The Comprehensive Sexuality Education Conference Awards Committee recently awarded OUT Maine its Community Pillar Award.
The Community Pillar Award recognizes a community organization that has shown outstanding support for comprehensive, inclusive sexual health education through partnering with Maine Family Planning and are champions of inclusive sexuality education within their own organization.
“This is our first year in recognizing amazing educators and a community partner,” says Vicki Preston, committee member and Prevention Coordinator at Maine Family Planning, “We can’t imagine a more deserving organization to receive the first award.”
During the ceremony, Preston quoted a nominator: “OUT Maine services are lifesaving. They don’t give out Band-Aids, they arm their participants with information that will change and potentially save a life. They connect them to resources that will illuminate the way to a brighter future. They provide hope. OUT Maine is a pillar of support for LBGTQ+ youth in Maine.”
OUT Maine serves LGBTQ+ youth in Maine through youth and family programming as well as education for adults who work with youth. Last fall, Maine Family Planning and OUT Maine co-facilitated a free webinar to help educators and public health staff promote and defend comprehensive sex education with an LGBTQ+ lens.
OUT Maine’s Program Director, Katie Lutts, and Youth Engagement Coordinator, Maggie Hirshland, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Katie Lutts was a health educator prior to working at OUT Maine.
OUT Maine has an ambitious goal: to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. For more information, please visit www.outmaine.org.
Maine’s Comprehensive Sexuality Education Conference was first convened in 2006 to provide space for learning and connection for educators working in the area of sexual and reproductive health. Hosted by Maine Family Planning, the Conference is the collective work of an annual Conference Committee. The members of the 2023 Conference Committee are: Dr. Sandra Caron, University of Maine; Kimberly Gosselin, Maine CDC; Jennifer McCann, Disability Rights Maine; Lisa Rävar, Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Jessa Wyman, New Beginnings; Karen Wyman, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence; Jean Zimmerman; Katie Lutts, OUT Maine; Dan Kipp, SafeBAE; Danny Mejia, Boys to Men; and Colleen Walker, Rape Response Services. For more information about the Conference please email firstname.lastname@example.org
*LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning.