Our LGBTQ+ Center provides visitors – both allies and queer folks alike – insight, education, and compassion which opens the doors to conversations that lead to positive development for youth and young adults across the northwest suburbs. Learn more about some of the programs that are offered at our Schaumburg location at 650 East Algonquin Road, Suite 104, Schaumburg, IL 60173.
The LGBTQ+ Center is home to a wealth of youth and young adult programming dedicated to supporting the needs and interests of young people. One such program, Community Night, focuses on interests shared by LGBTQ+-identified teens ages 13 – 17. This group is a space for skill building, community building, and general mentorship. Activities and topics at Community Night can range from inclusive queer sex and relationship education to skills nights like sewing, cooking, and baking classes. New topics are selected by attendees every few weeks, ensuring that topics are refreshed and personalized to the group. Group participants enjoy a brave space led by trusted adults, building friendships, and learning valuable skills to set their futures up for success. Youth Community Night happens every other Thursday from 5 – 7PM.
Similarly, the LGBTQ+ Center also holds a Young Adult Community Night for LGBTQ+-identifying guests ages 18 – 24 every other Friday from 6 – 8PM. Community building is a primary focus of this group as young people in a similar stage of life connect with one another. Young Adult Night also explores skill-building topics like cooking and baking, financial health, and includes occasional community-exploring trips to local Festivals or destinations. Trips and discussion topics provide a gateway for young LGBTQ+ adults to have experiences in the community, even when personal transportation may be challenging, and to engage in discussions that have long-lasting and meaningful impact on them.
Rainbow Room Youth Advisory Council
The Rainbow Room Youth Advisory Council (RR YAC) is a year-round organizing space for LGBTQ+-identified teens and allied high school students. RR YAC members are dedicated to LGBTQ+ advocacy, leadership, and community organizing to help build stronger, more inclusive communities. RR YAC students design and lead impact-focused projects that support local LGBTQ+ people. From discussing lived experience to policy in schools, the RR YAC tackles a multitude of issues teens face today in collaboration with trusted adults.
An exciting new initiative that was rolled out in July 2023 at our LGBTQ+ Center is the new Q Closet. The Q Closet was created in recognition of the gap in accessing gender-affirming clothing for many LGBTQ+ youth. The Q Closet is a completely free resource that has a variety of clothing items in a range of sizes including extended sizing, in addition to menstrual products, binders, shoes, jewelry, and more. In the first two and a half months since the Q Closet’s opening in July, the Closet had 107 transactions with the shoppers ranging in age from 9 – 47 years old. Our Q Closet upholds these principles:
- The Q Closet aims to provide a shopping experience that is accessible, affirming, and accommodating for all LGBTQ+ people.
- All items in the Q Closet are free of charge.
- The closet is organized by queer folks and allies with queer folks in mind.
- The Q Closet shopping experience is limited to two visitors at a time to accommodate space and privacy needs.
- Staff will rearrange the shopping experience for any visitor who requires accessibility accommodations.
- A private space to change/try on clothing will always be available.
This space was created so that community members could be supported and affirmed in their gender expression year-round in seasonally supportive clothing. The Q Closet and staff can also provide visitors with informational cards to help them stay safe while using gender-affirming garments like binders.
Connecting with Kenneth Young Center’s LGBTQ+ Center Programming
The LGBTQ+ Center’s programming has a direct and positive impact on community members, queer and allies alike. This space provides the chance for connection, education, insight, and support. For those in suburban Cook County, Kenneth Young Center provides free bus transportation to the LGBTQ+ Center. KYC also hosts many queer-inclusive, informational events on topics like sex education, legal name change process, networking, career supports, and much more!
Our LGBTQ+ Center is led by caring individuals who support LGBTQ+ youth. Read more about one of our LGBTQ+ Center team members and what drives them to create brave spaces for youth here.
To learn more about LGBTQ+ Center at Kenneth Young Center programming and events, please call 847−496−5939 or email us at: email@example.com.
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