groups. Outright also provides the SASS Academy, our HIV prevention and sexual health workshop geared specifically towards queer youth. Outright offers Orasure and Oraquick HIV testing, counseling, and referral services anonymously and at no cost. Outright also offers Gendertopia, a gender-based after school program. Gender and Java, a workshop about gender and gender expression, is offered at our Burlington space and has traveled all over Vermont. In addition, Outright provides substance-free monthly social and support groups in Burlington and Rutland and provides quarterly events in Brattleboro.
I joined the board a few years ago, not because Outright was desperate for help, but because I wanted to be a part of a successful organization that was doing outstanding work in our community. Through their work in schools, Outright is educating the next generation of Vermonters on how to be compassionate citizens and not tolerate bullying in their schools and communities. The staff at Outright is 100% committed to the cause of ending homophobia and I know that when I volunteer my time and financial support, these resources are wisely used, sorely needed and always welcome. I encourage anyone to give of themselves — no matter how small the commitment — to this indispensable organization.
I have been a member of the Board of Directors for several years now, and am very proud of the work that Outright Vermont does all around the state. Not only do our LGBTQ youth find a place that is safe, nurturing and respectful, but all students who are in our schools recieve the powerful messages about bullying and acceptance. I know if I had and organization like this when I was a youth coming out my life would have been much happier. I have heard more than one youth describe an experience with Outright as "the best day/event of my life"... it does not get much more powerful than that!