OUT Maine’s office on Park Street in Rockland. Courtesy of OUT Maine

Thanks to Jane’s Trust and You Have Our Trust Fund, OUT Maine is converting its in-person professional development curriculum and expanding the content to reach even more teachers and service providers who work with LGBTQ+ youth.

While over 8000 educators, health care and behavioral health providers have been trained in the last five years, the need for community-based support is growing. According to the Maine Department of Education, 20 percent of Maine’s teens identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary or questioning (LGBTQ+). At high risk for bullying and harassment and significant Adverse Childhood Experiences, OUT Maine’s training initiative helps these youth by building a safety net of informed providers across our rural communities. The training initiative focuses on creating welcoming and affirming environments for LGBTQ+ youth in a variety of settings, including schools, youth camps/programs, medical and therapy practices and community service providers.

Thanks to this generous support, this comprehensive online training program will greatly increase OUT Maine’s educational reach to providers and help make Maine, and beyond, more welcoming and affirming for LGBTQ+ youth.

OUT Maine works toward a welcoming and affirming Maine for all rural young people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions and gender identities. In partnership with their allies and families, OUT Maine supports, educates and empowers these youth in their journey from adolescence to adulthood. For more information, or to support OUT’s critical work on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth, please www.outmaine.org.