Hatch Youth is dedicated to empowering Houston-area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Allied (LGBTQIA) adolescents, ages 13-20, to become responsible citizens and positive contributors to society. Read more...
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Join us for Hatch Prom 2016!

The 2016 Annual Hatch Prom will be held on Thursday, June 2 at Numbers, 300 Westheimer Street in Houston. Every year the Hatch Youth participants come up with their own theme.

Introducing the theme for the 2016 Hatch Prom:
Dystopian Society

The Hatch Prom is a tradition and rite of passage for Houston-area LGBTIQA youth. Imagine going to your high school prom and being able to dress like you want to, dance with your partner, and just be yourself! That's what Hatch prom is all about. You won't recognize the place because it'll be transformed into an awesome dance floor with a rockin' DJ, and tons of yummy food. We'll have a photographer there to take your photo.

As always, adults ages 21+  are invited to purchase tickets for $25 at the door and LGBTQIA youth up to age 20 are admitted for free! We encourage the youth to wear a costume, come in drag, gown, tuxedo, or whatever they're comfortable wearing (as long as it's legal!). There are also $50 tickets for the adult VIP reception and opportunities to be a sponsor of prom. 

Click HERE to for more information or to purchase tickets to the Hatch prom

Prom is also Hatch Youth's largest fundraiser, and an opportunity for the community to earmark their gifts for programs that benefit LGBTQIA youth. This includes traditional Hatch Youth activities, as well as in-school programs (Safe Zones), and LGBTQIA youth homeless outreach. We thank our generous sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible!

Introducing Phoenix Youth: A new Hatch program for youth of color!

For years, the HATCH Youth program has provided resources for LGBT youth, lead community outreach programs and served as an affirming gathering space for some of Houston’s most vulnerable youth.  

Youth advocates and program leaders with HATCH and its parent organization, the Montrose Center, recognized that LGBT youth of color face special challenges as members of more than one minority group in a society which often presents heterosexuality as the only acceptable orientation.  LGBT youth of color also experience lower educational attainment and higher rates of homelessness than their peers. Unwelcoming school climates, employment discrimination, and negative family and cultural expectations perpetuate these negative outcomes.

In the LGBT youth of color community, 81.9% were verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, 63.9% because of their gender expression, 38.3% were physically harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 27.1% were physically harassed because of their gender expression. Youth who are harassed based on actual or perceived sexual orientation report higher levels of risk on a wide array of academic, health, and safety measures. Also, these same youth are likely to feel weaker connections to school, adults, and their larger community. As a result of these weakened connection, nearly one third of LGBT youth, a considerable amount of whom are youth of color, drop out of high school, which is three times the national average.  According to the Point Foundation, the National LGBT Scholarship Fund, 85% of students hear “gay” used in a negative way at school.
Not only are LGBT youth of color dealing with harassment, but as a result they are battling suicide and depression, rejection, homelessness, and substance abuse. It is apparent in more ways than one that LGBT youth and students of color need and deserve a safe haven.

Hence, the Phoenix Youth program was born. Phoenix Youth is a program that serves to provide a safe space for LGBT youth of color ages 13-20 to share their experiences with racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia in a supportive environment.  Everyone deserves to feel like they belong and the Phoenix Youth program provides LGBT youth of color in Houston the opportunity to be accepted, respected and welcomed.

We welcome you to join us at our kick-off party for the program, scheduled for May 21st at 6pm at the Montrose Center. The program is set to begin on June 3rd, with bi-monthly meetings throughout the year. For more information, please visit Hatch’s website www.hatchyouth.org.

Point Foundation Scholarships - Apply by Jan. 19, 2016!

Point FoundationPoint Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training. Since 2001, Point Foundation has awarded 326 scholarships to LGBTQ students at colleges and universities across the country.

The scholarship application for 2016-17 is open from November 1, 2015 to January 19, 2016 on the Point Foundation website. Please visit the Application page to learn more about Point’s application process.

Eligible applicants:

1. Must be enrolled or intending to enroll at an accredited college or university based in the United States in the fall of 2016.
2. Must be enrolled full-time for the full academic year.
3. Must be enrolled in a degree-granting undergraduate or graduate/doctoral program.
4. Must be at least a senior in high school.
5. Must be “out” as a person who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community.

Rock Girl!

Introducing Anna Maria Garza, Hatch Youth Services Associate
by Ty David Lerman, MA, LPC-S, CHt, The Montrose Center

If you’ve been paying attention to Hatch current events, you’ve probably noticed some changes. We are silly-excited (no really, some of us may have actually done a happy dance) to have Deb Murphy back! While Deb was away, the Hatch Youth Services Associate was doing a yeoman's share of the work, but then her family relocated to Corpus Christi, leaving a great big gap!

The interview process was extensive because we’re really choosy about all volunteers and staff involved with the Hatchlings. With this new position opening up, the youth were allowed to come up with their own interview questions, and some were part of the actual interviews. When we say that Hatch gives a voice to young people, we have to listen! They were vital in helping screen candidates! Both the youth and the agency were in agreement with one candidate who stood out. She’s a rockstar! She’s been part of the community for years, AND she’s even a former Hatchling! Who is this girl…? drum roll

Anna GarzaShe's Anna Maria Garza!!!

Anna’s family moved to the suburbs of Houston when she was in middle school. She describes herself as always being a little bit of a rebel in the non-destructive/non-conforming kind of way. Either from her self-identified “weirdness,”, or some other factor, she didn't have a lot of friends and like many teens, not many “out” peers in middle and high school. In high school art class, she wondered if one of her classmates was like her. She secretly came out to him by showing him the pink triangle she had on her binder. When he recognized the symbold, the two hit it off like Justin Bieber and saggy pants! The dynamic duo eventually caught wind of an LGBT youth group that met once a week (at that time) and found a way to get there.

When Anna talks about her first experience with Hatch, she lights up like the “big kid” she likes to describe herself as. She said Hatch was her salvation.

“To see people like you made everything less weird”, she shared. Her time in the group provided tools to be more confident as Anna. The friendships she made at Hatch have been life-long. She recounted recently attending an out-of-state wedding. “It was like a mini Hatch reunion,” she joked. Her experience and nourishment in Hatch helped pave the way for her future work as an adult.

Anna also is an accomplished musician, playing drums, guitar, bass guitar, and doing vocals. She was part of a short-lived, all-girl band that helped light the passion for helping other young women find their voices – literally and figuratively! In 2010 she launched the Houston chapter of Girls Rock Camp, a non-profit that empowers young women through music. Many of the goals of Girls Rock fall right in line with Hatch's mission.

Her activist fire continues to burn brightly, taking on the fight for reproductive rights, women’s rights, racism and classism. Adding LGBT youth to her list was a no-brainer for Anna when the Youth Services Associate position opened up. For  her it was coming full circle. Anna is excited to give back to the program that was such an influence for her own life.

The Montrose Center is lucky to have scored such a fireball of enthusiasm and positivity! Not to mention, we now have our very own Rock Girl!


The Montrose Center