Home » 2014 Queer & Allied Youth Summit!

2014 Queer & Allied Youth Summit!

Well you, of course! The Summit is open to all queer & allied youth age 13-22, & QSA advisors & educators, statewide!
South Burlington Middle School, South Burlington, VT
May 10, 2014 – May 11, 2014
The Summit kicks off with a QSA conference that includes:
- Youth led interactive workshops
- A first-ever Youth Town Hall
- A QSA advisor track (*this year we are offering an advisor-only training on queer youth suicide prevention*)
It’s a wonderful opportunity for queer and allied youth and their adult supports to gather in community, share ideas and strategies, and more importantly, celebrate all your hard work and brave efforts.
Join us as we walk the streets of South Burlington chanting things like “hey hey, ho ho, homophobia and transphobia have got to go!” We will end up at Dorset park for an inspiring youth speakOUT – bring your stories, share yourselves.
A list of local dining options will be provided in your conference materials
OPEN MIC 6:30-7:30pm
A clear highlight from last years Summit, this second annual event is an opportunity for youth talent to be  shared and celebrated…. be prepared to be inspired! It will be acoustic-style, so keep that in mind. Sign-ups available day of.
QUEER PROM 8-10:00pm
What more can we say? Wear what you want to wear, dance with whomever you want! The outfits, the lights, the music, oh my!!
SLEEPOUT 10:30pm-8am
The SleepOUT will happen at the Burlington Boys & Girls Club. Due to their space limit, priority will be given to those that need overnight accommodations (meaning, folks traveling to the Summit on the Outright-sponsored buses and those that live outside of Chittenden County).
All youth taking the bus must have a permission slip signed by a parent/guardian and returned to us before the Summit. Permission slips will be e-mailed to you once you register. 
Please direct any questions to our Director of Education, dana@outrightvt.org or via phone (802) 865-9677
Did we mention this year’s theme???
Say YES to the Summit and spread the word via our facebook event! See you in May!
READ ABOUT THE 2013 Summit below:
Queer & Allied Youth Summit 2013!

Queer & Allied Youth Summit 2013

Check out photos from the day on our flickr account, HERE!
Or view the photos via a slide show, HERE!
Learn more about the 2013 Youth Priorities that were set, HERE!
An English teacher and QSA Advisor at Burlington High School, Eve Berinati, wrote a reflection on the day. Eve has given us permission to share her work below.

Belongings: a Backwards Rambling Reflection on the 7th Annual Vermont Queer & Allied Youth Summit

10:00 PM

Standing on the periphery of the dance floor, beneath the disco ball spinning stars into the rafters, under a golden arch spelling out MAS-QUEERADE (broken by the toss of a rainbow beach ball), I watch all kinds of kids twirling in gorgeous glittering dresses, bow ties, top hats. They dance in pairs and groups and conga lines, nymphs and fairies alighting betwixt and between, a lone unicorn in pink tights and cape at the center.

And what I see is hope. Hope for these youth to be themselves, to grow and continue to find ever-widening circles of acceptance. Here, at the site of some of their worst memories, that awkward emergence of the pecking order that is middle school, in the gym/cafeteria (the site of so many humiliations) these students reclaim the past, the future, their whole lives.

They will live whole lives and they will live them fully. They will live to tell their children about their prom, about the time when they were young, and anxious, and confused, and happy. Most importantly they will live their lives. They will not end them prematurely, because here they have found the strength to endure, even after this night, after they are separated.

6:30 PM

From their various separate directions, a few youth trickle in at a time. Entering the library they immediately hush, cluster, lean in to bear witness to hidden talents: martial arts, poetry, ukulele, lipsync, guitar, piano. The audience is rapt. Appreciation is mutual.

We contain multitudes.

3:00 PM
Multitudes flooding the streets, rainbow flags aloft, signs lifted high:

“Queer and Proud”

“gay is okay!”

Chanting in unison, a mighty roar:

“1-2-3-4 Open up the closet door!

2-4-6-8, Don’t assume your kids are straight!

9-10-11-12 Why not let them be themselves?”

Streaming through the city streets, these youth are emboldened, loud and proud. A rousing brass band in red jumpsuits backs them up as they pass sidewalk cafes and car horns. Nothing can drown out this noise.

“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous, don’t mess with us!”

The steps of city hall are lined with those eager to tell their stories, to be heard and acknowledged by the world. A web of safety, knitted by their peers, surrounds them. Applause and cheers breaks out after each individual voice, a groundswell of energy.

Anything seems possible.

2:00 PM

What is possible in the company 120 queer youth and allies?

The afternoon ritual: a web of connection woven with rainbow yarn, wrapped from wrist to wrist. Voices echo that here they have found what they need: acceptance, love, a place to figure things out.

1:00 PM

We figure things out together. After lunch priorities are set by the group: youth fundraising, training for educators at schools, theatre and poetry for queer youth.

So much promise in the air.

10:00 AM

Air of excitement. The morning workshops: Playing with Gender; It Gets Better; Queertionary; Queer Family Values; Body Pride; Queer Poetry– a History of Revolutionary Words; Queerbook!Social Networking in the GLBTQ World; College: A New Start… A New Coming Out. Youth teaching each other, themselves. Awareness blossoms, knowledge multiplies, understanding deepens. This is only the beginning.

9:00 AM

I begin the day in a room labeled “belongings.” The room fills with pillows, packs, prom dresses, pumps. The youth arrive nervous and excited, shy and terrified.

I welcome them home, to the place they belong.

Each May, Outright VT and a school QSA host the annual Queer & Allied Youth Summit. This statewide extravaganza includes a QSA Conference, Youth Pride March, SpeakOUT, Queer Prom & the SleepOut. The summit draws 150+ students and educators to a host school for a full day (and night!) of networking, skill building, strategizing and celebration of queer & allied youth in Vermont.