U21 Testimonials

“I first attended U21 when I was nineteen. A friend of mine –sixteen or seventeen at the time—found out about it, and asked me to go with him. As gay men not old enough to go to clubs, it was one of the only places we could go to meet other gay men around our age. However, it became much more than that to us. U21 was possibly the only place where we could socialize while being completely open. It allowed the opportunity to make friends with others close to our age who were having comparable experiences. By the time I found U21, I was already out, and had established a decent system of support. I still benefited from the support I found at U21. Retrospectively, I truly wished I would have had U21 when I was in high school, still coming out, still figuring myself out. If it was valuable for me at nineteen, I imagine it is many times more helpful for young LGBT individuals who find it earlier.” Quinn Bailey-Cannon

“I started going to U21 simply because I had a crush on a girl. I didn’t realize when I walked through those doors how much my life would change. I made friendships that I still maintain even now at age 35. It helped shape me into the well-adjusted and confident adult I am today and I am forever grateful.” -Kendell Smith

“The under 21 group was crucial to my coming out process. I was introduced to valuable peers and role models, most of whom I am still friends with some 10+ years later. It was wonderful to have a safe place where I could be myself.” -Brian

“I am writing this letter in thought of 9/11. Since 2011 , not only do I think of what happened on that day, I also think of what happened two days later on September 13, 2011, when i tried to end my life. Around this time it is still hard for me to think about and even thinking about if I succeeded which is so hard to think and I don’t like to think about. I was in a hospital for a week to get better mentally. When I got out, and even though I had full support from my parents and family, I still felt alone. I still remember the first time I went to group. I met new people and new friends and was introduced to a new environment and community that I will always be comfortable in. So what I want to tell you is thank you for starting this group and making a safe environment. I don’t know where I would be today if there was no U21. I am very thankful for you being there for everyone and me.” – Robert

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