Nov. 17: Youth Project's Annual Fund Raising Auction!

Posted by Wayves Volunteer 10/10/2013

By Jay Aaron Roy

Gender and sex are not connected, nor are they binary. These simple truths are just two of many that young people today understand better than most of the society around them. This can lead to many situations where youth need a safe space to find understanding and support in relation to those aspects of their lives that concern sex and/or gender.

On November 17th, The Youth Project is celebrating 20 years of non-profit work with a fabulous brunch, with live and silent auctions, at the beautiful Lord Nelson. My name is Jay Aaron Roy and I am pleased to introduce myself as this year’s Auction Coordinator for The Youth Project. If you aren’t familiar with the YP, please be sure to visit our website. You can read all about this amazing charitable organization, run by dedicated professionals with huge hearts, who care passionately about helping youth and giving them a voice.

This past summer I had the pleasure of counselling for the Youth Project at Camp Coyote, now in its third year.  It was one of the most amazing times of my life. I spent four wonderful days with around two dozen youth, plus staff and volunteers, who saw and respected the person I confessed to be. Their unquestioning acceptance was something I will always cherish. This basic human respect, someting that we all deserve, was briefly granted to that small group of us at Camp Coyote, who face the exact opposite as we move through society every other day.

We had sessions where youth were able to open up through responding to anonymous questions. These times included some very emotional moments. of sharing and even of shock, as when each of the youth seated around our table confessed to having abstained from using the washroom at their respective schools, almost every day.

I remember thinking about all those kids, sitting in pain through all those classes, in order to avoid the awkward or dangerous situations that can come out of heeding the call of nature while not conforming to the gender binary. I felt angry that no one around was recognizing the struggle that these youth were going through. I related to that  to in a very real way.

The Youth Project recognizes it. Those who attended Camp Coyote left with a sense of empowerment; their troubles had been acknowledged as real, their feelings as valid, they knew there were people who cared about them and their rights. Most importantly, they learned that they were not alone.

Please join us in supporting open minds and beating hearts for the future doctors, artists, teachers, and non-profit enthusiasts of tomorrow.

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