The Queer & Trans Youth Music Project (QTYMP) is a collectively run organization that supports queer and trans youth in Seattle (and beyond) through programming that focuses on music, empowerment, and social justice. QTYMP was founded in 2016, after being inspired by and branching off from a session of Queer Rock Camp that was held in Seattle in 2015.
If you are familiar with Queer Rock Camp, you will notice some similarities and some differences at QTYMP. We have a new structure to help organizing be more accessible and sustainable; we are launching more comprehensive organizer and volunteer trainings to build a culture of interrupting and responding to instances of racism, transmisogyny, and other forms of oppression; and we have an active and engaged Leadership Team who will be available before, during, and after our programs to support and respond to the needs of youth, volunteers, and organizers. As a team, we are committed to interrogating our work and selves in the interest of making our programs as accessible as possible. We acknowledge that the same spaces are not accessible to everyone, and that this organization is a work in progress. We hope that you will join us! And we also hope that you will share with us your ideas, needs, or feedback.
The Queer & Trans Youth Music Project supports queer, trans, gender-variant, and gender non-conforming youth in Seattle (and beyond) through programming that focuses on music, empowerment, social justice, and community building. We believe in the fluidity of gender and sexuality, and see music as a way to amplify resilience and self-expression.
Queer & Trans Visibility: QTYMP is grounded in queer & trans leadership and visibility in all aspects of our organization and programming. We also welcome the year-round support of allies who do not share these identities.
Anti-Racism: We work to center the leadership and participation of People of Color in QTYMP’s programs and organizing. We do this in part by: grounding our music programs in learning and teaching about the contributions and creations of people of color throughout our queer history and musical lineages; recognizing and respecting the traditional owners of the land on which our programs take place; prioritizing POC campers and volunteers in our selection process; prioritizing POC on the Leadership Team and when applying to paid positions at QTYMP.
Youth Agency and Leadership: We encourage youth leadership and agency, both within our programs & in our organization. Our programs are designed for people ages 13-20, and folks of those ages are also welcome to organize. The Rogue Rainbow Team is specifically designed to center the voices, experiences, and ideas of young queer, trans, and gender variant/non-conforming youth. Young folks are also welcome on any of the Project Teams, as well as on the Leadership Team.
Collective Liberation, Allyship & Solidarity: We recognize that systemic oppressions that we seek to dismantle (which include and are not limited to racism, transphobia, transmisogyny, adultism, ableism, and classism) can also show up in our interpersonal relationships and organizations. We expect everyone involved with QTYMP to reflectively engage with their identities and privileges, and support one another on the path towards healing, solidarity, allyship and collective liberation.
Music, Fun, & DIY Ethos: We aim to challenge societal norms of identity in ways that empower each other and encourage collaboration, self-expression, and mutual respect. We encourage self-discovery through hands-on experience and risk-taking. We know that there is no “correct” way of playing music, and our music programs strike a balance between technique and experimentation. We embrace team-teaching and mutual support among campers, volunteers, and organizers.
Intergenerational Community: We encourage appropriate mentorship, connection, and accountability between youth and adults in our programs. By bringing together queer, trans, gender-variant, and gender non-conforming people of all ages, we strive to build a resilient and reflective community across generations, and in so doing create a world where queer youth are encouraged, supported, valued, included, and heard.