OUT Maine is a recipient of John T. Gorman Foundation support for its work with LGBTQ+ youth throughout the pandemic. OUT Maine received $25,000 to help support queer youth, providing connection and support to counter rising mental health challenges.
According to the Gorman foundation, the funding came in response to rising concerns about the well-being of young adults, who are suffering from the mental health effects of the prolonged pandemic as they are disconnected from school and other social supports.
Thanks to this support, OUT Maine is expanding its Trans Youth Support Group and can continue its three weekly youth programs for LGBTQ+ and allied youth ages 9 to 12, 13 to 17, and 16 to 22 through the coming months. The Trans Youth Support Group, which began in January, saw such a strong response that a wait list was formed, according to OUT, in a news release. Prior to adding the new virtual support group, OUT Maine was already seeing 40+ youth in its virtual programs each week. Thanks to the Gorman Foundation’s funding, no one has to wait to receive the support they are seeking.
“The pandemic is a significant driving force behind increased online youth group attendance, as LGBTQ+ youth seek community and social connections they lost when in-person gatherings were restricted or cancelled,” said OUT. “This grant funding couldn’t come at a better time as OUT Maine works to provide more opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth to connect and receive support.”
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