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LGBTQ+ Cen­ter Programming

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.

Com­mu­ni­ty Nights

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Pictured: Young Adult Community Night group outing to Fringe Festival in Elgin.

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

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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. 

Q Clos­et

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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

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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 8474965939 or email us at: lgbtqcenter@​kennethyoung.​org.

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