Youth

SAY! Stonewall Alliance Youth

The Stonewall Alliance Youth Program began in 1994 as an effort to provide LGBT*QI+ youth (14-23) with a safe space to meet other youth like themselves with the intent to self-identify according to their own feelings. In 2006, the program became SAY! Stonewall Young Adults for young men and women 18 to 29 years of age, and in 2007 SAY! Teens began to provide services to youth under the age of 20.

Through weekly discussions, dances, and other recreational activities, the program has helped many LGBT*QI+ youth break the feeling of social isolation almost all LGBT*QI+ youth experience. Weekly sessions are non-clinical and are discussion-oriented. They provide a vehicle for discussing issues such as "coming out," "accepting oneself," "safe sex" and HIV/STD transmission. The groups allow young men and women to talk amongst themselves about everyday issues in an atmosphere in which they are free to be themselves. Other activities emerge from the expressed needs of the youth themselves. All activities are carried out with the needs of participating youth in mind.

Youth are encouraged to take a leading role in making activities happen. Leadership and responsibility are essential to making young people feel confident about their abilities and value to their community. Studies show that the efforts LGBT*QI+ youth make in "passing as straight" detract from the normal processes of development faced by all youth. The result is often expressed in low self-esteem and a crisis over one’s sexual identity. Young people often turn to high-risk sexual activity, substance abuse and suicide as a means of dealing with these conflicts. A 1989 report on gay and lesbian youth suicide (published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services) found that LGBT*QI+ youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people, and that these individuals may comprise up to 30 percent of completed youth suicides annually. Also, LGBT*QI+ youth have a higher risk of running away. The fear of rejection on the basis of their sexuality has lead many youth to seek acceptance elsewhere. They often turn to narcotics and prostitution to survive. The life faced by a youth living on the street includes a heightened risk of HIV infection, substance abuse, physical violence and suicide.

Stonewall Alliance Youth has created social discussion groups for Butte County and the surrounding area. Our groups have weekly discussions, participate in community events and activities, and are always looking for new people to join our groups. We are inclusive to all youth.

SAY! Teens

We are a non-threatening, non-discriminatory, and safe outlet for teens aged 14-17 to talk about issues surrounding sexuality. We are inclusive to all youth and meet every Thursday from 3:30-5:00PM at Stonewall Alliance Center. Contact The Center for more information.

SAY! Youth Adults

We are an open group of young adults (ages 18-35) who meet on a weekly basis to be social, talk about LGBT*QI+ life in Chico, and plan events around town. We meet every Wednesday from 6:00-7:30PM at Stonewall Alliance Center. Contact The Center for more information.

Both SAY groups offer activities, excursions, and education. These include workshops and seminars conducted by local counselors and educators. Information and referral is available to youth, parents, and family.

Trans* Teens Group

A group for Trans* Identified Youth (ages 14-18) open and welcoming to anyone within the Trans* spectrum, no matter where people are at within their transition process, or if they chose to transition. A place to hang out, get to know other teens in the community, get support, share experiences, and be involved. Youth help decide and choose the events and activities that will be offered through the group at 6:30pm, on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.

Parents of Trans* Youth Group

This is a supporting group of the Trans Teen Group, it meets at the Stonewall Chico Counselling Office during the times of the Trans Teen Group, 6:45pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Designed to coincide with the Teen Group, though parental figures of all Trans* people are welcome. Email cedarroseselenite@gamil.com for more information.

Free To Be Me Youth Group

African American Family & Cultural Center Presents the FTBM group. This group aims to provide a safer space while being able to empower, support, encourage, and educate youth & young adults specifically as it relates to self and gender identity. This group meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6:00-7:00pm at 3300 Spencer Ave, Oroville, CA. Ages 12-17. For more information call Cissy Smith at 530-532-1205

You Can Help Prevent Teen and Youth Suicide

Warning Signs

These warning signs should be taken seriously. 75 percent of people who completed suicide communicated some warning of their intentions, If someone you know is depressed or exhibiting any of the warning signs, it is okay to ask if they are considering suicide. Here are some things to look for:

  • A tendency toward isolation and social withdrawal
  • Substance abuse
  • Expression of negative attitudes toward self
  • Expression of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Loss of interest in usually activities
  • Giving away valued possessions
  • Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. "It won't matter soon anyway")
  • Having a plan for suicide and the means to carry it out
  • Family history of suicide
  • Expressing suicidal feelings (i.e. "I want to kill myself," or "I wish my life were over")
  • Signs of depression (i.e. loss of pleasure in activities, sad mood, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, feelings of hopelessness and expressing guilt)

How You Can Help

Listen. Suicidal people frequently feel as though no one understands them, that they are not taken seriously, and that no one listens to them.

Accept the person's feelings as they are. Do not try to cheer the person up my making positive, unrealistic statements. Do not joke about the situation.

Do not be afraid to talk about suicide directly. You will not be putting ideas into the person's head. It may in fact, be dangerous to avoid asking a person directly if she is feeling suicidal.

Ask them if they have developed a plan for suicide. The presence of a well-developed plan indicates intent that is more serious.

Remove anything dangerous from the person's home that might be used in a suicide attempt (i.e., gun, knife, razor blades, sleeping pills).

Tell a trusted adult. Do not keep it a secret. If someone you know is considering suicide, an adult is the best person to handle the situation and offer that person help. Make no deals to keep secret what a suicidal person has told you.

Express your concern for the person and your hope that the person will not choose suicide but instead will stick it out a little longer.

Remind the person that depressed feelings do change over time.

Point out that when death is chosen, it is final; it cannot be changed.

Develop a plan for help with the person. If you cannot develop a plan and a suicide attempt is imminent, seek outside emergency help from a hospital, mental health clinic or call "911".