OK, down to brass tacks. As some of you are aware, we hosted several teen events at our Y facilities these past couple of months. One of those events was an alternative dance for teens sponsored by Out Boulder. It was basically a dance for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning) teens who might not have felt comfortable at their high school proms or who just wanted to dance one more time before school was done for the year. This is the first time we hosted this dance, and apparently the numbers doubled from the previous year’s event. That’s because the Y provided a safe place for these teens to hang out and feel comfortable. Let’s think about that… Life is hard enough for teens, but then LGBTQ high schoolers must also navigate sexual orientation and gender identity complexities. Hells bells, in high school, I struggled over trying to figure out if I should try to hold Kathy Wyandt’s hand at the movies. How many of us say, “Gee, I sure would love to relive my teenage angst years!”?
But I digress… So after the Out Boulder event, one of our Y members wrote this note:
“You closed the YMCA- the Young Men’s Christian Association- gym for a LGBT party? I would appreciate having my dues refunded for the day- and an apology. At least give heads up that it would take place- members know what is going on.”
Here is my response as CEO of the YMCA of Boulder Valley: There will be no apology, and if you are offended by our support of Out Boulder and the LGBTQ teens of our community, then maybe our organization is not a fit for you.