Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) is a coalition of LGBTQQ and allied youth young leaders working to create safer, supportive and intersectional* spaces to engage in advocacy and social justice. Every year, this youth group organizes and leads Orange County’s only LGBTQQ youth conference, the OC LGBTQQ Youth Convening. Community events include but are not limited to: speaking at school board meetings, presenting at local youth conferences, hosting a leadership summer program, drag show fundraiser, and attend the national Creating Change Conference. This is a free group with no membership fees.
The goals of this group are: to create a safe, comfortable place to express feelings, exploration of self through group process and reflection, enhancing sense of self through awareness and acceptance, and to support and be supported. Ages 18 and over.
Cisn't is a closed social space for transgender, intersex, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and questioning youth 13-18. The purpose of this group is to create a supportive and inclusive environment in which one’s gender may be freely expressed and respected. Given that the majority of transgender students feel unsafe in school, it is important to provide a safe and welcoming environment that caters to the direct needs of transgender youth. Two adult group facilitators offer discussion topics relating to the transgender community while leaving space for youth to connect with peers and participate in engaging activities and community events, such as Transgender Day of Visibility, OC Trans Pride, and Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Rainbow Group is a social drop-in group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied youth ages 13-18. Three adult mentors facilitate group activities and discussions to provide a safe and supportive environment, where youth can make lifelong connections with their peers and develop a positive sense of identity. On a monthly basis, we invite guest speakers from different community organizations to speak in order to increase the educational component of our program. Youth are able to learn about different topics, such as STI and HIV prevention, relationships and setting boundaries, consent, dating, sexual self-care, gender identity, coming out, advocacy, empowerment, student rights, bullying and harassment, drugs and alcohol, mental health and suicide prevention.
This group is intended to create a safe space for youth to talk about mental health issues, create healthy relationships with others, and learn tools to understand, manage, and decrease symptoms of mental health. This group will teach youth how to build insight into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and learn how to communicate their needs and wants in a healthy assertive manner. Lastly, with an emphasis on maladaptive coping skills including self-medicating with substances, isolating, or engaging in risky behaviors, youth will learn to develop coping skills needed to manage symptoms on a long-term basis.
The Elevate Program creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to increase their advocacy and leadership skills. Through a trauma-informed, health-centered and asset-based approach, youth leaders will work to effect transformative and peer-led policy, systems and environmental change in Orange County. Youth leaders work to identify healthy alternatives to suspension/expulsion related to substance use. Ultimately, LGBTQ Center OC is committed to ending the school-to-prison pipeline and transforming the pipeline to restorative justice, healing and rehabilitation through their Elevate Program. Elevate Program Goals: Reframe substance abuse as a public health issue Combat the detrimental impacts from the War on Drugs on BIPOC/LGBTQ communities Provide trauma-informed counseling and process groups at no cost Raise awareness through social media campaigns, activities, and events
InBeTweeners provides a safe and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied youth (or “tweens”) ages 10-13. It offers a social space for middle school youth who are exploring their identity and provides an inclusive environment for them to meet other peers and engage in fun activities and discussions suitable for their age group. Activities include arts and crafts, creative writing, discussions, movie nights, and group-building activities.
In collaboration with Shanti Orange County, we offer a social-drop in group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning and allied youth ages 13-18. South County Rainbow Group provides social, interactive, and educational group activities and events in South County and the greater Orange County area. Youth are able to connect with their peers in a safe and supportive environment facilitated by LGBTQ Center OC staff and adult mentor facilitators.
This group will provide a safe space for adult women-identified members to share, gain confidence, and feel supported.