Back in spring, Capitol Hill was covered with pink posters insisting: "We need queer youth space." Then on June 16, the city's Department of Neighborhoods awarded queer youth activists $100,000 to do it.
Six months later, where's that queer youth space?
One space the group tried to rent fell through in summer, another is up in the air, and other spaces on the market don't suit the group's needs, says Kyle Rapiñan, one of the group's leaders. "We don't want it to be close to a bar," he explains. Sharing even a walkway or being in the same building as a bar, he adds, "would be counter to our mission to provide safe and healthy spaces for young people." The venue must also be wheelchair accessible, in order to comply with city granting rules, and located on or near Capitol Hill.
"Hopefully within the next six months we'll know about the [potential space]," he says. "Even though it looks like the project is deferred, it is still actively involving queer youth in the community."
Some projects funded by the city take longer than others, says Anne Takekawa, a project manager for the city's Neighborhood Matching Fund. But if Queer Youth Space is still in the same position a year from now, she says, "I would be extremely concerned."