Indianapolis Star (04.01.12) - Monday, April 09, 2012
The United Way's Indiana Youth Group (IYG) serves about 760
young people coping with sexual orientation issues, offering
some 20 support groups out of a converted home on
The tobacco-, alcohol- and drug-free center has onsite adult
mentors who work to boost the self-esteem of LGBT youths ages
12-20. IYG gives "kids the chance to know they are not alone,"
said Pamela June, a clinical child-psychologist who has worked
in Indianapolis' and Pike Township's middle and elementary
schools. Support groups guide youths through topics ranging
from relationship advice to coming out to family and friends,
said IYG Program Manager Christie Clayton.
All support groups are age-appropriate, said Clayton. "If we
are talking about things of sexual nature that involve mature
content, then we use discretion," she said. Discussions stress
health and safety, said IYG Executive Director Mary Byrne. "We
don't preach abstinence, but we definitely support that until
a young person is mature enough to handle [sex]," said Byrne.
The center also offers HIV and STD testing, and it makes
Recently, IYG came under fire after some conservatives
protested a specialty license plate benefitting the group. The
Bureau of Motor Vehicles issued the plate in December
following a lawsuit filing by IYG. But a few months later,
state senators found a contractual miscue and persuaded BMV to
revoke the plate. The matter will likely be settled in court.