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About Queer Futures

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History

In 2021, a small group of LGBTQIA2S+ friends decided to plan the first large-scale public pride event in the Yampa Valley. While folks had planned pride gatherings in the past, they had largely been held in private and even secret locations for safety reasons. Through the planning of this bold event, Yampa Valley Pride was born. They sought sponsorship from the nonprofit Better Tomorrow, and began formalizing an organization.

The first Yampa Valley Pride event had folks in the community hungry for more- more events, more community, more visibility, and more resources. The group worked with the Social Justice Coalition, a team of non-profit organizations and the City of Steamboat Springs, to complete a Roundtable and Survey of the local LGBTQIA2S+ community to better understand their needs and experiences.

A report of these findings can be found here:

Since then, two more reports have been released by the Health Partnership Serving Northwest Colorado that reinforced a need for a dedicated LGBTQIA2S+ program.

2022 Yampa Valley Community Health Needs Assessment:

2023 Behavioral Health Landscape Analysis:

In response to these findings, Yampa Valley Pride worked in tandem with many community members and organizations including Better Tomorrow, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Out and Proud Yampa Valley Fund, and Leadership Steamboat Class of 2022-2023 to raise funds and awareness of the needs for an LGBTQIA2S+ resource center in the Yampa Valley. Queer Futures is the manifestation of these tireless efforts.

Our Team

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Chelsie Holmes (she/they)

Program Director

Chelsie has proudly been front and center in recent queer organizing in the Yampa Valley. They were a founding member and chair of Yampa Valley Pride. They were deeply involved in the survey and roundtable project and the subsequent fundraising and organizing that helped make Queer Futures a reality. Chelsie previously served as the Program Director of Advocates of Routt County, which serves survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. Her 8 years of experience in advocacy with survivors has uniquely prepared her to support the LGBTQIA2S+ community of the Yampa Valley through difficult experiences as well as cultivating queer joy.

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Becca Hoffman (she/her)

Youth Programs Facilitator

Becca recently joined Queer Futures with the hope of making everyone feel like they have a community and place to feel comfortable being themselves. She is excited to lead programs for youth with topics from cooking to wellness to sexual health and everything in between.

 

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Queer Futures partners with an Arizona-based organization called one n ten, which “is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 14 to 24, from weekly discussion groups to fun, social networking events.” Among their incredible work, one n ten facilitates pop-up youth programs in underserved communities across Arizona. One n ten has kindly lent Queer Futures their expertise in best practices for LGBTQ+ youth programs to help us launch ours.

Steering Committee

The Queer Futures Steering Committee is a group of volunteer community members that makes decisions about the direction and priorities of the program.

  • Patty Oakland
  • Dean Alejandro
  • Catie Skinner Haynes
  • Paige Groenwald
  • Carolyn Maul
  • Jessica Ludwick
  • Lexington Gretsky
  • Terri Weisenbach

Youth Advisory Committee

Our Youth Advisory Committee is made up of young LGBTQIA2S+ leaders. This group makes decisions about Queer Futures programs and advocacy priorities. They assist with planning events and even take on projects of their own.

Youth Advisory Committee members commit to at least one academic year when they join the team with their work culminating in June during Pride month. Queer Futures accepts applications for the Youth Advisory Committee for consideration all year, but we typically add new members to the group in the summer and early fall.

Commitment to social justice

We acknowledge that we all exist in an unjust economic and social environment. We do everything we can within the scope of our work to confront these systems and counter their impact on everyone we influence no matter how difficult or controversial. We institutionalize accountability to this vision at every level of the organization.