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You know that "straight" is not a 21+ identity too, right? And you know that straight "youth" can't get into bars and clubs until they're 21 too, right? So it's not like queer youth are being discriminated against. And the bars and clubs? Meh, they're nice, booze is great, but the bars aren't all they're cracked up to be. And there are some underage nights and venues around town, of course, where under21s—gay and straight—are welcome to hang out.

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But maybe it's not about getting into bars—maybe just that's my bar-and-booze-centric take—and what you're really on about is...

Seattle needs queer space that's just for queer youth, a place where queer youth can meet up, hang out, flirt, and talk shit, and feel safe. I'm on your side. But if you're on Capitol Hill—and you must be, seeing as the magic two-block radius gets most of your stickering and tagging attentions—you're in what amounts to a large, open-air, all-ages queer space. Want queer youth space? Seize it. Don't bleg for "space to hold queer youth space" on your Facebook page or waste time applying for $100,000 grants from the city. You want queer youth space now? Seize it now. Declare the upstairs seating area at Vita queer youth space on Saturday nights and just show up take over. Or takeover the front tables at Smith for a queer youth happy hour between 5-7 one night a week (tip calculator here). Or plant a flag in Teletubby Hill in Cal Anderson Park—not to hold a meeting to complain about the lack of queer youth space or craft a plan to create queer youth space or fill out grant applications to create spaces for queer youth, but plant your flag and declare it queer youth space.

What you're doing now—holding meetings, stickering, applying for grants—looks like so much asking the grownups for permission. You don't need anyone's permission. There's a lot of space in Seattle, some of it queer, almost all of it queer-friendly. Claim your share already.

UPDATE: I wanted to add, "queer youth are free to go anywhere straight youth go," but that's not true. Queer youth can go pretty much anywhere straight youth go on Capitol Hill but queer youth might not feel comfortable, they might not feel safe. Anti-gay harassment and violence are real concerns, of course, and then there's the plight of the half-in/half-out, i.e. queer youth who are afraid to hang out in mixed spaces—bars, cafes, parks—during queer youth events/takeovers because they might run into friends or family members who don't know they're queer. So let's be honest about what you're seeking: not queer youth space—available all over Capitol Hill—but queer-youth-only space, something like a gay bar for queer kids, a clubhouse, a Vera Project for queer youth. But without Vera's focus on music and performance, your queer youth space will become... a glorified drop-in center.

Which sounds great in theory, and you might get that 100K grant from the city to set one up, but in practice most drop-in centers for youth—queer or otherwise—are depressing and deserted, glorified pamphlet racks with a few ratty couches, bad lighting, and faded posters. Maybe you'll do better, maybe you'll create a space where queer youth want to hang out. But it'll be work and it'll be hard to maintain and most of you won't be youth anymore by the time you get it off the ground.

So... again... why wait? You want queer youth space, seize some. A little bit like, um, you're doing already. Which means it can be done... without the guilt-tripping tags, without the blegs, without the $100K.