While many strides have been made in civil rights and societal acceptance for LGBTQ people, it only takes a closer look at LGBTQ youth to see that this population has not necessarily benefitted from mainstream political victories and is still incredibly vulnerable. 

A lot of young LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness have similar needs, but LGBTQ youth are not a monolithic population. Within the acronym, the needs of youth can differ significantly depending on their identities.

Not all homeless youth sleep on the streets or go to shelters. Sometimes, being homeless looks a little different, and it’s harder to see.

 

In accordance with our mission of using our collective strength to benefit the world in a meaningful way, The Women’s Strength Coalition’s June 2018 Pull for Pride Fundraiser will benefit select organizations that provide direct support to LGBTQ youth struggling with homelessness.

 

Learn more about our beneficiary organizations below:

 



Women's Strength Coalition is moved and honored to feature on the blog the words and images of Pull for Pride athletes from around the country.

These participants are trans, queer, and dedicated ally-collaborators committed to uplifting LGBTQI+ youth by fundraising and strengthening their communities and themselves.


 

"I identify as a trans woman. I’m a big woman who wants to show what trans women can accomplish when they put their dreams above others’ perceptions of them."

"I can truly say that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the aid and support of Queer Youth programs. Pull for Pride for me is an opportunity to say and show my profound thanks.”

When I was younger, I was able to benefit from a D.C based LGBT center, so I'm happy to be able to give back and hopefully help provide services for others. It was a great resource for me as a teenager to know that there was a safe place for me to go and meet other gay youth.

"Shut down transphobic, queerphobic, etc, conversations amongst friends and family so they know you won’t stand for that type of  talk around you, or anyone else."

"My goal in doing this meet is to bring about more awareness of different types of modern families, and to show the world there is greater happiness in being authentic."

"Being an ally isn’t just pulling for pride or wearing rainbow once a year, it is how you show up every day in every place."

 

 

If your gym is all cis men, ask yourself why that is. It is likely that the same things keeping cis women out are keeping the queer and trans folks out as well.

Training up until now has been a purely personal pursuit. It feels amazing to be able to train and have it make a positive impact on others.

Not everyone feels comfortable going to a gym, a place that some people find vulnerable already. While some gyms are welcoming, sometimes it's patrons of the gyms that make the space unwelcoming.

Creating a space that is about community, more then about individual PRs, is key. Support your peers in their journey and make your gym a place where people want to be because of the support system.

Even in those movements when we feel unwelcome and unworthy of taking up space, it's important to remember we aren’t alone. Showing up, being visible in those heteronormative and hyper-masculine spaces is an act of resistance in itself.
Speak up if you hear someone saying or doing anything homophobic or transphobic, both in and out of the gym. We all make mistakes and we can all learn together.
People of all identities deserve the right to feel safe and comfortable with who they are in the training room! 
Youth who have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence are more likely to end up on the streets. Not having a safe place to stay puts one at risk for even more violence. It’s a cycle. And we can help end that cycle.
"...but also, just leaving people be is frequently the most supportive thing you can do."
"Whether you identify as cisgender, trans, and/or queer, I think we should all challenge ourselves to to talk about topics in the gym that focus on strength versus the appearance of our bodies."