BFY’s “So What if I Am?” Stays Strong after 20 years

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franEvery Tuesday evening for the past 20 plus years, Twin City’s LGBTQ+ youth have met and been supported by a team of BFY LGBTQ+ specialists.

Currently, Fran Drazan and Sawyer Franklin run the group. Recently, they shared their thoughts and vision for the group.

What is your general role as a co – facilitator?

We are there to provide resources and knowledge when needed specific to the needs of LGBTQ youth.

sawyerWhy do you think it has been successful for so long?

Consistency. So What if I Am? has stayed connected to its roots and the goal of providing a safe space for LGBTQ youth to build connection and community with one another. It is so important for LGBTQ youth to have a space to simply be, so we work hard on making youth feel comfortable to be vulnerable and have fun with each other. There has been numerous times youth have come to So What if I Am? and told the group they didn’t have any friends or a support system before coming in.

 

What do you see LGTBQ kids struggling with today?
School, bullies, family conflict, homelessness, drugs and alcohol, safe sex, healthy relationships and friendships.

 

 

How is this support group different than others? Are there other groups out there?
So What if I Am? is dedicated to assisting LGBTQ youth in finding community with one-another, whereas some support groups focus on educating youth about large-scale issues and becoming activists. Both are important. The some-what laid back structure of So What if I Am? allows us as co-facilitators and the youth to discuss complex topics and issues that are affecting them in day-to-day life.
How do you see this group growing?
As per the youths request, So What if I Am? will soon be going on more outings. Some ideas the youth have had is going Quatrefoil Library or bowling.
Youth supporting each other even further. Youth are taking lead in creating an open space for each other – they continue to ask each other preferred pronouns and names.

If you are interested in joining our group or learning more, please click here!

2 Responses

  1. William Tully says:

    Hey, I am a college undergrad at the University of Minnesota and am looking for opportunities to volunteer to help homeless/vulnerable LGBT youth.

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