by Erin Slattery

While working on the Community Calendar last month, I noticed that Project Q, the youth program of the Milwaukee Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center, is offering a new program: Young Women’s Night.I figured if I didn’t know what Young Women’s Night was, neither would you, so I dropped in on a Thursday to see what it was all about. The Project Q space in the LGBT Community Center is welcoming. The walls are painted in bold colors, a different one for each wall, and the room includes a T.V., stereo, and abundant couches and chairs. It’s like a living room, but much more lively than you would find in mom and dad’s house. The way Cindy Bowman, director of youth services, describes it is “Let[ting] the youth take charge of something, and [seeing] how creative they can be.” Thursday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. are a time when women ages 24 and under can come to Project Q and have a place to be with other young women, meet new people, or catch up with old friends. The night I stopped by a Steering Committee meeting was being held. Women of diverse ages were planning the third annual Young Womynz Empowerment Conference. The conference is a weekend getaway for lesbian, bisexual, and allied women to join together and share the experience of being a woman. The conference’s activities range from trust-building exercises to emotional acceptance of past experiences. The weekend offers a time for a woman of any age to become closer with herself. This year’s conference will run May 14-16 and is being held at Camp Whitcomb-Mason in Hartland, Wisconsin. Call Maureen (Mo) White, the new Youth Development Coordinator for Project Q, for more info about the Young Womynz Empowerment Conference at 414/223-3220. The group’s comfort level seemed very high. Despite the fact that I was a new face, all of the women were accepting and open, introducing themselves and making me feel at home. Project Q Activities: Young Women’s Night: Thursdays 5-8 PM. Young Men’s Group: Wednesdays 5:30-8:30 PM. Drop-ins every: Tuesday 4:30-9 PM, Friday 5-10 PM, and Saturday 5-9:30 PM. Phone: 414/271-2656 Web: About Project Q Project Q provides services to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth and their straight allies ages 24 and under. People of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and sexual orientation are welcome at Project Q. Supportive adults can volunteer to become an Adult Ally and provide informal mentoring, support, and guidance during Project Q activities. Whether you’ve been gay for 20 years or two years, have a friend or family member who is LGBTQ, or are an advocate for LGBT rights, all are welcome to stop in to see what Project Q and the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center is all about. In addition to offering a safe place for LGBTQ youth, Project Q also offers educational programming including health and wellness activities, HIV prevention education, discussion groups, social and cultural events, human rights and social justice awareness, and other outreach activities. For more information, contact Kurt Dyer, Youth Program Manager, at 414/223-3220.