LGBTQ youth can often feel alone and have anxiety when coming out to their family and friends. Having a solid support system is crucial for kids to feel safe and understood.
Children’s Home Society of Washington in Walla Walla and Vancouver offer the Triple Point program, which provides connections to resources and a fun, protected place for LGBTQ youth ages 13-18.
Alyse Moss was one of the first Walla Walla Triple Point members who started attending in 2006, at age 17. She found a flyer that led her to Triple Point’s door and while there, she connected with others who wanted an opportunity to share their experiences.
“I have always been out and open about my life, which has inspired others to come out and talk about their feelings and family life,” Alyse said. “Triple Point staff and events allowed me to reach peers that were not as comfortable and help them gain confidence. I never wanted anyone to feel isolated.”
Since the program’s launch, Walla Walla Triple Point meets one day a week. They hope to add a middle school group for youth ages 11-14 and a weekly support group for transgender and gender non-conforming youth in the near future. Through Triple Point, youth have access to counseling and advocacy services.
“Our goal is to empower LGBTQ youth by providing education, safety, support and acceptance,” Erica Allison, Triple Point program coordinator, Children’s Home Society of Washington in Walla Walla. “Triple Point wants to create a safe space for youth to be themselves, to process their thoughts and feelings, and to connect with others who are having similar experiences. We want help LGBTQ youth to work towards authentic self-acceptance.”
Triple Point staff are there when LGBTQ youth come out to their families. Often when youth come out, they become homeless because of a lack of acceptance. Triple Point welcomes them and helps them find a safe place to spend the night.
“Triple Point and Children’s Home Society of Washington made me feel heard and understood,” Alyse said. “I liked being a part of creating a safe place for kids.”
Jennifer Parsons is the marketing communications manager for Children's Home Society of Washington.