Saga at The Center on Colfax provides LGBTQ resources for young adults

A new program for young adults is underway at The Center on Colfax, the largest LGBTQ community center in the Rocky Mountain region.

The Center offers youth LGBTQ programming through Rainbow Alley for people 10 to 17 years old and activities for those 50 and older through West of 50, but young adult manager Viet Nguyen said there was a gap in offerings for people in between those age groups.

The new program, Saga, kicked off at the end of January and is geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual young adults between the ages of 18 and 24.

“It is a very crucial age range for identity development and exploring who you are as a person,” Nguyen said. “This meets the individual where they’re at to define success for themselves and provides resources to boost them.”

The program not only provides a space for friendships and community to blossom but also focuses on offering career development and life skills like mental health support or financial literacy, Nguyen said.

Examples of events include resume-building workshops, job-interview practice and guidance on how to dress as an LGBTQ person in the workplace.

Marina Ramirez, a Saga member, said she had never participated in The Center’s programming in the past but was searching for something like it.

“The queer community is still very isolated, and there isn’t a lot of information out there,” Ramirez said. “Especially for people who don’t have affirming families and friends. It’s such a relief to know that somewhere close to home, there are people just like you and that the life you can have is filled with hope and security. Those sentiments are, I feel, only now becoming more widespread in the community.”

In 2021, 69% of LGBQ+ teens said they experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past 12 months, compared to 35% of heterosexual teens, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These numbers did not include transgender teens, meaning experts feel it’s undercounted.

The programs Nguyen creates at Saga are evidence-based, she said, using research to determine what best helps LGBTQ young adults thrive.

Drop-in hours for Saga are from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays with event details on The Center’s website,

There’s also an online application to be a part of the Saga cohort.

“This is a space for people to find community and also really be who they are and explore their identity further,” Nguyen said. “It’s a space of acceptance and belonging.”

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