Trans & Queer Youth Collective provides a safe space for youth who do not otherwise have an opportunity to receive services.
From basic needs assessments and health-care resource linkage to providing gender-affirming mental health services and LGBTQ+ education, TQYC provides the opportunity to create a chosen family and build a community of support.
In 2018, Julie Strathdee, a queer therapist, started a process therapy group for teenagers questioning their gender and sexuality in a tiny office in the suburb of Fair Oaks, 30 minutes from downtown Sacramento. This was the only group of its kind in the area, and some members drove over 45 minutes each way to attend, claiming it wash their only lifeline in a society of prejudice and bullying. Many would disclose their struggles with self harm and attempts at suicide.
Strathdee saw that the group needed to evolve to make it possible for friends and the greater community to join. However, she learned that in order to continue to grow, it was no longer an option to bill the insurance of the original group members. The kids kept asking if they could bring their LGBTQ+ friends who were suicidal.
At that point it became a free public group run on a voluntary basis. Strathdee recruited other volunteers, specifically transgender advocates, to help lead the group and provide a gender centered approach to the existing structure, and support weekly group facilitation.
In January of 2019, Trans & Queer Youth Collective was founded to provide a safe space for trans and queer youth to receive mental health services, build community, receive basic needs assessments, gender-affirming healthcare resource linkage, and LGBTQ+ education. Since then, leadership roles have expanded to case manager, youth director, healthcare advocate, tutor, crisis respondent, and in some cases, the only source of support for their aged 10 to 17 group members. All services remain free for youth and their families, and TQYC meets every Thursday with extra trips and events regularly as well as individual and family therapy and crisis support throughout the week.
TQYC is committed to building a safe haven where trans and queer youth have the resources to overcome adversity and grow into their most beautiful, thriving, authentic selves.
WHO WE ARE
Julie Strathdee, MFTA (She/Her)
Mental Health Director
Queer identified, Julie holds an MA in Clinical Counseling Psychology and has worked as a youth director and a Marriage and Family Therapist in school districts, community mental health agencies and private practice.
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