Programs

LGBTQ Youth Flag Parade In Colorado Springs

Hello!

Inside Out is a safe space for young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning, Queer, Asexual and Two-Spirit (we use the acronym LGBTQIA2+ as the umbrella for our community) and allied people ages 13-24. Drop in to hang out and make friends and stay for awesome discussion groups and activities. Topics include community healing, resilience and self-advocacy, and healthy sexuality and relationships.

Inside Out believes in a positive youth development approach — that means we provide a network of amazing LGBTQIA2+ and allied adults to support you with whatever you’re going through. We partner with YOU to educate the public on the issues LGBTQIA2+ young people face. Whether it’s through attending a program, hanging out with other young people, or speaking one-on-one with a staff member, Inside Out is here to help you feel empowered to express who you are in a safe space. We often hear folks talk about this work as prevention, but we like to think of it as preparation — preparing you to thrive!

Inside Out provides programs for LGBTQIA2+ youth and young adults that center the whole person. Programs take place both in our IOYS center and in spaces out in the community. We focus our programs through five thematic areas: health, advocacy, & community; gender identity & development; mentorship & leadership; creative expression; and recreation. We center the wants and needs of our youth to develop programs responsive to those needs

IOYS is a community center with resources, programming, and a place to build community. We are not a crisis center. Please see our resources page if you or someone you know needs crisis support.

 

You are more than a letter. Here, you belong.

Schedule

Drop-in hours: 3-5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday

Programs: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday

Pickup promptly at 7 p.m.

All programs are currently held in person at our space at 516 W. Colorado Ave. All programs have a hybrid option.

Health, Advocacy, and Community

Health, Community, & Advocacy programs center all the skills and knowledges that go into being a healthy, engaged, and active member of our community. In our HAC programs, we address physical and mental health, healthy relationships, queer history, life skills, job searching, community resilience, policy impacts, and more.   

Gender Identity & Development

Gender Identity and Development programs center topics related to transness, nonbinary, and gender expansive identities. Youth, staff, volunteers, and community partners come together to provide discussion and education about the limitless ways we consider gender identity and gender expression. 

Mentorship & Leadership

IOYS is committed to building leaders within our community to extend our mission of access, equity, and power. We host a Peer Advisor Program in which IOYS youth build skills to support other youth in the space and advocate for equity in the community.  

Creative Expression

Through different avenues of the arts, Creative Expression programs center creative expression as a platform for identity development, connection, and learning new crafts. IOYS staff partners with local artists, creatives, and organizations to support youth in communicating themselves through an amalgam of avenues.  

Recreation

Rec Night programs are our time to build community with and through youthdriven activities. Programs include game nights, movie nights, art activities, karaoke, scavenger hunts, basically anything fun to bring us together in sharing all the beauty of our community.  

Mental health

Free therapy services with our resident licensed clinician are offered for all Inside Out participants and their families! Call 719-401-3167 to schedule an appointment, or contact us via email.

For Youth

Our youth programs are designed to support LGBTQIA2+ young people ages 13-18 in exploring their identities and building healthy relationships with their peers. With developmentally appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, we want to empower and prepare youth for a lifetime of joy and liberation! And there are plenty of opportunities for FUN! Recreation nights and crafts and drag shows and conversations about the latest music, memes and pop culture make our space full of laughter and just the right amount of silliness.

For Young Adults

Our young adult programs are centered on supporting LGBTQIA2+ young adults ages 19-24 in navigating the transition to adulthood. We focus on building skills like goal-setting, time management, and effective communication to help you thrive in whatever path you take! Whether that’s finding a job, pursuing education, or moving into your own living situation for the first time, our programs will help you take on these challenges with confidence and support.

Our Services are online and in-person!

Inside Out is here for youth ages 13-24 from the Pikes Peak Region. Alongside daily in-person programs, we meet digitally in a Discord server and are accepting new participants!

To join our community center online or in person, please text or call (719) 315-1825 to connect with an Inside Out staff member.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Your first time at Inside Out. Every youth/young adult who comes to Inside Out goes through our enrollment interview with a staff member; this interview allows us to get to know each other a little bit and make sure that we have your contact information, etc. Then you’ll either jump into our online Discord server or get a tour of our physical location and an introduction to our programs! Peer Advisors will be able to help you figure out the lay of the land and answer any questions you might have or direct you to someone else who might know.

Once you’ve gone through the enrollment interview at Inside Out, everything is open to you! You can stop by for a quick drop-in conversation in the main couch space, participate in any of our programs, talk to a staff member or volunteer about something that’s going on in your life, or join one of our youth leadership groups! If something is happening and you want to jump in — go for it! Inside Out is YOUR community. And that means that we become a different place with every new young person who participates. If you have an idea for how we can be better or do something differently to create more access for all youth — bring it up! You get to partner with us in building our community.

Peer Recovery Coaches

Our Peer Recovery Coaches are specially trained to build hope, help, and strength into everything that we do at Inside Out! They meet weekly to plan and help to lead our Qmmunity Resilience program. They also help to moderate and create brave space in our online Discord server, welcoming new participants and referring other young people to trusted adults when needed.

Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

The YAC is a group that meets weekly to learn about social justice movements! Our YAC members learn how to build movements, make change in our society, and develop leadership skills. The YAC is often called upon by our board and community to be the face of Inside Out at public events and trainings!

Trans-parenting

A support, resource and advocacy group for parents and families of transgender and nonbinary children.

Meets 6-7:30 p.m. every 3rd Thursday of the month *VIRTUALLY* with Inside Out. Contact us for more information and to get the Zoom link.

Parents! Looking for other ways to support LGBTQIA2+ youth in the community? Consider giving annually to support our programs.

What I would say to someone who is questioning is that you just have to go with what feels right to you and you don’t have to identify with a label or knowing right away who you are. Just be you and do what makes you happy.
- Chris, Age 16

Brave space agreements

Our brave space agreements help keep our community in healthy relationship to one another. All members of our community (youth, staff, and volunteers) are accountable to these, and we believe in a restorative/reparative justice approach to conflict resolution.

1. Be radically welcoming

2. Be actively present

3. Sober up before you show up

4. No haters or violence

5. No guns allowed—if you bring a weapon, check it with staff at the door

6. No bullying, harassing, or verbal abuse

7. Keep our space clean & organized

8. Always ask for consent

9. One mic, one voice at a time

10. Save the drama for your llama

11. Ask before assuming

12. Respect personal space & boundaries

13. Don’t yuck my yum if it’s not offending anyone

14. In a world where you can be anything, be yourself

15. Pay it forward

16. We don’t talk about Queer Club

17. Ouch, oops, educate

18. Celebrate your little victories

19. Hydrate before you die-drate

20. Lead with compassion & be kind to yourself

Substance Free

Inside Out is a tobacco- and vape-free organization, as well as a drug/alcohol sober space. One of our safe/brave space rules is “sober up before you show up”. We are committed to preparing young LGBTQIA2+ people with healthy coping skills to prevent drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and abuse, while also connecting youth with resources for curbing risky substance use.

Frequently Asked Questions

You bet! When you come here you decide what you’d like to be called and which pronouns to use. It’s totally okay if those things change over time, too! Your peers and the staff in the space love affirming your identity.

Nope! We happily take allies and young folks who are questioning. We also believe that “labels are for food.” You don’t have to pick a label to be at home here.

Nope. But you and your family are welcome to schedule a visit or make a phone call to chat with our staff. Call/text 719-315-1825 to talk.

Sure, as long as they follow our space rules and are between ages 13-24.

Absolutely. Coming out is a very personal process. You don’t have to make that choice alone, and being out is not a requirement for coming to Inside Out.

Great! You don’t have to be sure of anything. If you are looking for friends and a safe place to learn about LGBTQIA2+ health and wellness and have fun, you are welcome.

Absolutely. Text/call 719-315-1825 and the staff will schedule some time to help orient you to the space.

Absolutely. We have a clothing closet where you can choose clothes for your comfort. Leave them here or take them with you. We have the youth-directed “Over Under Fund” with limited funds to help with the purchase of gender-affirming clothes. AND we have Transformation, a weekly support group for nonbinary, gender-diverse, and transgender youth.

Safety is a priority for everyone. And this is a space where we learn to work through difficulties together because those are really important skills. “Ouch/oops/educate” and “respect other people’s personal boundaries” are some of the safe/brave space rules that help keep us in healthy relationship with one another.

We are mandatory reporters, so we have to report all cases of abuse and/or neglect. We are here to help you access resources to support your safety.

Your safety is of utmost importance to us! All staff members and volunteer facilitators have undergone both a thorough national background check and a day-long training session at Inside Out. When open for youth hours, there will always be at least two facilitators on-site to ensure that conduct and behaviors of our youth remain appropriate and safe for all present. Staff and volunteers are committed to your safety and your freedom to have fun at Inside Out, and are always available if you need to talk about anything.

Youth Resources

If you’re looking for local resources beyond Inside Out, we have a variety of community partners who provide services in everything from name-change assistance to substance use treatment,
and much more.