LGBTQ youth face many unique challenges. While attitudes towards queer issues have shifted dramatically in recent decades, parents, families and communities can still be unaccepting of diverse sexual identities. LGBTQ youth are at greater risk of homelessness and may be less welcome in shelters and foster homes. There are approximately 400,000 youth in foster care in the United States. A disproprtionate amount of these youth identify as LGBTQ and many face rejection, homophobia, and violence. Yet, former foster LGBTQ youth often develop resiliency and strengths during their experience of negotiating the child welfare system. The aim of this full day event is to provide an opportunity for community members and social workers to actively engage with former foster LGBTQ youth who will share their stories and experiences. We seek an interactive dialogue on contemporary issues surrounding LGBTQ foster youth in Fresno County.


Starting with a morning yoga and meditation activity, we will then continue to a theatre for awareness activity led by community activist Quynh-Tram Nguyen, a social work doctoral candidate at Tilberg University in The Netherlands, which will explore our attitudes and anxieties about difference and social prejudice. The event will close with the stories of former foster LGBTQ youth led by Nicholas Leyva.

Pictures taken by Kris Clarke

Kris Clarke, Ph.D

Academic and social commentator
Helsinki, Finland

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