Out+About: Youth Pride reaches out to younger community

Nathan Manna

Worcester Youth Pride is a subcommittee of Worcester Pride, founded with the intent of hosting events for the queer youth of Worcester. The committee was established five years ago, and I have led the group for a year and a half. Some of the events we have hosted in the past include a party the night of Worcester Pride in September and a prom.

We host these events with the goal of creating a safe space for the youth, so that they can fully express themselves. On average, our events draw in about 110-120 youth, though we’re hoping to double our numbers this year. Creating spaces for our youth is essential, as they are our future. This was echoed by Pride President Peter Bacchiocchi, when he said, “As our community grows and evolves, it is critical to involve youth, as they represent the future of the LGBTQ+ community but may also be some of our more marginalized members. We embrace the energy and change our youth bring to the community and embrace a future under their leadership.”

The current committee leadership is the youngest it has ever been, and this only reflects it’s status and role as a beacon for the youth of our community. Our elections, held early in January, re-elected me (Nathan Manna) as the chairman, Win Ye as the vice chairman, Brian Grenier as the secretary and treasurer and Jose Medina as our communications officer. We as the Officer Team want to create Worcester Youth Pride as a hub for the queer youth of Worcester and really serve our community through events, activism, mentoring and, above all, serving the youth that are so often marginalized.

Going forward, we hope to diversify how we serve our community, queer youth, through a variety of different ways. Some ideas mentioned at committee meetings include creating an LGBTQ+ consortium for the Worcester colleges, compiling a master of list of the organizations that serve queer youth in the Worcester area, talking with and training middle and high school gay-straight alliance advisors and so much more! This can only happen with your support, though.

As a committee, we meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the YWCA, 1 Salem Square, Worcester. All meetings are open to the public, and we encourage new faces whenever possible. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram at @worcesteryouthpride. If you would like more information, you can email us at worcesteryouthpride@gmail.com. Finally, as an organization that hosts many events throughout the year, we welcome any donations you would like to send.

This guest column is by Nathan Manna, the chairman for Worcester Youth Pride and a first-year student at the College of the Holy Cross, where he is pursuing a theatre and gender, sexuality and women’s studies double major. Find him on Instagram@nathandmanna. If you have column ideas, want to write a guest column or just want to ask a question, email john@johnart.com.

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