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News / 2017 / June / Youth Spotlight: Em Mais
June 21, 2017
Youth Spotlight: Em Mais

Q: What was happening in your life when you started coming to IYG: were you doing okay at school? How were things at home?
A: I heard about IYG my freshmen year of high school but didn't start coming consistently till almost two years later. I have always been a fairly good student, but rarely invested myself in school or in my interactions with my peers. My home life has always been less than ideal and incredibly unstable.
Q: How did you hear about IYG?
A: I went to Zionsville High School, which at the time was not at all queer friendly but I had heard one of my gay friends mention that there was an LGBT+ youth group in Indianapolis.
Q: What went through your mind when you first heard about IYG?
A: I grew up in a conservative Christian family so when I heard the phrase "LGBT+ youth group" I was incredibly confused. To me youth group was something that I had always associated with church which to me was the opposite of a queer space. I was incredibly excited at the idea that there were enough queer people in Indianapolis to make a youth group (needless to say I had been a little sheltered from and mislead about the LGBT+ community growing up).
Q: Was it hard to come to IYG the first time? Did you come with friends or by yourself?
A: I am and always have been an incredibly introverted and quiet person so my first night at IYG was anxiety provoking and mildly terrifying to say the least. The only reason I actually made it in the door was because I had promised my friend that I would come and at least see what it was like.
Q: How long have you been coming to IYG? Why do you keep coming?
A: I have been coming to IYG for almost five years. At first I kept coming because I needed a way out of the house and I wanted to see my friend, but the longer I've been at IYG the more it has become a family and community for me and provided a sort of consistency and stability in my life that I have never really had.
Q: In general, what is your opinion of IYG and what would you like to become involved with at the center?
A: I love IYG for what it is and what it has done for me and the people in my life. I am beyond excited for the new space to open and for the center to have the ability to impact so many more youth in Indianapolis. As far as things at the center I would like to become more involved in, I have at some point been a part of almost every program that is offered at the center; and because I only have a year or so left before my age out I feel like I need to start giving back to the community at the house as well as shift my energy towards organizations with similar goals as IYG where I can be a part of educating and advocating for our community.