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Queer Youth Initiative

QYOU PALM CARD (Instagram Post)

The Queer Youth (QYou) Initiative at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland is a safe and affirming place for LGBTQ+ youth ages 11-20. At QYou, we work to collaborate and provide youth with a network of support and opportunities to express themselves, make new friends, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Youth Resarch For Social Change | Call For Youth Researchers

The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland will be launching a new, paid program for youth participants called Youth Research for Social Change. If you are interested in this program, please fill out this Call for Youth Researchers

Youth Research for Social Change is a two-year long program for high-school aged youth in Cleveland, which will be housed at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. In this program, youth will work with staff from the LGBT Community Center and professors from Cleveland State University to design their own research projects, conduct research, and use that research to promote positive social change for LGBTQ+ youth in Cleveland and beyond.

All youth who participate need to fit the following criteria:
  1.  Be in grades 9 - 12
  2. Live in the Cleveland area, with plans to stay local from Oct. 2022 - Feb. 2024
  3. Be passionate about issues impacting LGBTQ+ communities, especially youth

Through this program, youth will learn important research skills (which support college-readiness and translate to a variety of professional environments), will earn $100 per month ($1,600 total), and will make change in their communities.

Youth who are interested in this program should complete the following interest form by October 21, 2022. We will continue reviewing submissions on a rolling basis, but priority will be given to youth who submit their responses to this form by October 21, 2022.  

To learn more, you can also check out the attached flyers and following documents:

If you have questions about Youth Research for Social Change, please feel free to email me directly or to email our team at [email protected].  


QYou Drop-IN: Youth ages 11 to 20 are invited to socialize in our Living Room, a safe space where they can receive positive identity affirmation and engage in peer-to-peer empowerment. A daily check-in discussion is held alongside a meal or snack. Ample unstructured-time is offered so youth can socialize with each other through arts & crafts, games, and guided activities. Accessing important resources, making friends, and promoting community involvement are cornerstones of the program.

QYou Drop-IN is also available virtually from 4:30pm to 5pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

You are welcome to join us for Drop-IN programming at any time before or after completing the registration form. You do not have to wait for a coordinator's approval. We look forward to meeing you!


QYou Lorain County: A youth-focused program of The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and is designed to support Lorain county based organizations who serve LGBTQ+ youth. We offer support through providing general consultative services, assisting with program facilitation plans, and enabling connections with the Center and community partners for special programming. Click here to learn more! 

#PowerUpPowerOut is a 13-week series of leadership modules designed to educate youth on how to become better advocates for the LGBTQ+ community (as well as other marginalized populations) within their schools and communities. The program is open to diverse youth aged 14 to 19.

Registration is ongoing. Join at anytime. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

QYou Ambassadors: Youth who have completed the #PowerUpPowerOut series become eligible to be QYou Ambassadors. The QYou Ambassadors program is an opportunity to create social, cultural, and policy change for the LGBT+ community through direct volunteership with the Center’s work.

QGen is an intergenerational arts & culture program between QYou and Rainbow Pioneers (a Center program for LGBTQ+ elders aged 50+). The group meets routinely for a variety of exciting media based events! Recently we have conducted sessions on notable LGBT+ music, and queer representation in film.


QZine: Providing a platform for LGBT+ youth to creatively express themselves is the goal of our community run publication, QZine. Young artists are invited to submit their writings, drawings, photographs, and other endeavors to our quarterly zine. More information about the QZine launch will be available soon.

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TransYou: In partnership with Colors+ Youth Center, TransYou is a for trans/gender divers/gender expansive youth. This casual community discussion group is for youth ages 11-20 with a main focus on providing a safe space for affirmative friendships and supportive community to grow.

The group meets every Tuesday from 4PM to 5PM. To register for this virtual group email [email protected]



Carmen Recchia

QYou Program Coordinator
[email protected]
(216) 202-7385

Christian Contessa

QYou Coordinator
[email protected]
(216) 750-4831

Madeline Swanbeck

Program Associate
[email protected]
(216) 273-6752



6705 Detroit Ave.

Cleveland, Ohio 44102


Location Map >


Sunday: Closed

Monday: 10am - 8pm

Tuesday: 10am - 6pm

Wednesday: 10am - 8pm

Thursday: 10am - 8pm

Friday: 10am - 8pm

Saturday: Closed


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