The OUT Maine team is very grateful for a generous grant of $11,000 from United Midcoast Charities. This funding supports programs that provide connection, support and adult mentors for LGBTQ+ youth. Programming includes weekly virtual programs, regional overnights in Knox and Waldo, and the next Rainbow Ball weekend scheduled for April 2022.
The funding also supports collaborations with a variety of regional youth program providers, both to connect LGBTQ+ youth with OUT Maine programs and ensure that local programs are culturally competent. Collaborations include Trekkers, Hurricane Island, Tanglewood, The Landing Place, the RSU 13 After-School Alliance, PenBay YMCA and Camp Kieve-Wavus. OUT Maine also is also with the Department of Education, Maine Health, Maine Family Planning, and the Centers for Disease Control to support LGBTQ+ youth and build cultural competency.
“This last year has been extremely difficult for many, but particularly LGBTQ+ youth, who were locked down in too often unsupportive homes,” says Jeanne Dooley, executive director of OUT Maine, “Our virtual programs literally saved lives. Recovery from the pandemic will take a while, and we know that our combination of both in-person and virtual programs scheduled for this year will be essential to help rebuild LGBTQ+ youth resiliency.”
OUT Maine has an ambitious goal: to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. For more information, visit www.outmaine.org.