PLEASE NOTE: STARTING IN MAY, YOUTH FIRST WILL BE CLOSED MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS.
Approximately 15,000 LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) youth live in North Texas, yet there are minimal resources available for meeting their unique needs. Youth First is one of the only LGBTQ-focused youth programs in North Texas that addresses the challenges these youth face with family members, peers and fellow students.
Serving middle and high school aged youth, 12-18, Youth First equips them with the skills they need to lead an open life. Family ties are strengthened, peer support networks are built and mental health is supported through activities that build confidence and address the specific issues that LGBTQ teens face during their critical, formative years.
Educational Programs Engage and Inform
- Resiliency from bullying and harassment
- Gender Identity group
- Advocacy and Volunteerism
- HIV and STD prevention
- Sexual health education
- Coming Out
- Tutoring and job readiness
- Discussion/support group for youth
- Discussion/support group for parents
- GED program
- Lifeskills and mentorship
Recreational Activities Promote Community Confidence
- Art and Writing clubs
- Friday Family Dinners
- Summer camps
- Summer Art show
Counseling Services Strengthen Coping Skills
- LGBT focused mental health for youth in partnership with Southern Methodist University. Counseling is available for teens in either individual, group or family settings.
Meet cast members from Ragtime, The Musical on May 26 at 5 p.m., as part of our new Theater program launch at 7 p.m. Ragtime's cast is extremely diverse and has people from the LGBT community that have come from all different walks of life to be in this show. Ragtime has many themes to it, but it really comes down to acceptance and understanding between different sects of people.
In addition to coming to Youth First, we will be giving tickets to a special performance at the Music Hall at Fair Park, which will include a "talk-back" session with the cast, following their performance. Please join us for this special event.
Support Youth First by purchasing a copy of "Rainbow Review"
Throughout 2015, LGBTQ youth participating in programming at Youth First worked with skilled artists, writers, book editors, and teachers to create the works of art and writing collected within this anthology. This collection represents their unique perspective as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning youth. For many, these creative outlets not only serve as forms of personal expression, but as therapy. Several youth featured plan to continue on to be artists, writers, and teachers of the arts in order to inspire the next generation to never stop imagining a brighter future. Your purchase of this book will support the continuation of quality programming for the LGBTQ youth at Youth First in the coming year.
Click here to purchase your copy.
Check out our programming:
Click the program title below to expand the description.
This program provides materials, instruction and support for youth seeking a creative outlet. An annual summer art camp and art show (in the summer) allow youth to share their art with the community. Third Thursday, 7 p.m.
Friday Family Dinner
Each week, a corporate, community, faith-based group or family provides a family-style meal for our youth and their guests. Activities follow after dinner. Dinner is served every Friday at 7 p.m. If you are interested in sponsoring Friday Family Dinner, click here to contact us.
This program is designed for youth who want to complete their GED. Join your peers for a weekly guided study through one of the best known GED preparation books. Register for individual training.
Gender Identity Night
Originally developed as a support group for transgender and non-binary youth, this program has expanded to include all youth affected by gender stereotypes and a largely heteronormative society. This is one of Youth First’s most popular programs, and is led by transgender facilitators. Every Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Learn about healthy and simple cooking. First Thursday, 7 p.m.
In conjunction with Healthy Relationships program, staff from our agency’s Nelson-Tebedo Clinic provide HIV testing and prevention information for young participants. Second Thursday, 7 p.m.
During the school year, many students find themselves needing extra help editing a paper, studying for exams, or completing assignments. Our homework help program provides youth with assistance and resources to succeed in school. The computer lab is equipped with Wi-Fi, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and printing capabilities. Register for individual support.
Parent Support Group
Are you a parent or guardian of an LGBTQ youth seeking the support of fellow parents? Do you want resources and information that will enable you to be a more supportive parent? Join us the First and third Fridays, 7 p.m.
Each summer, we combine poetry, short stories, photography, and art that has been submitted throughout the year to create an annual publication that is perfect for sharing with family and friends! Submit your short stories and poetry to receive feedback and editing suggestions from a professional author during Art & Writing Club on the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m.
In partnership with The Turning Point, we will facilitate discussions about sex, consent and defining healthy boundaries. Few schools provide sex education and fewer cover LGBTQ-specific content. In order to reduce high-risk behavior among youth, education is critical. Third Thursday, 7 p.m.
Learn the basics of on stage theater work and perform all kinds of FUN acting games! Including: Improv, Pantomime, learning how to develop different kinds of characters and different ages, and how to overcome fear of speaking in front of a group. Fourth Thursday, 7 p.m.
Writing can be a powerful form of self-expression and means of having a voice in the world. Each Tuesday youth will have the opportunity to discuss your fiction, nonfiction, or poetry with professional authors and editors who will encourage you in your writing and help you hone your skills to create the best work possible. Fourth Thursday, 7 p.m.
Get involved with Youth First
- Click here for a list of food items that would help Youth First.
- Click here for a list of other ways to help Youth First.
- Click here to view our calendar of events.
- Click here for additional information about counseling services.