By Claire O’ Malley
Steve English, co-owner of the Blossom Boys on 103rd street, and therapist Patricia Ahern have started a new art and writing group called the Rainbow Youth Connections. Rainbow Youth Connections is a group for LGBTQ teens, but all are welcome.
The first meeting was on Tues., Aug. 6. My mom and I drove over to the flower shop not knowing what to expect: Would any other kids even show up, would the other kids and people be nice and, most importantly, would there be good snacks.
It turns out that the answer to all of these questions was YES! There were about 10 other teenagers who showed up for the first meeting, Steve and Patricia, the group leaders, were very welcoming and nice, and the snacks were delicious.
Everyone was a little nervous at first, so we did some activities to get to know each other. We went around the group, shared our names and our preferred pronouns, and where we were from. There were teenagers in the groups from as far away as Tinley Park and Evanston! After we warmed up a little bit and were more comfortable, we took a snack break. For the rest of the first meeting, we drew and wrote and talked about whatever was on our minds.
We met again in August. Food was provided by Fat Tommy’s and we painted, drew or wrote. I think it is really great to have a group like this in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood, where kids can be comfortable with who they are and explore their creativity. Rainbow Youth Connections will meet every other Tuesday at Blossom Boys, 1810 W. 103rd St. Our next meeting is Sept. 3.
(The Villager’s teen correspondent, Claire O’Malley is an 8th grader in the Academic Center at Lindblom Math and Science Academy. Her interests include art and theatre, and she has been a student at Second City for several years.)