GALA youth, a program of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas (GALA NTX) and OUTreach Denton of Denton County have combined efforts to reach a greater population of volunteers needed to train and participate in Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning (LGBTQ) and ally youth support groups.
The shared training marks the beginning for future collaborations and initiatives.
“We are working together to ensure that LGBTQ and ally youth across the Collin County and Denton County corridor have access to resources and support,” said Rev. Pamela Wat, minister of Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the congregation that houses OUTreach Denton.
“Middle and high school youth are often unable to travel to Dallas where resources are concentrated,” added Bob Shimmin, President of GALA NTX, “and they are often the population that needs us the most.”
Once they complete their training and meet qualifications, volunteers can participate in LGBTQA youth support groups, offered through GALA youth and OUTreach Denton. Adult volunteers provide mentorship, programming, social opportunities and a listening ear as youth participants navigate the joys and challenges of their teen years. More than heterosexual and gender-conforming teens, LGBTQ youth are at an increased risk for being bullied, attempting/ completing suicide and entering into homelessness. Services provided by GALA youth and OUTreach Denton create a welcoming, supportive environment where such risks can be lowered.
The training will take place on Saturday, August 24 from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1111 Cordell St, Denton. Volunteers are subject to criminal and background checks.