Who We Are



      Out Now originated in 1995 as a weekly support group for LGTB youth from the greater Springfield area. There was one advisor and no more than five young people regularly attending weekly meetings held in a donated church space.
      Since then, Out Now has grown its youth membership, added advisors, and increased visibility, become a nonprofit, and now holds an important voice in the local movement for peace and justice.

       

      Our (Fabulous) Staff

      Holly Richardson
      Co-Director – I am a 48 year old, white, queer, anti-racist, butch, community organizer from a working-class poor farming family in western MA.  I have been working with Out Now for 15 of the organization’s 16-year existence, and I am committed to building a movement for social justice that is not just inclusive of, but that is led by queer youth. I have been community organizing for nearly 20 years and have been a part of the anti-violence, prison abolition, anti-war, harm reduction and poor people’s rights movements.  I have worked for the decriminalization of prostitution, to bring and end to the drug war, and within queer liberation movements.

      As Co-Director I am responsible for grant writing, and other administrative duties, as well as assisting with the political education, and supervision of the youth staff, who carry out the peer leadership roles in the organization. Out Now is my love and my family and I hope to be around for another 20 years!

      Mikeii Hall
      Drop-in Supervisor & Outreach Coordinator – Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an interest in the same sex as myself.  Growing up in a world I knew very little about I slowly started to suppress my homosexuality, causing intense internalized homophobia, that lead to harassing some of my peers and inflicting pain onto myself all throughout middle school. When I reached high school I surrounded myself with a whole new group of friends who made me feel welcomed. After coming out to my friends, I came out to my mother who said she was fine with it, but a few months after she showed her true colors by calling me a faggot. My mother and I have gotten close again but nothing near how it use to be before I came out.

      I heard stories that being gay is a dangerous way to live, but so is not being true to yourself. I have spent many years in and after high school regaining confidence within myself to be who I was put on this earth to be, myself, and there is no turning back for me.

      Jen Higgins
      Community Organizer – I am a 33 year old, queer identified, white gal hoping to make an impact in my corner of the world. I have been out since I was 15, and was a member of Out Now as a teenager.

      Out Now helped me learn that there is so much love and support out there, that I was able to shed that closet, and begin living my life. I love my Big Ole Queer Family, and embrace the amazing amount of talent, energy, and spirit that my community puts forth.

      We are beautiful people, and I love being part of a community that strives to shine and is not afraid to let their freak flag fly. I am passionate about queer youth, and issues that impact them.

      I have worked at Out Now for a decade now, and it feels like this is just the beginning.

      Kwamel Rebel Quest
      Drop-in Supervisor & Community Organizer – I am a nineteen year old white/latino/jamaican, Bisexual, cis-gendered male. Identifying as bisexual has given me abrader perspective on life. Having being mistreated and bullied I can identify with the struggle a lot of the youth face today. Working with out now has only increased my awarness and helped me strengthen my voice.

      Kitty Thomas
      Drop-in Supervisor & Community Organizer – I’m a queer disabled women of color raised in a low income family of 5.
      What I’ve learned in life and with the help of Out Now is how to face my
      challenges head on and let my voice be heard.

      On behalf of everyone in the Out Now community:

      Thank You! Our work is possible because of the commitment and dedication of generous donors.
      Donate to Out Now