YOUR support makes a world of difference.
Thanks to your generous donation, True Colors plays an important role in the life of LGBTQ youth. Our mentoring program—the only kind in the state of Connecticut—matches LGBTQ youth, almost exclusively those in out-of-home care, with incredible group and one-on-one mentors. Our mentors serve as role models, listeners, transportation, and as a support network to LGBTQ youth who have often experienced trauma, family abandonment, and chaos. True Colors mentoring events (of which there are multiple a month) allow group mentors, one-on-one mentors, and mentees to do something fun together in an affirming space; these events allow our kids to be kids—not just LGBTQ outsiders in out-of-home care (as they are often perceived and treated). With your donation, our youth can go to the waterpark (as well as other fun places like the renaissance fair, theater, trampoline park, camping, and science center), grab dinner or go to an event with their mentor, receive useful and fun holiday presents, and simply enjoy activities that they would often otherwise miss out on.
Furthermore, True Colors builds and sustains relationships with Gay/Straight Alliances and Diversity Clubs in schools all around the state, offers support and educational summits for LGBTQA students, and hosts intergenerational Friday night activities that invite both our mentoring youth and mentors, community youth, and GSA youth into a safe, affirming, and fun space to talk about spirituality, watch films, play games, and work on craft and art projects. We also host Queer Academy, a six-week long summer LGBTQ leadership program that builds/expands leadership skills for youth while interrogating gender, sexual identity, and social justice issues that affect our everyday lives. These activities are offered for free to our youth; your donation allows us to continue this important and essential programming.
Training, advocacy, and consulting are also essential to the mission of True Colors. We complete gender and sexuality competency trainings all around the state of Connecticut multiple times a week with teachers and administrators, community leaders, correctional officers, concerned parents, social workers, and other professionals who care about serving the needs of LGBTQ youth. True Colors is an in-demand organization—oftentimes we are called in to prevent or ease conflict. Your financial assistance allows us to continually develop and host further training opportunities and provide intervention on behalf of LGBTQ youth.
Finally, True Colors hosts the country’s largest LGBTQ youth conference every spring. This event features hundreds of presenters, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of attendees (including youth, biological and foster families, educators, and other clinicians/professionals). The feedback we receive from attendees simply stresses the importance of this conference in everyone’s life:
-“True Colors was the first time that I truly felt I can be me.”
-“I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go to True Colors this year! It was without a doubt the coolest field trip I've ever been on. I loved all the workshops I went to. Some were informative and some were just fun. The best part of all was being with so many other queer people like me, along with all the accepting allies that were there too. I know that me and a lot of other LGBT+ kids often feel alone at school and in their families. But being at true colors it felt so good to be with people just like me.”
-“My favorite part of True Colors was the beginning where people spoke on the stage. It was great to see that even the governor was supportive of True Colors. The best part of all was seeing Jazz Jennings and hearing her speak. I heard about her through the internet and she was always an inspiration to me, but I never thought I would get to see her in real life!!”
"True Colors was more than just an event for me, it was just a reality check. That I needed to stop being so narrow-minded and accept these people who essentially accepted me in their environment with open arms and big smiles."
Registration fees only cover a portion of the costs of the conference and that is yet another reason why our donors matter so much! Your donation and support made it possible for us to offer over $6,000 in scholarships for the event. Each of the youth responses above came from a student who wouldn’t have been able to attend without the support of people like you!
There are few grants or private foundations that fund this kind of necessary and essential work; most of the work is funded by people just like you – individuals who care enough about our kids to turn their dollars into action. You make our work possible and we are forever grateful!