Sultana Khan (center) poses with youth at Rainbow Ball Weekend in May 2022. Photo courtesy of Steven Scoville.
Thanks to generous gifts from The Rocking Moon Foundation and Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation, OUT Maine spearheads a year-long “action research project” led by BIPOC LGBTQ+ youth living in Maine.
BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, People of Color. LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning. Sometimes the terms “LGBTQ+” and “queer” are used interchangeably.
The BIPOC LGBTQ+ youth leaders represent a wide age range of teens through young adults (14 to 25 years old). The group is facilitated by Sultana Khan, a BIPOC youth development specialist with ties to the LGBTQ+ community and a background in curriculum development, social movements, and youth activism.
The project is helping the youth develop skills by engaging them in collaborative learning, research, and data analysis. At the end of the project, the young leaders will create a set of recommendations on how to improve programming and spaces for BIPOC LGBTQ+ youth in Maine. The youth will meet in facilitated weekend retreats and monthly virtual meetings where the participants can collaborate.
“OUT Maine’s strategic plan has a strong commitment to enhancing its programs for transgender and BIPOC youth,” shared Susan Campbell, Executive Director. “We are very excited that this youth expertise will help us make our programming more inclusive and welcoming, as well as provide guidance for all programs seeking to work with BIPOC youth across Maine and beyond.”
OUT Maine is a non-profit that serves LGBTQ+ youth in Maine. Its headquarters is in Rockland, Maine and the organization serves the entire state through virtual and in-person programs for youth, their families, and adults who work with youth. OUT Maine’s work gives everyone a role in building resilience and life skills to help queer youth thrive.
OUT Maine has an ambitious goal: to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. For more information, visit www.outmaine.org
The Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation was created to help fund organizations that advance the interests and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community, with particular emphasis on the following focus areas: Health & Wellness; Crisis Intervention; Racial Justice; Advocacy & Community; and Social Assistance & Programming.