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LGBTQ+ Services

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The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) provides an inclusive, safe and positive human development environment for all youth in its custody, including youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQ+). Oregon Youth Authority promotes environments that provide physical and emotional safety, and effective culturally competent services, education and programs to all youth regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression (SOGIE).

OYA collaborates with its youth, their families, and community members to create opportunities for emotional growth and community awareness. OYA supports and fosters an environment where LGBTQ+ youth can develop and explore their self-identity. OYA offers LGBTQ+ youth access to:

  • Health and wellness information
  • Apparel and appearance resources
  • Cultural events
  • Youth development activities
  • The right to file grievances and/or call the OYA Professional Standards Office

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Co​​​​​​mmittee​​​​​​ (SOGIEC)

This committee makes policy, training and service recommendations to support the needs of youth whose identities include diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expression in Oregon Youth Authority facilities and community placements. The SOGIEC also reviews and makes decisions on the appropriate placement and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, gender diverse, gender fluid and intersex (LGBTQ+) youth upon intake to an OYA facility and responds to LGBTQ+ youth requests for services. The SOGIEC may also make recommendations to Community Services staff regarding OYA community transgender, gender diverse and intersex youth issues upon request.​

The SOGIE​C core members include:

  • ​OYA Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations director or designee
  • OYA medical director
  • OYA Development Services assistant director
  • OYA supervising psychologist or designee
  • OYA chief of facility operations or designee 
  • OYA Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) coordinator
  • OYA chief of parole and probation or designee
  • OYA Community Resources Unit representative
  • OYA facility superintendent
  • OYA intake facility superintendents or designees
  • OYA Behavioral Health Services coordinator​

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Committee request form​

LGBTQ​+ Advisory Group​​

OYA also has a LGBTQ+ advisory committee for members of the outside community to help inform the agency's policy.

Membership of LGBTQ+ Advisory Group:

  • Ardell Bailey, OYA Development Services
  • Ahnjene Boleyn, Oregon DHS Child Welfare
  • Jenn Burleton, TransActive Gender Project
  • Doug Cooper, OYA Volunteer​
  • Jo Doyle, Basic Rights Oregon
  • Deven Edgerton, OYA Foster Care
  • Erin Fuimaono, OYA Development Services​
  • Keeble Giscombe, OYA Director​
  • Seth Johnstone, Basic Rights Oregon
  • Christine Kirk, OYA Director's Office
  • Denessa Martin, OYA Facility Services​
  • Galli Murray, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Clackamas County
  • Christina McMahan, Clackamas County Juvenile Department
  • Melanie Parent, Department of Human Services​
  • Danni/y Rosen, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)/OYA Volunteer
  • Kelli Russel, A Village for One
  • Liz Schwarz, OYA Development Services
  • Lori Torres, Janus Youth Programs

Community prov​​​iders​

OYA also contracts with providers in the community. This includes therapists who have expertise in meeting the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as volunteers who come into OYA facilities to host support groups and events.

Rivera ​House​

Rivera House facade

Rivera House is a residential program run by Janus Youth Programs for LGBTQ+ youth. Read more about it on our blog.

To learn more about Rivera House, contact:
Monica Moran
​Community Resources Specialist
503-931-9561
Monica.Moran@oya.oregon.gov​

Rainbow colored teddy bears wearing Pride Month shirts

​OYA's Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) helps coordinate special events, activities, and celebrations at OYA facilities, including:

  • Pride Month Event
  • Coming Out Day
  • Support Groups at MacLaren and Tillamook youth correctional facilities​​​​

​​Providing appropriate services to LGBTQ+ youth in the juvenile justice system aligns with OYA's mission to protect the public and reduce crime by holding youth accountable and providing opportunities for reformation in safe environments. This is backed up by numerous studies that show a disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ youth involved in the system.


Ideas for combating this include:
  • A focus on affirming sexual minority identities and empowering youth by using a strengths-based perspective
  • Promoting awareness and acceptance of youth
  • Offering support and resources for youth and staff
  • Ensuring the safety of youth 

​ 

OYA Stat​​istics

According to OYA caseworkers in a 2020 biannual survey:

  • 9% of youth in the agency's custody did not identify as heterosexual. The actual percentage was likely higher because the survey only counts youth who have come out to their caseworkers.
  • 5% (51 youth) identified as something other than their assigned gender at birth.​​​​

OYA follows Oregon Health Plan guidelines and best practices regarding gender dysphoria, hormone therapy, and other transition health provisions for LGBTQ+ youth.

OYA contracts with medical providers as well as therapists who have expertise in gender identity.

YA 1504: Gender Identity Committee request form

​Useful links:


​​Phone/Text

24-hour TrevorLifeline:  1-866-488-7386
24-​hour TrevorText:  Text START to 678678
Crisis Text Line:  Text START to 741-741
The GLBT National Youth Talkline (serving youth through age 25):  800-246-7743
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255​

​​

Willamette Valley/Sale​​​m

Transgender-informed Mental Health Providers in the Willamette Valley:  https://www.mvbcn.org/transgender-care/
Salem Pride:  http://salempride.com/
Rainbow Youth:  http://rainbowyouth.org/

 

Portlan​​d

OHSU Transgender Health Program:  https://www.ohsu.edu/transgender-health
New Avenues for Youth Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC):  http://www.smyrc.org/bridge-13
Brave Space:   https://www.bravespacellc.com/
Q Center:  https://www.pdxqcenter.org/
Basic Rights Oregon:  http://www.basicrights.org/
TransActive Gender Project:  https://graduate.lclark.edu/programs/continuing_education/transactive/

 

Nationa​​​l/International

World Professional Assoc. for Transgender Health (WPATH):  https://www.wpath.org/
National LGBTQ Task Force:  https://www.thetaskforce.org/
It Gets Better Project:  https://itgetsbetter.org/
The Trevor Project:  https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
PFLAG:  https://pflag.org/ (Local chapters all over Oregon)​
Resource Guide for LGBTQ+ Students: couponfollow.com/research/resources-guide-for-lgbtq-students​


​OYA is in need of foster parents for our LGBTQ+ youth. If you are interested, please visit our foster care page.

OYA is always looking for volunteers to serve as community mentors. Learn more at our volunteer page​.