OUR HISTORY - THE BEGINNING
GLOBE began out of a need for support expressed by queer youth in Snohomish County in 1993. At that time there was an HIV Prevention Program at the Snohomish Health District. An employee of the program, an openly gay man, was approached by a couple of queer youth looking for resources and a place to meet, socialize, and get support. At that time there was a surplus of funding designed to prevent HIV and curb the AIDS epidemic. The decision was made to utilize some of these funds to create a youth program with a focus on HIV Prevention.
Weekly support meetings began, facilitated by two LGBTQIA+ adults who were also health educators for the Health District. During the meeting there were games and movies, providing opportunities for socialization and relationship-building, along with discussion, support and guidance for the youth in attendance. Topics covered in those early days revolved around HIV
prevention, LGBTQIA+ stigma and discrimination, homophobia, self-esteem and healthy life choices including safe sex discussions.
This group was designed for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 14 – 20. The age of 14 was chosen as the youngest age because in the State of Washington this is the age where youth can access reproductive health services without parental consent. The age of 20 was chosen because 21 and older are legally allowed to drink and are considered adults.
FORMATION OF THE ASSETS TEAM
In 1988, the GLOBE facilitators made the decision to enlist the support of other LGBTQIA+ adults to broaden the support available to the youth involved. Called the Assets Team, this group of adult volunteers submit applications, complete a background check and reference checks, and then participate in an interview with GLOBE youth and current Assets Team members. Assets Team members alternate attending weekly groups to assist with facilitation. They also assist with seasonal events such as the summer picnic, fundraisers, and the annual Links and Alliances Conference.
ADOPTION BY PFLAG
Adoption by PFLAG
In January 2007, GLOBE was no longer able to operate as a public health program due to shrinking government dollars and changes to the political climate.
Up to this point, the weekly costs were covered through HIV Prevention dollars: weekly snacks, staff time, supplies, supply storage and meeting space. And because the youth in GLOBE were considered clients of a health district program, they had access to the Health District office and Assets Team staff as needed. Additionally, this access included safer sex resources and supplies.
Globe had developed a positive reputation community-wide as the primary resources for LGBTQIA+ youth, and had garnered support fom a number of influential individuals, programs and systems supporting youth in Snohomish County. Based on the need for GLOBE to continue in our community, the original two facilitators made a commitment to continue to support GLOBE on a purely volunteer basis for as long as possible.
So our challenge became "how will we pay for all the other stuff?" We had a little money from some fund-raisers and donations, but knew it wouldn't last long.
Financially, we had separated from public health and we needed a "parent" organization to help us out. We approached the local chapter of PFLAG because it was a perfect fit!
Over the next several years we found meeting space in a local open and affirming church and later, a community center. In November 2019 we partnered with PFLAG to obtain a dedicated space to share near the Everett Mall.
GLOBE has become known as a safe place for kids who just don't feel like they fit in. We've been around for over 25 years and have no plans to stop!