Programs and Groups
Support and Discussion Groups
Rainbow Alley offers GLBT youth groups around topics such as drugs and alcohol, HIV and AIDS, coming out, suicide prevention, personal safety, and school struggles.
We provide assistance with vocational, educational and housing resources. Youth are welcome to browse through our resource library to learn more about issues like smoking cessation, drugs and alcohol, safe sex, HIV prevention, healthy eating habits, school safety and more. Staff and trained volunteers are available to consult on issues affecting Rainbow Alley youth like family conflict, dating relationships and independent living.
Many youth who utilize Rainbow Alley services do not have a supportive parental figure in their lives because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Rainbow Alley offers mentors and facilitators as role models for youth to hang out with and talk to. The University of Denver Professional Psychology Center and The Mental Health Association of Colorado offer free counseling for Rainbow Alley youth. Rainbow Alley staff can be contacted for more information.
Social activities allow Rainbow Alley youth to socialize without fear of harassment, ridicule or discrimination. The Youth Leaders plan the monthly calendars and produce an array of activities including; weekly dinner and movie nights, art activities, talent shows, open mic nights, dances, drag shows and outings to events like baseball games and the theater.
Membership & Leadership Opportunities
Rainbow Alley Membership is an opportunity for youth to take more ownership of their role in Rainbow Alley. Members are asked to complete two classes which include learning about GLBTQ terminology, homophobia, and discuss myths and assumptions about the GLBTQ community. Membership status ant Rainbow Alley provides opportunities to volunteer at Rainbow ALley as well as participate in our monthly field trips, quarterly sleep-over/lock-ins, and annual camping trip.
Youth Leadership Crew
Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is a group of Rainbow Alley Members devoted to being leaders in the Rainbow Alley space and in the greater GLBTQ community. Leadership Meetings are held on the first and third Saturdays of the month. The YLC creates our monthly calendar and plans events, activities and fundraisers. The YLC serves as our Justice Council, providing input and accountability for infractions within the Rainbow Alley space. YLC members are trained to participate in Speakers Bureau and our Street Outreach Team.
Paid Peer Staff
Youth work at Rainbow Alley during all open hours, greeting program participants, entering census data and maintaining the facility. Peer staff are trained HIV Prevention Educators as well as smoking prevention educators and conduct workshops for the Rainbow Alley community about safe sex, HIV, and tobacco prevention.
Youth volunteer to be trained to speak at presentations about their experience as GLBT youth by sharing their personal stories with peers and adults in places like schools, churches and professional agencies.
Youth, staff and volunteers of Rainbow Alley produce two annual events, Gaybutante Ball (a coming out ritual borrowed from the Debutante Balls) and Queer Prom (an opportunity for youth to participate in this time-honored tradition where they can bring the date of their choice free from harassment and discrimination).
Adult Volunteer Opportunities at Rainbow Alley
Mentor: The Mentor position is the most common volunteer position at Rainbow Alley. It includes interacting with youth in a mentoring role, providing an adult presence in the Alley, and maintaining a safe space for youth to "hang out" during Rainbow Alley's drop-in hours.
Speakers Bureau: Part of Rainbow Alley's mission is to perform outreach to Denver area schools and other agencies that serve Denver's youth. Speakers Bureau is a group of youth and adult volunteers who visit Denver area schools and other youth facilities to talk about Rainbow Alley and the services it provides as well as educating about ways to make spaces safer for LGBT youth. Separate training is required.
Street Outreach Worker: Rainbow Alley has a youth-driven street-outreach program focusing on tobacco prevention and HIV-prevention education to Denver area youth. Adult volunteers go with our youth outreach workers to provide safety and to interact with those we are reaching out to. The time commitment is typically two hours per week. Separate training is required.
Support Group Facilitator: Rainbow Alley offers a Support Group for youth on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30. The group is open to any youth and typically topics are set by the youth each week. Separate training is required.
Event Support: Rainbow Alley holds two major events during the year: Gaybutante Ball in October, and Queer Prom in May. Both events require some event planning which include getting the word out (hanging posters and handing out flyers), making decorations, and serving as adult presence at the event.