Dear Adult Allies,

As part of our ten-year anniversary, iNSIDEoUT is hosting its Second Annual Adult Ally Appreciation Brunch on October 10 from 12-3pm at the Pinhook in Durham (117 W. Main St.). We’ll serve homemade brunch and celebrate with local music, including performances by the Ukelele Orchestra and more. Brunch is free and all are welcome to attend! We are trying to raise $5,000 in honor of this momentous occasion! We hope you will join us.

I helped co-found Insideout in 2005 as a first-year college student because I wanted LGBTQ high school students to have the resources and support networks that I did not have growing up in Tarboro, NC. It was unfathomable to me at the time that our program would expand to include a permanent space, adult staff, and a group for middle school aged youth, and that we would be here 10 years later having networked and impacted thousands of young people in dozens of high schools and middle schools. I am very proud to see youth at younger and younger ages standing up to bullying and transforming their schools and their communities. Youth are their own best advocates, and for a decade the unique guiding philosophy of Insideout has been to provide youth with the tools and connections to set and pursue their own agenda. Youth are in charge of programming while adults provide resources and support to make it happen.

Queer adults and allies tend to agree that youth programming and support is the most important cause within the LGBTQ community. I am writing to invite you to support that cause in the most profound and effective way you can, by becoming an iNSIDEoUT sustainer at any level. You can become a sustainer by setting up a donation online at the paypal link below, and checking the box to make it a recurring donation. After serving as a mentor to the Insideout youth board for years, I have taken my commitment a step further and become a sustainer myself by setting up an automatic deduction of $10 from my bank account to go to Insideout once a month. $10 dollars per month is about the cost of a movie or a meal; by giving it to iNSIDEoUT, I am doing so much more than that. I know we have saved people’s lives. We have also made school more tolerable for hundreds of incredible teenagers. Insideout is 100 percent donor funded, and the best way to support Insideout and queer youth in North Carolina long-term is by becoming a sustainer. Please consider making any contribution; any amount will go a long way and assist us in reaching our $5000 goal, but sustainers help us better project our budgets and give our youth security knowing that their programming has a solid foundation. Our goal is to get 100 sustainers by the end of the 2016 school year. Will you be one of the top 100 supporters of LGBTQ youth in the Triangle for the coming school year?

While the public celebrates the legalization of same-sex marriage and Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out, queer and trans youth still struggle against increased rates of homelessness, domestic violence, suicide, depression, drug abuse, and sexual assault. According to the School Climate Survey from GLSEN, 85 percent of LGBT students report being harassed by peers and even adults at school. Thanks to youth-run programs like Insideout, there are now Gay-Straight/Queer-Straight Alliances (G/QSAs) in hundreds of high schools in North Carolina and beyond, and hundreds of young LGBTQ people have found friendship and sometimes life-saving support within our community. G/QSAs are vital to changing hearts and minds on the local level, which is why the Insideout board spent much of last year working with schools like Stanback Middle in Hillsborough to get their club up and running in the face of opposition from administrators. Insideout also continued its ten-year tradition of hosting annual activist and social events like Queernival and Queer Prom, which bring together hundreds of youth from all over the Triangle. They couldn’t have done it without the help of us, their adult allies.

Please consider pledging your support to help us reach our $5000 goal, and let others know about our organization and what we do.

Thank you for your continued support, and here’s to another ten years.

Robert Wells

To donate, please click this link

Or mail a check made out to “Insideout” to
1303 Clarendon St. B
Durham, NC 27705