September is here with another school year which means that Outloud is back up to twice a month!
This Outloud was started by the Juniors with their one year anniversary party. Judy brought in some cupcakes to celebrate and they played a mean game of spoons. For those who don’t know, spoons is an aggressive card game where you have to grab a spoon and not be the last one or you’re out. Natalie made sure these kids kept to a dull roar but we could hear them in the other room as our discussion started. The Juniors always get pizza before the teens so we can keep some small semblance of order.
The teens group started out with a bunch of familiar faces and a few new ones. Our check in brought up some questions about the new school year and the anxiety that many were feeling. A lot of kids were having struggles and worrying about what other students thought of them. So many of our youth spend a great deal of time in their own heads creating worst case situations that may never happen. The truly ugly part is that LGBTQ people are still the most bullied portion of society because bullies find them easy targets. I was so glad to hear that some actually had great experiences in school, most of that was thanks to the GSA/QSA (Gay Straight Alliance/Queer Straight Alliance) that had been setup in years prior. Listening to these awesome kids talk, all they really want is what everyone wants, to fit in.
We tried to make sure everyone had a chance to talk about what was going on at their school and in their life. Discussion got pretty heavy and so we ended with a game called Over the Mountain. Its kind of an odd person out game where the person in the middle asks a question and if it applies you have to move chairs. Everyone loved it. Even if they chose not to play they still had a good laugh.
Our tech guy, Guy showed us a few of the awesome updates that he has been making to the website, social media, email, and everything else. The highlight was the new logo that went over very well. Now that Outloud has merged the different parts into one, we can grow into more space, more projects, and more advocacy that is so needed. I am very proud of our team, all our kids, and all the support we have received. This year is going to huge growth for The Outloud Foundation.