Seattle’s LGBTQ+ Center (Gay City) promotes protective factors that support the development and self-determination of LGBTQ youth.
From the launch of Queercore in 1996 to our multiple youth groups today, Gay City has worked with LGBTQ youth to decrease the risk factors that contribute to LGBTQ youth health disparities. The intent is to help dismantle inequitable systems and practices, especially those that disproportionately impact LGBTQ Black and Indigenous youth communities.
About the Center
The Youth Drop-In Center is a a space designed by youth, for youth. It’s a place where you’re allowed to exist as your full self, without needing a purchase, a closet, or an explanation. Come hang out with other LGBTQ+ young people and play games, watch movies, create art, and just be you! The Drop-In Center officially opened on July 13, 2022.
You can find the drop-in center inside Seattle’s LGBTQ+ Center at 400 E. Pine St. #100, Seattle, WA 98122. Pop in, say hello, and ask the person at the front desk where the youth space is 🙂
As of September 3, 2023, here are the hours for the youth space. Subscribe for updates!
The drop-in center will be closed September 29. Closing at 2pm on October 28, 2023.
Stop by Sometime
Our Discord Server is a virtual community space for youth ages 12-24 across Washington State! It’s a great way to meet other queer youth, play games, hear about programs and opportunities, or just hang out.
Pen Pal Program
About the Pen Pal Program
This program seeks to connect queer and trans young people ages 12-24 across the state of Washington. We are working with schools and community organizations so that we can protect everyone’s privacy, meaning that if you would like to participate but don’t want to send and receive letters from home, we can connect you with someone at your school or a local organization to send and receive letters for you. This is a great opportunity to make friends across the state and learn about people in different communities!
What is a Pen Pal?
A pen pal is somebody that you regularly exchange letters with. Letters are typically handwritten and sent through the mail.
How to Apply
Fill out the interest survey and we’ll match you with another participant, based on your responses!
Peer Mentorship Program
Applications for the 2023 Summer Mentorship Program are open! If interested, please apply here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with final applications due no later than May 25 for Mentors and June 14 for Mentees. If our program fills up we may close the application early.
About the Program
The Seattle’s LGBTQ+ Center Summer Mentorship Program is for young people ages 14-24 in Washington State. This program will primarily be remote with optional opportunities for in-person events in Seattle.
This peer-mentor program was created to address oppressions that target youth who identify as people of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Racism, ageism, classisim, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression put QTBIPOC youth at greater risk of harmful substance use, homelessness, suicide, and other negative health outcomes. These forms of oppression also make it harder for QTBIPOC youth to find safe role models who understand and identify with their experiences.
Seattle’s LGBTQ+ Center seeks to change that by connecting QTBIPOC youth with peer mentors to add to the safety net of people they can rely on to affirm their identities, give advice, and guide them through challenges they may be facing as a result of intersecting oppressions. Mentors will be assigned to 3 mentees in Washington State and will meet with them in-person or virtually once a week for at least one hour.
As adultism negates the value of youth labor and often coerces youth into working for free, we are dedicated to funding all members of the program, both mentors and mentees. Providing stipends for the youth not only acknowledges the amount of labor and effort that they are contributing, it is another way to extend our value for them, since without the youth this program would not be possible.
Mentors will receive $1200 total for serving 3 mentees ($400 per mentee).
Mentees will receive a $400 stipend.
We can also support with tech needs! Let us know what you need in order to fully participate in the program and we can supply you with a tablet and internet stipend.
Tentative program dates (exact dates and times may change):
- July 6th 3pm-6pm – Mentors only – orientation (in-person recommended with virtual option)
- July 7th 3pm-6pm – Mentors only – training (in-person recommended with virtual option)
- July 12th 3pm-6pm – Mentors only – training (in-person recommended with virtual option)
- July 13th 3pm-6pm – Mentors only – training (in-person recommended with virtual option)
- July 14th 3pm-6pm – Mentees only – orientation (in-person recommended with virtual option)
- July 19th 3pm-6pm – Everyone – mentor and mentee 1st get to know you mixer (in-person group and separate virtual group)
- July 20th 3pm-6pm – Everyone – mentor and mentee 2nd get to know you mixer (in-person group and separate virtual group)
- July 28th – Mentors and Mentees will receive pairings by email.
- July 31st – Mentors and Mentees begin 1:1s (schedule amongst yourselves)
- August 5th 4pm-12pm – Drop-in center event (optional)
- August 9th 3pm-5pm- Mentors only – check in (virtual)
- August 10th 3pm-5pm- Mentees only – check in (virtual)
- August 12th 12pm-4pm – Beach day at Pritchard Beach (optional)
- August 25th 12-4pm – Drop-in center (optional)
- September 9th 12-4pm – Everyone – movement workshop and Mural project (in person only)
- September 20th 3pm-5pm- Mentors only – check in (virtual)
- September 21th 3pm-5pm- Mentees only – check in (virtual)
- October 7th 12p-4pm – Everyone -drop-in center event (optional)
- October 26th 3pm-5pm- Final check in with Mentors (virtual)
- October 28th 2pm-4pm- Everyone – Celebration of Completion of the program! (in-person recommended with virtual option)
Youth Advisory Council
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of LGBTQ BIPOC youth that live throughout Washington State. In collaboration with Gay City staff, they support the design and evaluation of effective youth advocacy that promotes self-determination, liberation, and joy.
Youth Advocacy Media (YAM)
A group of LGBTQ youth (ages 12-20) from across Washington State that raise awareness about LGBTQ+ wellness concerns by promoting affirming prevention messages through various media channels. They create content to connect youth to supportive communities, affirming resources, and tools to help teens self advocate. Check out the YAM Instagram – @YAMWashington
Artwork by Anne
By centering the direct needs of LGBTQ youth, the needs of the community can be met. Gay City offers a multitude of youth advocacy and support trainings to create more equitable systems.
Gay City offers technical assistance to
organizations that are interested in providing equitable and sustainable youth advocacy and service provisions, such as developing organization-wide information systems to building the motivational interviewing skills of your staff. Learn more and submit a request for technical assistance here.