Often, when surrounded by appreciably younger people, one can feel even older. This was not our experience while in the company of the young people at the Sacramento LGBT Center’s Q-Spot youth group. If anything, we felt younger and more vibrant ourselves.
What a wonderful place for LGBTQ youth to go for support, education, camaraderie, and fun!
Col.Pat and I arrived early to set up for our presentation. The lower level/basement meeting room was alive with 10 or so kids laughing, sharing and enjoying each other’s company.
The group participants range in age from 13 to 23. We had an audience of close to 30 interested people that evening. We shared some highlights of our lives and our 30 years together. Our story includes living under the ban on gays in the military and being invisible as a lesbian couple during Col.Pat’s long military career.
All eyes and ears were focused on us with rapt attention and respect. Thoughtful questions were asked and many thanks given to us for being there.
We asked the group to join us for a picture after our talk. About one third of the kids felt comfortable being photographed. The others may have still been struggling with coming out to family and were not ready to deal with possible negative repercussions. This act of caution opened our eyes to the fact that, even with the great strides made in LGBT rights and education, there is still a huge stigma to being LGBTQ in today’s world.
We look to this generation as the future (and current!) leaders in the continuing campaign for LGBTQ equality. We hope we have given them enough encouragement and a background of history to continue the process.
This experience has infused us with a renewed energy to continue to move equality forward. Thank you Q-Spot for the rejuvenation!