By Bobby Beverly
On Tuesday, 4/23, the Tempe group marked 6 months since Mickale Burns and Bobby Beverly began coordinating programming. It was a night of retrospection as the youth got to have their say regarding what has worked well and not-so-well over the past 6 months. Even more importantly, though, it was an opportunity for the youth to generate ideas over what themes and activities they would love to see in the future. To do this, the youth were split into 6 groups with each receiving a piece of a puzzle. On one side of the puzzle piece the groups recorded the ideas for programming they want to see and on the other they wrote all they things they do not want to see. Then, each group presented their ideas and had a discussion about programming in general. The goal for the evening, as it has been all along, was to impress upon the youth that this is their group and that ultimately their input is what shapes programming and charts the course for the upcoming nights.
Looking back at the last several weeks, Tempeone•n•ten has been the place for dynamic, engaging, and enjoyable programming for the fabulous LGBTQ and Ally youth. We were joined by author Pam Anders who shared stories of her journey, and life as a transgender women and parent. We had a night dedicated to positivity, where the youth wore heart-shaped signs on their backs and took turns writing on them the things they admired about each other; thus providing the youth with a visual reminder of how amazing and appreciated they are. The Arizona State University Sun Devil Spirit Squad also joined us for a night as we discussed teamwork and had team-building activities. We have also had holiday parties, established a pen pal relationship with a group in Ireland, and even had a night for the youth to learn basic self-defense.
As we look back at what we have accomplished, we are re-energized and re-motivated to provide great programming and, more importantly, a safe space for LGBTQ and Ally youth. See you Tuesdays in Tempe!