The Queer and Trans Youth Council of Santa Cruz County, a program of the Queer Youth Task Force, is a youth-led council that focuses on building community and leadership skills. Each year the council members create and complete a project that will help build a safer county for our LGBTQIA+ youth.
This year they are celebrating and supporting queer and trans youth with their zine, The Queer Agenda. It’s their final project of the year.
Council members Sion Erkiletian and Nico Olmstead created the zine from start to finish. They did extensive research on topics that they thought would help LGBTQIA+ youth, writing articles, creating the graphics layout, and hand-assembling 300 hard copies of the zine that were distributed at the 26th annual Queer Youth Leaderships Awards in mid-May.
Nico created the graphics, including the cover art and the art for the stickers that come with the hard copies, while Sion wrote most of the articles. Article topics include drug harm reduction, safer sex, safe binding, worker’s rights, and many more for the zine that is geared towards a high school audience but may be appropriate for some middle schoolers. The zine also prominently features art and poetry from local queer and trans youth.
Founded in 2012, and now affiliated with the Diversity Center and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, the Queer and Trans Youth Council accepts applications for new council members every year. If you are interested in applying for our 2023-2024 council, applications will open soon on the Queer Youth Task Force Website, QYTF.org.