A message from YPI’s Executive Director:

Like many of you, I woke up to the news of yet another devastating act of violence perpetrated against our community in Colorado Springs Saturday night. I was feeding my newborn as I was trying to process yet another tragedy, and at the same time draft words of encouragement to our community. I am tired, tired that the messages of support to our community feel worn out from all the injustices and atrocities our LGBTQ+ siblings and their families have been forced to endure or witness. It’s rational to feel helpless right now as these events are brought to us immediately, the impact felt hard but we are too far away to provide direct aid.

Simply existing as a queer and/or trans person translates for too many dangerous people as an invitation to violence. It’s infuriating and I cannot stop thinking about the youth watching this tragedy unfold and seeing this as more proof that to live and love in the open, to honor our very being is grounds for fatal repudiation. 

These are the times that I do my best to lean into the rage I am feeling and use that energy to breathe into the vision we are creating locally for LGBTQ+ youth and our larger community. In continuing this work with, and reground in our purpose, we rebuff the bigots that want us to remain quiet in shadows. We show LGBTQ+ youth that we are not only fighting for their future, we vehemently refuse to accept the normalization of trans- and homophobia and the rampant disinformation spread that contributed to Saturday’s events in our community today. 

Supporting Youth Pride Inc. and other local non-profit organizations that are doing this work every day is more important than ever. Day in and day out, we are spending our time and heart space fighting against white supremacy and supporting LGBTQ+ youth through direct support, mental health services, resource provision, and welcoming our precious young people into our safe, affirming space.

We operate in the spirit of the queer and trans leaders before us, both holding the line our elders created and further removing institutional discrimination and societal prejudices for LGBTQ+ youth. It’s important work and we can’t do that without you. It’s your basic needs pantry drives that stock bags of groceries, toiletries, and school supplies getting our youth through the week. It’s your gorgeous contributions to the clothes closet that help our youth walk with their heads held high. It is your volunteer time that makes our events every bit as robust as our youth deserve, and ultimately it’s your monetary contributions that keep this organization limber enough to meet any unexpected challenges and meet needs in the moment. 

Thank you for providing us the materials to continue to build on our progress every year. It’s your dedication and involvement that remind our youth that when the outlook seems bleak that community has their back.   

One Sunday morning I’d like to wake up with my family and not be afraid to check the news from Saturday night, not wondering whether I’ll need to message friends on social media to make sure they made it to see the sunrise, and not need to plan out these letters. Your continued support in our work will bring this Sunday morning around for all of us.

In love and solidarity,

Rush Frazier

Executive Director

Youth Pride Inc.