Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, Maryland

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Rainbow Youth Alliance

The Rainbow Youth Alliance (RYA) is a support network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, queer, and questioning teens and their allies—known to us as rainbow teens.  RYA is a safe place where you can:

  • Be yourself
  • Learn and ask questions
  • Speak your mind—and have others listen
  • Find mutual respect and support

What’s a meeting like?

RYA teens meet with at least two adult facilitators in a safe, relaxed, and respectful atmosphere.

Each meeting starts with a quick check-in, and then we launch into a discussion, presentation, or even a movie. Topics include everything from sexual health to coming out to drinking and drugs.

We also have fun social times, like an annual barbeque picnic, Halloween costume party, December holiday party, and a Valentine's dance with a DJ.

Who can attend?

All teens, ages 14 to 18, are welcome regardless of gender orientation or religious affiliation. You can come by yourself, or you can bring a friend. The only requirement is that you bring an open heart and mind.

What about my parents?

You don’t need your parent’s permission to attend RYA. If you’d like, your parents are welcome to drop in before the meeting to meet the facilitators, see the room, and ask questions. Parents are not permitted to attend the meetings.

Who runs RYA?

Our RYA Program Coordinator is Timothy Elliott.  He’s a licensed independent clinical social worker who specializes in sexual identity and youth issues, and he’s strived to develop safe, affirming spaces for LGBTQ youth and their allies throughout his career. He is also an avid juggler!

Is this a church thing?

Nope. Although the program is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, there is no religious component to RYA.

When and where?

  • 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month
  • 3:45 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Room 50 (Youth Room), lower level of Building 5 (the Sanctuary building)
    Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville
    100 Welsh Park Drive
    Rockville, MD 20850

More questions?

Just drop in to a meeting! Or, you can email our coordinator, Timothy Elliott, with your questions at RYAcoordinator@gmail.com.

You can like us on Facebook (Rainbow Youth Alliance) or follow us on Twitter (@RYAMoCo).

Donate to RYA Now


I went to the Rainbow Youth Alliance (RYA) for about three years while in high school.
I decided to do some sort of volunteering this summer, and you were my first thought -- even today, I feel I owe you a lot.

I would not be the person I am had I not found RYA."

- Artemis, college sophomore

 

  • lifelong spiritual discovery
  • beloved community
  • a just world
freedom