by Nick Joyner
A little group support goes a long way. It’s no secret that it’s hard to grow up as a LGBT youth. In a 2013 survey of LGBT teens aged 13-17, the Human Rights Campaign reported that 4 in 10 youth felt that the community that they lived in was not accepting of them. They say it gets better, but something has to help.
That’s where Fiesta Youth comes in. After Jackson Leeper and her mother attended a PFLAG meeting and discovered that no LGBT teen support group existed in San Antonio, they started making the trek to Austin to participate in its peer support group. After Jackson began to notice the positive effects the meeting had on her social life and confidence, she and her mom wanted to create such a group in San Antonio.
The Leeper family pitched the idea of an LGBT teen group at a PFLAG meeting and sought out other supportive families and donors, and thus Fiesta Youth was born.
Founded to allow for full expression and support of LGBT teens age 12-18 in San Antonio, Fiesta Youth works to educate, support, and create friendships. In a youth-led environment, activities range from food and videos to guest speakers and group discussions. Group members also participate in a variety of other events, such as the HRC walk or Pride Block Party. Besides youth participants, the group is always in need of adult volunteers and donors to help support its vision of acceptance.
Meetings are held every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 at University Presbyterian Church and are open to LGBT teens and allies. Connect with their Facebook page for more details: facebook.com/FiestaYouth.