Just Us is a group of programs at Oasis Center dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to achieve their full potential. Specifically, Just Us provides LGBT high school students a liberating space where they can be authentic and celebrate the fluidity of identity
In 2011, Oasis Center launched “Just Us” to provide LGBT youth with a safe place to come and to feel validated for their authentic selves and to learn how to use their voices to create change for themselves. We empower LGBT young people with tools to safely navigate the world through open dialogue, small group discussions, individual interviews, anonymous surveys, and artistic expression. However, it quickly became clear that although our young people were embracing the services offered, they really needed a different world to live in. They needed a change that would result in an embracing, non-discriminatory community.
Through open dialogue, small group discussions, individual interviews, anonymous surveys, and artistic expression with LGBT young people, Oasis Center was able to identify eight target areas that would become our focus for creating community climate change in Middle Tennessee. Our goal is to identify and to collaborate with other LGBT agencies, service providers, and entities that are currently working within each of the target areas and to create alliances that further our efforts to end disparities for LGBT youth. These eight areas of focus are:
Everything – especially when the name is a product of the youth voice. Throughout our one year development stage of speaking with young people about their needs, they told us that they wanted people to identify them as human beings, teenagers, or people and not as a letter in a predetermined alphabet. They asked us, “Why can’t we be just us?” Our response…