I'm telling you, if an organization like Supporting Our Youth (SOY) existed when I was 15, I would have exploded with happiness. I was a baby-dyke-in-progress with nobody to talk to about what I was going through. The 60s sexual revolution was really a game played out in a patriarchal boys club – don't be fooled by all that long hair – and it was fiercely heterosexual.
SOY gives support to queer youth via groups (for queers of colour, writers and those piritually inclined, to give just a few examples, counselling, drop-ins and a mentoring program (conflict alert – my partner runs it) and has been wildly successful, tapping into the GLBT community in amazing ways.
SOY celebrated its 10th anniversary at a rockin' party at Circa last night (Thursday), complete with cool entertainment and fine food that got scarfed back by a diverse crowd.
Ryan G. Hinds was dazzling as the host for the evening's festivities, flashing hot sequins and a festive headdress. Hinds got his start at an early version of SOY's annual artist showcase Fruit Loopz and he's now a fully mature talent. He introduced speakers and performers who celebrated 10 years of dynamic work in the queer community and a 10-minute video about SOY directed by Sarah Sharkey Pearce.
Hot performers included Evalyn Parry, whose persona as an Always sanitary napkin singing about the pleasures of getting insides women's pant sis a riot and Mata Dance, a troupe of Latin women dancers who revved up the audience with some hot lesbo-style moves.
Proof of SOY's impact – Circa was rammed with all kinds of young queers by the time the DJs started spinning.
Send me comments if you've ever experienced the benefits of SOY programs.