Youth Out & United

By Monique Murray

Y.O.U. stands for Youth: Out & United. It was an organization for gay, lesbian youth group. It was started by two ODU students named Brad Baldwin and Ana Sprague in April 1988. It was initially called U.G.L.Y. which stands for United Gay and Lesbian Youth. It was changed and rebranded a few months later because the founders came up with a better more appealing name. Their motivation was the that there was not much community support for gay or lesbians in Norfolk. For this reason, Brad and Ana and a few others created this organization for specifically gay and lesbian youths ages 15-25. They had meetings most Sundays from 3 pm to 3pm at the Unitarian church. They had 20 regular members in attendance. Their motto was “Come out and join us where you can be Y.O.U.”—They ran regular posts in the local Gay lesbian newspaper called Our Own. This organization was all about providing a safe space for gay lesbian youths to come and be themselves and share their stories or troubles with people who could understand and possible get advice. They were heavily involved with high school students to make them know that there is a place they can always come and be accepted. Members also provided these high school students with the right information on their questions, not just politically correct answers.
Y.O.U. was very involved in the gay lesbian community and even recognized by many other types of organizations for youths.

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