At RYSE, LGBTQ young people’s interests, priorities, and needs are embedded into RYSE’s programmatic work, where we have not only explicitly worked to increase LGBTQ youth’s presence in the community, but also ensure they are reflected in programs.
● AWARENESS-RAISING and ADVOCACY
● LEADERSHIP/PEER SUPPORT
● DIRECT SUPPORTS
The Alphabet Group is RYSE's LGBTQ support group. The group is focused on creating a safe space where young people who identify as LGBTQ can dialogue about their stories/experiences, explore their identity, attain new knowledge/skills, engage in political advocacy, inform allies about issues, and receive academic/career assistance.
RYSE Alphabet Group Web Series
An exciting new project the Alphabet Group at RYSE is focusing on this year is a web series called Alphabet Soup. The purpose of the web series is to explore different issues around gender justice, sexuality, identity, and advocacy. View episodes in the links below:
Trailer 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG0TsBno0GE
Episode 1 Being Yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C08VLNyTF2E&t=58s
Trailer 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVJNOifwk3k
Episode 2 Battling Gender Norms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmqgzbOct4U&t=2s
Supporting LGBTQ Youth Leaders and Researchers
RYSE supported a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project with the LGBTQ youth of the Alphabet Group at Richmond High School. They identified that there was an issues around bullying targeted at LGBTQ students. Their purpose was to understand the experiences of LGBTQ youth and the general perception of LGBTQ issues at Richmond High in order to create a safer and more inclusive environment. About 600 surveys (42% of the school population) were collected. Key findings include: Out of the 600 respondents, 17% identified as LGBTQ, 85% knew at least one LGBTQ individual, and that anti-LGBTQ language exists at Richmond High. Action Plan/Recommendations include: Strenghtening a lunchtime LGBTQ group, educating students and staff around LGBTQ issues, school staff getting trained on Gender Justice. A major highlight invovled the principal scheduling a gender justice training for staff before the school year starts.
What our youth members are say:
-21% of members identify as LGBTQQ
-83% of members report RYSE has helped them learn more about LGBTQQ identity and issues
-Almost 50% have attended a program or activity focused on LGBTQQ awareness and advocacy
"The alphabet group changed my life"
"RYSE provides one on one support for certain things like LGBT issues"
"It's more than RYSE, it's a family"