Since 1970, The Bridge for Youth in Minneapolis has been providing much needed services to local at-risk youth between the ages of 10 and 17. Each year, about 1000 youth are provided with emergency services, transitional housing, youth and family counseling, and more. Many of these youth are survivors of sexual abuse or trafficking, or have had encounters with the juvenile justice system.
Last month, Ellen Krug of Lavender Magazine visited The Bridge and sat in on its weekly support group known as “So What If I Am,” the longest-running support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the Twin Cities. She writes:
“I admit that I was apprehensive about sitting with a bunch of queer teens on a late Tuesday afternoon in order to write this piece. After all, I was a middle-aged outsider; would they even be willing to talk to me? …As we sat in a room adorned with a large rainbow flag and filled with comfy couches, each teen ‘checked in’ with a brief update of their lives in the time since the prior week’s meeting. Most of these folks were regulars, making it easy to simply pick up where they last left off.”