Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – MYBASE

Name: Peter Matthew Simpson
From: Brooklyn, New York
Grade: 12
School: All City Leadership Secondary School
Votes: 1


I felt as though I had more to offer. My extracurricular activities had to be
more impactful; and this was my way of passing some of me, onto them.
Beginning my senior year of high school, I began to volunteer with the MY BASE
(Motivated Youth Believing in all Self-Empowerment) Youth Civic
Engagement Program.
Participants in MY BASE work on multiple service projects that serve to
address the concerns of youth in Central Brooklyn. Given the
difficulties I faced coming out as a homosexual, I proposed the need
to provide for a greater number of safe spaces for youth who identify
with such a community. Minority queer youth specifically, face
increased stigmatization due to anti-queer discrimination from
heterosexual individuals and racism within the queer community. I
thus, decided to plan a service project to increase the awareness of
such an acute problem. The erasure, and lack thereof, of a presence
of sexual minorities within predominantly African American societies,
tends to be one of little importance; and such individuals have the
right to have their voices and opinions heard. Ultimately, I would
like to explore the ways in which race and gender identity coalesce to
disproportionately affect queer people of color. More so than
achieving a benchmark of “success” upon completion of my service
project however, I hoped my service project would serve to make my
Bedford-Stuyvesant community more conscious- conscious of the
importance of intersectional approaches when wishing to understand
discrimination; more conscious that much research has to be done on
the plights of minority queer individuals; more conscious that
individuals experience the world through the lens of a totality of
their identities.


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