Out Youth is a local support group for queer youth in crisis in Austin, Texas recommended to the Red Hot Organization by Iron & Wine to receive “Dark Was the Night” funds. Since Red Hot’s contribution in 2010, Out Youth has launched an HIV Education, Testing, and Counseling project. Staff were trained in oral testing procedures, and Out Youth is now reaching out to different community organizations that provide other services such as confirmatory testing.
Out Youth has many benefits for those who need a support system. Out Youth member Megan explains her experience, “For the first time in my life I actually felt like people understood me..Everyone around me had been bullied in one way or another just like I had, and I knew I had many things in common with them which allowed me (and my boyfriend) the confidence to come out. We came out as queer together and I don’t think either of us could have done it without the support of Out Youth.”