In February 2016, Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) opened its doors with one goal in mind: to provides services, safety and support to LGBTQI youth. Located in downtown Columbus on E. Town Street, KYC offers a variety of programming, activities and events. And the best part? They’re always free.
From peer-to-peer programs to HIV prevention and education, Kaleidoscope assists LGBTQI youth (ages 12-20) transition to healthy, productive adults and provides them with necessary tools to achieve personal and professional success. Kaleidoscope was founded in 1994, and is the only organization in Ohio that is solely dedicated to serving LGBTQI teens and youth.
So what’s it like inside this 5,000 square foot, two-story facility? KYC offers a welcoming, colorful environment and enthusiastic staff.
Most programming takes place on the first floor of the building. First floor rooms include the Tom W. Davis Family Room, Creative Arts Room, Library, Game Room, David Bohnett Cyber Center, and KYC Cafe.
The Tom W. Davis Family Room is a place to hang out and talk with other youth and the adult mentors, participate in discussion groups or watch a movie.
The Creative Arts Room has natural lighting and a variety of art supplies, including: paint and canvas, charcoal pencils, knitting supplies and a sewing machine. It’s a great place to hang out during the “drop-in” portion of an evening, which is from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Need a quick read? The KYC Library has books available for youth to borrow and enjoy.
Check out the KYC “Stuff to Do” page for a complete list of rooms, activities and what to expect: http://www.kycohio.org/our-space–stuff-to-do.html
Now that we’ve covered the building, let’s move on to one of the most popular programs: Genderscope. Genderscope is an affirming space where trans, gender non-conforming and queer youth can come together to build community, discuss issues related to gender identity and expression, and gain support from peers who share similar experiences. Genderscope 90-minute sessions are offered Tuesdays, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
In addition to Genderscope, KYC provides free weekday programming, including Self-Care, Cooking Club, Art Club, Walk With a Doc and Movie and Pizza Night.
And last but not least, KYC hosts fun social activities for youth, friends and family all throughout the year. To learn about upcoming events, check out kycohio.org or connect via social media (listed below).
KYC is always looking for volunteers for special events. Learn more about volunteer and support opportunities here: http://www.kycohio.org/volunteer-sign-up.html.
To schedule a KYC tour or inquire about programming or training, please call 614-294-5437 or complete the Contact Us form.
Stay connected with Kaleidoscope on social media!
- Gender Spectrum Lounge
An online support community. This resources provides education, training and support to create an inclusive environment, and is helpful for both youth and parents.
- Resources for Families, Friends and Allies
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s THRIVE Program
Specialized medical care for gender non-conformity and sex development
- NetCare (ages 18+)
Live Chat: http://www.netcareaccess.org/live-crisis-chat/
- Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis Line (17 and under)
- North Central Mental Health Services Hotline (to speak with a teen peer)