The LGBTQ youth program in Denton met for the first time on Friday, Oct. 21 at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The Rev. Pamela Wat reported a good turnout of teens, young adults and adult volunteers.
Beginning Nov. 4, the church will be open every Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for OUTreach Denton. All LGBTQ youth and allies are welcome. Once that meeting becomes established, a Wednesday night gathering once a month may be added.
Wat said that they went through a list of activities that Youth First Texas has done successfully.
“The thing they wanted to do is hear adult coming out stories,” she said.
“For some, that night was the first time they had met an out LGBT person.”
Before the meeting, Wat was worried that the youth who attended would be afraid to talk.
“But they were open, sharing, talking,” she said. “They let their guard down and the healing started immediately.”
The initial group included mostly teens ages 14 through 17. Older students in Denton have GLAD, the college group at University of North Texas.
Wat said she thought most of the teens that attended came from safe environments. She said that some drove themselves, but most were dropped off by parents.
“We need to do more outreach to spread the word without spreading where we might get negative attention,” she said. “We haven’t broken into the school system yet.”
At its first regular meeting, the group will work on fliers and a website.
“At some point, we expect to affiliate with Youth First Texas,” Wat said, “but at this point we’re continuing under the name OUTreach Denton but following the same policies and procedures that YFT sets out.”
Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1111 Cordell St., Denton. Fridays at 7 p.m.
— David Taffet
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 4, 2011.
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