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Monday, July 30, 2012

The Queer Youth (Finally) Have a Space

Posted by on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

The activist group Queer Youth Space has finally found a space. After a multi-year campaign of plastering Capitol Hill with pink leaflets declaring that "We need Queer Youth Space" and hitting up every funder they could, the group posted a banner on its Facebook page declaring "the search is over."

Kyle Rapiñan, one of the group's directors, says they've signed a lease in June for a second-story suite at 911 East Pike, just off of Broadway. The rental is intended as a youth-run community center for LGBT folks under 21.

Before the doors officially open, Rapiñan says, the group must raise money to build a gender-neutral bathroom, counseling room, and performance space for artists. Rapiñan said he's not sure when the space will open for good. That said, there's an open-house preview planned for this Friday. Another complication: From the outside, it seems that one needs to be buzzed in or let in at the door by a tenant (Rapiñan didn't have details on how access would work).

The Seattle City Council awarded the group a $100,000 grant in June 2010. But many spaces hadn't worked out. "We looked at and negotiated with managers of 10 or 11 spaces," said Rapiñan, "and each had a different reason as to why it wouldn't work." First, the group had to find a space within their budget; the city and the Queer Youth Space board required the space be wheelchair accessible; and several of their partners dropped out.

Rapiñan had also said the space couldn't be near a bar, which supposedly make the surrounding area unsafe and unhealthy. When I talked to him today about the newly leased location, he said the distance from bars "is not a concern" in the new space.

As it happens, the new space will be across the street from a bar, kitty corner from a nightclub packed with bars, and in a neighborhood stuffed with bars on every block.

Now that the lease is signed, the group has received the $100,000 Department of Neighborhoods matching grant to pay the lease, and Rapiñan said the city had been "very accommodating" throughout the process.

 

Comments (27) RSS

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1
do hetero youth have a space where (only) they can hang out?
Posted by you are so full of shit on July 30, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Pick1 2
@1 uh, yes.

It's called the boy scouts
Posted by Pick1 on July 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
3
@1: Straight kids aren't banned from it.
Posted by ffffffffffffffffffffffffsheah. on July 30, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
Dougsf 4
Awesome location. Good for them and I wish'em luck.
Posted by Dougsf on July 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
5
It's been so long, are they still actually youth?
Posted by pox on July 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 6
100K won't remodel the toilet?
Posted by Max Solomon on July 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
7
@5, they are now the Queer Youthful.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
8
As a person who works with youth, and who has worked with many youth centers around the country, I do not understand this at all. If this was such a priority why did they waste 2 years trying to find a spot away from bars, then cave on that idea and now delay opening to build a performance space? I love that there is an LGBTQ space for youth, but I think priorities have been askew for as long as this has been an idea. Oh, and rather than build a gender neutral bathroom, how about you just make the existing one(s) unisex for the time being? You know, rather than delay opening? That mindset has cost the LGBTQ youth of the Seattle area 2 years without a space....Hope it was worth it.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on July 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
9
I always imagined a queer youth space would be somewhere old queers offer in exchange for a blowjob from a confused Iowa farm boy they met at cal Anderson at 2am.
Posted by Aka their taints on July 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM · Report this
10
Or three bathrooms, men's, women's and others?
Posted by Do my balls make me look butch? on July 30, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
YakHerder 11
well done QYS! Now the real work begins!
Posted by YakHerder on July 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Banna 12
@8:
" I do not understand this at all. If this was such a priority why did they waste 2 years trying to find a spot away from bars, then cave on that idea and now delay opening to build a performance space?"


Drama.
Posted by Banna http://www.ucp.org on July 30, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
13
" Now the real work begins!"

ie. get more gub'ment money for all those underprivileged' homo-shek-shal designers?

Or do u mean blowjobs for old queers in Cal Anderson at 2am?
Posted by Do my balls make me look butch? on July 30, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
14
Ya I was all for this when I first moved to the city now I'm 21 and can go the bars like everybody else. Way to take forever activist douchebags. Thanks for getting this started AFTER I TURN 21. stupid fags
Posted by Jon21 on July 30, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
15
Performance space?

Show tunes!
Posted by Judy G. on July 30, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
16
So being basically is handy spot for drunk middle aged queers hunting for a young, confused bucks fresh in from Kansas City; this new space is what, a training ground? Teach the kids how to put on rubbers after free basing meth with well off interior designers on the prowl?

Or will they teach them the joys of gay marriage, monogamy, settling down, joining the PTA and bitching about your property taxes like the rest of us?
Posted by Do my testicles make me look butch? on July 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 17
Honest question: what is a gender neutral bathroom? No unrinal?

As for the delay, it's the Seattle Process, gone gay. I hope there is some sort of adult supervision of the city funds involved.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on July 31, 2012 at 7:19 AM · Report this
18
First and foremost I'm not here to represent QYS in anyway, but from my experience organizing with them I've learned they're all hard-working, queer identified youth and/or allies. If anyone who is making negative comments actually became invested in their campaign, you'd know this. As for all the smack talking:

pox - youth is a fluid term. Turning 18 or 21 doesn't magically change everything for everyone. Additionally, age and the legal restrictions attracted to it vary not only from country to country, but can also change from state to state. The only reason we assign the term "adult" to those over 18 or 21 are because they come with additional legal privileges.

Max - A bathroom and a gender neutral bathroom are two different things. Gender neutral bathrooms are comfortable spaces for everyone to use regardless of whether someone identifies as male, female, both, or neither. Have you ever looked at how specific government grant funding is? The funding can only be used for the specific tasks it lists as approved. If QYS COULD use the funding to build a gender neutral bathroom, then they WOULD.

Chris - That sounds like a great conversation to have with an actual QYS Rep. Why not trying sending them and email to ask them some of those questions? I'm sure they'll have some really great answers to those questions. Criticism without further investigation does nothing to improve circumstances. Since you seem like you care so much, perhaps you could be an ally to the cause.

10 - I'm sure you would love it if bathrooms were designated with identities you don't claim and then a third said "Other". I'm sure it would feel really great if you had to go in the door that said "Other" all the time. Having a gender neutral bathroom makes the space inclusive to all queer youth and their allies, regardless of their gender identity.

YakHerder - the "real work" started in 2010. Just because the physical space is opening NOW does not discount the work that these youth have been doing for the past couple years. Grant applications, community events, educational workshops, etc. are not a piece of cake to organize. Give credit where credit is due!

Jon21 - There is a lot of work that goes into creating a space, especially one that is as inclusive as the youth center will be. Your frustration just proves that the space is still necessary.

Fantastic Job QYS, you're all a bunch of awesome queers! Much love for all that you do!
More...
Posted by Quit being so rude on July 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
19
I AM ENTITLED TO HAVE YOUR PROJECT READY AND ON TIME AT MY DEMAND DAMMIT! I AM THE STATE!
Posted by Name Your Here on July 31, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
20
If y'all want honest and factual reporting about QYS, check out this article.
http://washingtonbus.org/blog/queer-yout…
Posted by TheStrangerisatabloid on July 31, 2012 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Etherite 21
I'm really confused as to why they just can't go to Lambert House. Isn't that still a thing?
Posted by Etherite on July 31, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
22
"s. Gender neutral bathrooms are comfortable spaces for everyone to use regardless of whether someone identifies as male, female, both, or neither."

Neither? What, like my dog after we cut his balls off?

Gender neutral toilet? Is that what a bidet is used for?

" Having a gender neutral bathroom makes the space inclusive to all queer youth and their allies, regardless of their gender identity."

What if I identify as a cat, do I get a litter box or will I be oppressed and made to use a squat toilet?
Posted by Do my balls make me look butch? on July 31, 2012 at 7:41 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 23
"A bathroom and a gender neutral bathroom are two different things. Gender neutral bathrooms are comfortable spaces for everyone to use regardless of whether someone identifies as male, female, both, or neither."

You still haven't answered my question, dear - and please remember that I am not the enemy. Just a curious old queen: What, specifically, from a code/plumbing/aesthetic standpoint is a "gender neutral bathroom"?

Everyone uses the toilet. Everyone (hopefully) washes their hands. So I'm thinking that a two-seater (both with stall walls and at least one ADA compliant) and two sinks (at least one ADA compliant) would suffice. Is there a need for two gender neutral bathrooms, to meet the building code or something?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on July 31, 2012 at 7:55 PM · Report this
24
@23 I think they're talking about a litter box.
Posted by Or will that offend those who identify as dogs? on July 31, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
25
@ 21 Because the Lambert House mainly provides emergency services instead of prevention/education programming
Posted by radqueer on August 1, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 26
And no one else provides prevention/education programming?

Oh whatever: fundraisers have to eat too, after all - But still, will someone please tell me what exactly a "gender neutral" bathroom is?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on August 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
27
I'm proud to live in a city with youth-led organizing. Seattle Young Peoples Project has been pulling strong for a long time and NOW there is Queer Youth Space!!
This is the kind of change I hope for in the world and it's happening here right now. Organizing by the constituents for the constituents.
Thanks QYS organizers! Power to the positive!
Posted by burlap on August 3, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this

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