Young, Out, and Understanding


About Us

YOU, short for young, out, and understanding, is a LGBTQ+ student project based in the Bay Area, CA. Our mission is to spread love and tolerance throughout the world to inspire self-acceptance and honest living amongst queer youths. In short, YOU is a project created by young, queer people for young, queer people.

This website is designed with a virtual "four walls of trust." This is intended to be a hate-proof, safe space for people to seek support on their self-discovery journey. You can safely and anonymously share your stories, or come out without fear of repercussions or hate. You can also read or watch stories of other people and their journeys to find inspiration or courage to explore your own. YOU’s ultimate goal is to help teens who are struggling with their sexual orientation. Whether the feature on the website allows teens to come out, or that someone learns more about a sexual orientation that they didn’t know about before, or read a story that inspires even one person, YOU will have fulfilled the goal of helping and educating the community.

Our Stories


Alex Nguyen

For me, being able to call myself gay is new. I’ve always known i was different from my male friends going back all the way to elementary school. I knew that there was something different about me, but i was too innocent and frankly too young at the time to know how to describe it to my parents. In Vietnam, the mainstream culture has this notion of masculinity and patriarchy that does not welcome the cultural deviations of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, this includes my parents. For the sake of my family dynamic, i have not come out to them yet, but i look forward to the day when i can show them my true self. Through this project, i hope to inspire others, but also hopefully find courage for myself.

Keilah McKeown-Pool

I came out as bisexual in 7th grade, and while many people were supportive, there was some hard times where I felt like I shouldn’t have come out in the first place. I longed for a place online, free from the trolls and homophobia, where I could come out and be accepted. Luckily, the hard times soon evaporated as I entered high school. I very quickly found an “irl” community to support me, and that I would support back. However, thanks to the internet, I’ve made queer friends online who don’t even have the opportunity to come out safely in the first place. I’m very privileged to live in a part of the world, and the United States, where LGBTQ+ people are accepted and celebrated. I want to make YOU to help share that Bay Area love to people around the world who feel unsafe or are just not ready to come out yet. I want to make that community of people I needed when I first came out, so that no one feels that they shouldn’t be who they truly are.


What You Can Do

Come Out Safely

Learn Queer History

Share Your Story

What's In a Picture?

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