Youth Voices: Marcha Pieces Talks About Stereotypes in LGBTQ Youth and Views on Political Justice

G Philly presents a new collaboration with youth from The Attic Youth Center to spotlight the creative magic and cultural contributions of Philly’s LGBTQ youth of color. Today, we present Marcha Pieces as he talks about being the “Grandmom” of The Attic, stereotypes in LGBTQ youth, views on political justice and more.

What is your favorite thing about you?
My ability to press on, regardless of the situation. I like to have a great insight on whatever happens. I’m very optimistic. I like helping people, and that’s why I got the name, “Grandmom” at The Attic, because I’m like the cheerful person that wants to know “How are things going? How’s life?” I’m always upbeat and look on the positive side, even when there’s not a positive side. Read more »

Flooding Wrecks Attic Youth Center’s Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Attic Youth Center.

Photo courtesy of Attic Youth Center.

The Attic Youth Center is in quite a pickle. During the snowstorm earlier this month, a pipe in their building South 16th Street froze and burst, sending water gushing all over the second floor and into the kitchen below. As a result, the entire kitchen was destroyed—the ceiling, walls, floor, counters, cabinets, appliances, everything.

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Youth Voices: Nicole on Her Journey of Self-Acceptance and the Need for Better Laws for Trans Women of Color

G Philly presents a new collaboration with youth from The Attic Youth Center to spotlight the creative magic and cultural contributions of Philly’s LGBTQ youth of color. Today, 18-year-old Nicole talks about her journey of self-acceptance and the need for better laws for transgender women of color. 


What is your favorite thing about you? I’m outgoing. I’m really friendly, happy, and always looking forward to meeting new people.

What are you up to right now? I’m almost finished with high school. I’m a senior right now. I graduate in June.I’m trans* identified, and my transition is going the way I want it to. So, I’m happy about that. For a whole year I was going back and forth, because I was suppressing my feelings about my identity. I felt pressure from my family and things like that. I wasn’t able to say that I was trans* until last summer. I just realized that I wasn’t going to fight it anymore. I finally came to terms with that and I accepted myself. I love myself now. I’ve been on hormones for six months, consistently, and I should be changing my legal name and gender markings soon.

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Top LGBT Youth Resources in Philadelphia

Attic youth and staff at Philly Pride.

Attic youth and staff at Philly Pride.

The Attic Youth Center

255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It provides myriad creative outlets for local youth, such as poetry, print screening, drag, art and more.

Bread & Roses Community Fund

1315 Walnut Street
Bread & Roses, a nonprofit that provides grants and technical assistance to communities in the Philadelphia region that are taking collective action to bring about racial and economic justice, offers scholarships for LGBTQ students with the aim of giving young minds the opportunity to expand their education. More information here.

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Youth Voices: Dorianne Joseph Talks Misconceptions, Inspirations and His Role as a Mentor to Gay Children

G Philly presents a new collaboration with youth from The Attic Youth Center to spotlight the creative magic and cultural contributions of Philly’s LGBTQ youth of color. Today, 20-year-old Dorianne Joseph

DorianneWhat is the most common misconception about LGBTQ youth?
Most people treat people from any of those spectrums as if they’re not human. For me, coming up there were a lot of things I did in school that, because of my sexuality, people thought I shouldn’t be doing. For instance, all through high school I was a part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). A lot of the boys felt like, “but you’re gay. Why would you want to be doing something so manly?” At the end of the day I’m still just a boy, just like you are. I can do half the things that you all want to do. I know plenty of people who come from that aspect, and that walk of life, who do normal things. I feel like we, as young LGBTQ people, have normal lives, but a lot of people think that—whether we’re lesbian, gay, bi, pansexual, trans*, or questioning—that we’re abnormal.

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Woman Crush Wednesday: The Bryson Institute’s Kelly Kroehle

Every hump day a Philly person shares their local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, Kelly Kroehle, director of The Bryson Institute of The Attic Youth Center.

STUDY: It Really Does Get Better

We’ve been saying it for years, and we always believed it, but now there’s actual scientific evidence that proves it really does get better.

A multi-year study of LGBTQ youth out of Northwestern University’s IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program found that, while bullying is linked to psychological distress, “both distress and victimization decreased as the adolescents grew up.” More on the study from HuffPo’s Gay Voices:

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Philanthropy Friday: The Attic Youth Center

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, The Attic Youth Center, an organization that works to create opportunities for and promote the acceptance of Philadelphia LGBTQ youth. 

AlyssaWho are you? Alyssa Mutryn, director of development at The Attic Youth Center.

When was The Attic founded? The Attic was founded in 1993 by our current Executive Director, Dr. Carrie Jacobs.  When she was in graduate school, she worked in partnership with some other grad students to start a support group for LGBTQ youth in the “attic” of a social service organization. It was only supposed to be an eight-week group, but 41 youth were involved and she had to keep it going! There were no other support systems for LGBTQ youth in the ’90s, so it was important to keep The Attic alive. Now, 21 years later, we are located in a four-story row home, and between 40-70 youth, ages 14-23, come to The Attic each day. Our programming has also expanded over the years to include not only support groups, but an array of programming such as youth leadership, career readiness, arts and culture, health and wellness, academic enrichment, mental health, and education and training to improve the climate and support systems for LGBTQ youth through our Bryson Institute.

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Oyster House Teams With Attic Youth Center to Offer Cooking Lessons to LGBT Youth

Attic Youth enjoying a family-style meal at Oyster House.

Attic Youth enjoying a family-style meal at Oyster House.

OK, so Oyster House didn’t make the cut in this year’s Philadelphia Business Journal Top LGBT Companies list. But here’s the thing: Maybe it should have?

Danielle Amabile, pastry chef at Oyster House, had been itching to marry her education background (she meant to be an English teacher) with her passion for cooking. (But really, this gal can gab about pie-primping and pureeing for hours.) That itch grew in intensity when owner Sam Mink’s 10-year-old cousin began popping by the restaurant, routinely flocking to Amabile so she could show him the ropes in the kitchen (peeling apples, fetching ingredients, etc.).

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PHOTOS: Philly Youth Kick-Off It Gets Better Project at Kimmel Center

“It’s Philly’s LGBTQ youth that are leading the change,” says 17-year-old Bella, a high school student from Kensington. She, along with a panel of other emerging leaders in the Philadelphia LGBTQ community, kicked off this week’s Kimmel Center It Gets Better Project residency, and if last evening’s performances and discussions were any indication, Bella (and Whitney) were right: Children really are our future.

The afternoon featured three distinct opportunities for local youth to participate in community building and performance. First, students from the Kimmel Center’s Show Stoppers and Wolf Performing Arts Center teamed up to film an outdoor performance of Sara Bareilles’s “Brave,” which will be screened at Saturday’s It Gets Better Project concert. Led by touring actors Mario Mosley and Tyler Houston, the triple threats danced their way down a picturesque Philly block, causing lots of local commuters to pause for the show.

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