In a recent interview on the show “Unapologetically Queer with Al Ferguson,” Julian Cavazos and Kyle Turner shared their insights and experiences as advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. The interview shed light on the challenges faced by queer young people and the importance of organizations like Julian’s Fountain of Youth in providing support and empowerment. Let’s delve into the key highlights of their conversation.
Battling Attacks on LGBTQ+ Youth:
Julian Cavazos and Kyle Turner highlighted the ongoing attacks on queer young people by radical GOP members and evangelicals. They discussed the “Don’t Say Gay” campaign, which seeks to silence LGBTQ+ voices and restrict their rights. This aggressive opposition has created a hostile culture reminiscent of the Anita Bryant era. The interview emphasized the urgent need to defend LGBTQ+ youth in the face of these attacks.
Julian’s Fountain of Youth: A Non-Profit Fighting Back:
In response to the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth, Julian Cavazos founded Julian’s Fountain of Youth, a non-profit organization, in 2017. The organization aims to provide support and opportunities for queer youth, supplementing the work of other organizations in the community. They focus on organizing events like proms and retreats, creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth to connect, learn, and have fun.
Building Confidence, Character, and Courage:
The interview shed light on Julian’s Fountain of Youth’s vision of engaging LGBTQ+ youth in building confidence, character, and courage. The organization aims to empower young individuals to make responsible and ethical choices that improve their own lives, their families, and their communities. By educating youth about LGBTQ+ history and addressing their specific needs, the organization aims to bridge the gap between the LGBTQ+ and straight communities.
Addressing the Marginalization of LGBTQ+ Students:
The conversation emphasized the marginalized position of LGBTQ+ students and youth in society. Studies show that LGBTQ+ youth experience higher rates of suicide and face unique challenges compared to their straight counterparts. Julian’s Fountain of Youth recognized the urgent need to prioritize LGBTQ+ students and youth, elevating them to one of the ten pillars of their work. The organization aims to provide a voice, support system, and opportunities for positive growth to these vulnerable individuals.
The Welcome Collective and Positive Impact:
Kyle Turner discussed The Welcome Collective, a program under Julian’s Fountain of Youth, which focuses on providing job opportunities and life skills training to LGBTQ+ youth. The program aims to create safe and welcoming spaces where youth can develop professionalism, social skills, and self-confidence. The interview emphasized the positive impact of The Welcome Collective and how it contributes to building stronger connections within the LGBTQ+ community.
Julian Cavazos and Kyle Turner’s interview on “Unapologetically Queer with Al Ferguson” shed light on the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth and the vital role played by Julian’s Fountain of Youth in supporting and empowering them. Their efforts to create safe spaces, educate youth about LGBTQ+ history, and bridge the gap between communities are crucial steps towards achieving equality and inclusivity. Through their work, they are paving the way for a brighter future for LGBTQ+ youth, where they can thrive and be celebrated for who they are.