Finding The Attic Youth Center was like finding a piece of myself that I never knew was there. The Attic helped me open my mind as a queer feminist leader of the LGBTQ community.
My high school was not a safe place for LGBTQ students. Luckily, I found the support I needed at The Attic. Attic staff helped me create a Gay Straight Alliance at my school, and even worked with me to build a curriculum for workshops and support group sessions for my high school peers. Because of my advocacy efforts, I became an Attic youth panelist, working in collaboration with Attic staff and other young people to provide workshops in the community on how to best support LGBTQ youth in schools. I learned how to teach others to be open-minded and practice equality.
During my time at The Attic, I have discovered how to be resilient, humble, open-minded, and respectful. I have learned how to listen and how to relate to different people. I credit The Attic with helping me become the leader and activist that I am today, which means that I take responsibility for standing up for the LGBTQ youth community in Philadelphia. I desire to not only speak up for my rights and myself, but to also speak up for others who are not able to speak for themselves.
There are West African symbols called Adinkra, and I like to connect these symbols to myself as a leader. One symbol in particular is called Boa Me Na Me Mwoa Wo, which means “help me and let me help you”. This sums up my experience at The Attic. While I was learning about LGBTQ rights and how policy impacts LGBTQ youth in schools, I was able to teach my peers and teachers at school how to be better allies to the LGBTQ community. I went from being a shy, soft spoken, and timid person to an activist, trainer, and leader. I can honestly say that The Attic has changed my life and increased my confidence and awareness for the greater good.