Gay youth Get Another Group

A new organization for youth is sprouting roots in Bro- ward County. Started just over a month ago, the Youth Equality Extension Project (YEEP) aims to get young people involved in the campaign for LGBT rights.

Rodigo Labbe, its creative director, is only 21. He’s majoring in political science at Broward College, where he’s the vice president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. This year, he’ll be campaigning to be GSA president—and he has wider ambitions to run for political office in the next few years.

YEEP, he says, will focus on overturning the gay adoption ban and winning more anti-discrimination protections for gay workers. It’s in the process of filing for 501(c)(3) status so it can raise money. The group is also seeking federal permission to train members in professional lobbying.

“We wanted creative ways to get youth involved,” Labbe says. “Instead of trying to create a social-services environment, we’re trying to create an environment for youth to fight for equality. We’re trying to be an active political movement.”

The group is scouting for locations to hold educational skits in September, and hopes to partner with Rock the Vote and local political campaigns. It made its first splash at the Stonewall Street Festival in Wilton Manors, where members, who range in age from 18 to 30, struck up chants for gay rights.

Labbe says the Dolphin Democrats have backed the group, and he’s working to hold bi-weekly meetings soon at Fusion on Wilton Drive. For now, get-togethers are held at members’ homes, and participation is growing. The next meeting is on July 14.

For more info, go to Facebook.com and search for “The YEEProject.”


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