WAYOUT BAY AREA
ABOUT wayOUT BAY AREA
As San Francisco is synonymous with the gay liberation movement, so too is the Bay Area with the history of wayOUT. The story goes that when the founding members of wayOUT first met with the executive director of our first Grant Recipient (Magic City Acceptance Center), the group fantasized about what would be possible if they raised $20,000. Six months later, the chapter raised over $100,000 which was more than double the annual operating budget of the center. The magic created that night has continued to spread to ten organizations sponsored by four cities with the original Bay Area chapter leading the charge.
Today, the Bay Area has pioneered new events and projects supporting LGBTQ+ youth such as a Pride brunch and a gorgeous coloring book in response to Covid-19. In total, the funds raised by the Bay Area account for nearly 50% of wayOUT's total grants.
wayOUT is incredibly grateful for the support of the Bay Area and looks forward to the future. Join us for our next Gayla this fall — details coming soon!
THANK YOU TO OUR 2020 GAYLA PERFORMERS
All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.
— Harvey Milk
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wayOUT leadership award
wayOUT Bay Area is proud to announce Julie Wilensky as the first ever recipient of the wayOUT Bay Area Leadership Award. Click on the to the left to learn more about Julie's incredible contributions and submit your nominee for this year's recipient below!
EQUITY & INCLUSION
WAYOUT BAY AREA X COASTAL BEND PRIDE CENTER
wayOUT Bay Area has selected Coastal Bend Pride Center in Corpus Christi, TX as their 2021 Grant Recipient.
The Coastal Bend Pride Center provides the resources, tools, staff, and physical space to empower its members to achieve health and wellness goals, connect with one another and the broader community, advocate for justice against discrimination and inequality, and promote opportunity in a safe and empowering setting. The Coastal Bend Pride Center recognizes intersectional components of identity and supports social justice efforts for all.
The Coastal Bend Pride Center is an LGBTQIA+ Community Center for all 12 counties of the Coastal Bend. It is the first and only one of its kind south of San Antonio, will foster LGBT community growth and will strengthen community bonds.
The Center will provide a welcoming space where people can connect with one another, advocate for themselves and for broader social justice, and utilize community resources.
PREVIOUS GRANT RECIPIENTS
wayOUT Bay Area selected one•n•ten in Phoenix, AZ as its 2020 Grant Recipient. one•n•ten is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 14 to 24. one•n•ten creates a safe space, mentally and physically, for youth of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. They also offer resources to promote healthy choices and living.
In 2019, wayOUT Bay Area raised $128,000 for Zebra Coalition in Orlando, Florida. In addition to supporting addition youth, Zebra Coalition was able to use the wayOUT grant to hire their first ever development manager who is now responsible for raising an additional $82,000 to expand Zebra Coalition's lifesaving services.
2018 marked the Bay Area's sophomore year as a wayOUT chapter. Partnering with Time Out Youth in Charloette, NC, wayOUT raised over $100,000 to empower LGBTQ+ youth. Time Out Youth Center offers support, advocacy, and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 11-20.
At the first ever wayOUT Gayla, we raised $127,000 for Magic City Acceptance Center in Birmingham, AL. The grant allowed for a three year contract for a full-time case manager expanding services for over 584 new LGBTQ+ youth. We remain incredibly proud of and connected to MCAC and the impact they have had on their community.
OUR 2019 GAYLA
MEET OUR CHAPTER
I joined wayOUT because I wanted to help. This amazing and welcoming community of people has shown me what a positive difference a few people can have on the lives of LGBTQ youth.
My coming out journey taught me that trying to fit into someone else’s mold would never allow me to appreciate who I am. Everyone's coming out story is unique, and I know not everyone has the support of a safe environment they need. I joined wayOut to honor and create space for each person’s story; yours, mine, and those yet to come.
Growing up gay with a trans* sister and Vietnamese-immigrant parents in underserved communities was… not as bad as one might think—especially in hindsight. The transformation towards love and hope I experienced in myself, my family, and my communities gave all the rejection and bullying a higher meaning. We are stronger for it. I strive to share and multiply these gifts of love and hope through the wayOUT LGBTQ Foundation.
When I came out as queer and non-binary in my twenties, I found so much joy and liberation in being able to define myself and my identity on my own terms. I want more for LGBTQ youth than feeling safe enough to be themselves; I want them to feel the freedom and possibility of being who they truly are. I joined wayOUT in hopes of further building towards a beautiful queer future for the next generation.
When I was coming of age, I was so confused about being pansexual… I didn't even know it was an option or what it meant. LGBT youth have a lot they need to figure out for themselves and I am inspired by those who are helping them through the journey. I joined wayOUT because I want to have a tiny impact on a few lives, helping these kids get the love & support they need to just figure it out.
Coming out, I was scared for what my identity meant throughout the course of my life, but I was privileged to have a strong, unwavering support system. That's why joining wayOUT has been so important to me - the power of support is valuable and can't be taken for granted. If I can be a small part of helping queer youth across the country feel worthy and cared for, then that can make all the difference.