Prevention & Education

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HEYO Youth Program

Stigma reduction among LGBTQ youth and peer-to-peer outreach will lead to lower HIV infection rates. Period.

Health Education Youth Outreach (HEYO) is Lifelong’s primary youth education program for youth age 16-24.  Run by and for queer and allied youthstrives to foster a community that prioritizes empowerment, self-determination, and resiliency over stigma, fear and condemnation through peer to peer outreach.

The HEYO program includes the following:

Monthly Youth Organizing Meeting & Queer Youth Community Forum
Twice a month, LGBTQ & Allied youth who are involved in HEYO’s community outreach have an informal meet up to hang out, eat pizza, organize activities for the coming month, and engage in conversations around topics important to queer youth. The meet-ups includes opportunities to get involved in HEYO's outreach efforts including outreach to homeless youth and unstably housed peers, developing and distributing HIV prevention education materials, facilitating LGBTQ safer sex workshops and planning HEYO community events.

Meetings occur on the first and last Wednesdays of every month from 6-8 p.m. and are open to all LGBTQ & Allied youth ages 16 – 24. Send us a message or RSVP if you want to stop by! Food provided and bus tickets available.

Community Outreach
Lifelong partners with other community organizations and schools to distribute safer-sex supplies and share HIV & STD prevention and sexual health messages. Since members of the youth community are more likely to listen to their peers, this is an effective form of communicating messages around sexual health and HIV prevention.

LGBTQ Sexual Health Workshops
HEYO offers two LGBTQ Sexual Health workshops that approach learning around sexual health and wellness with encompassing queer lens. Many voices are marginalized or ignored in traditional sexual health education programs and HEYO seeks to move these voices to the center of the conversation. While we all know sex should be fun, consensual, and safe (always!) this is not always the case, particularly for queer young people navigating often times navigating uncharted territory.  In opening up a dialogue to talk openly about sex and how to make it fun, consensual, and safe for everyone, the goal of these workshops is to provide tools for young people to take the steps to reduce risky sexual behavior, negotiate sexual behaviors that are healthy and safe, and avoid potentially compromising sexual encounters.

The workshop series has a focus on reducing stigma around sex, sexual health, and HIV/AIDS & STDs and seeks to challenge misconceptions around HIV/AIDS & STDs. The goal of the workshop series is to give young people the knowledge to be critical, informed peer sexual health educators in their own communities and to open up honest dialogue around sex & sexual health.

The two workshops currently available are:

  • Safer Sex: Promoting Healthy & Positive Queer Sex/Sexuality
  • Building Healthy LGBTQ Relationships: Negotiating Consent & Determining Sexual Readiness

HIV Positive Youth Speaker’s Bureau
Sharing parts of our journey through personal struggles can be difficult, but being able to tell our stories helps to educate, inform, and mobilize our peers and other community members to take action. HEYO’s HIV Positive Youth Speaker’s Bureau is an expanding team of strong and outspoken HIV positive young people and youth advocates intimately involved in the struggle to combat HIV/AIDS in Seattle. In sharing stories of strength and resiliency as HIV positive young people around the community, HEYO’s HIV Positive Youth Speaker’s Bureau hopes to combat HIV stigma by bringing visibility to the issues that queer young people confront in their daily life and to inspire others to channel their own strength and resiliency to mobilize in taking action to fight HIV/AIDS and take control of their sexual health.

HEYO’s next Positive Youth Speaker’s Bureau event will be taking place in mid-November. Stay tuned for more details!

Homeless Youth Outreach
HEYO also focuses on street outreach connecting with LGBTQ homeless youth. Staff, interns, and volunteers provide basic needs to homeless youth including food, water, snacks, socks, condoms, hygiene supplies and referrals to resources for immediate and queer specific needs.

HEYO Special Events
HEYO hosts a number of special events and parties through the year with a focus on engaging LGBTQ youth and young adults around a range of sexual health topics. HEYO still has their second GENDER*FIERCE Queer Youth Variety Show & Dance Party event as well as their Queer Youth Healthcare Fair & Positive Youth Panel event in 2014!

Stay up to date on youth activities and meet-ups on our Facebook page. Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter here to receive regular updates about LGBTQ and youth events happening around Seattle as well as HEYO volunteer opportunities!

For more information on HEYO, Lifelong’s youth program, contact us at (206) 957-1665 or send us a message.