PROVINCETOWN, MA — By now, “it gets better” has become a familiar shorthand for giving young LGBTQI people hope for their futures. The phrase brings us a lot of comfort when we need it most, but the emphasis has always been on the fact that it might take them some time to arrive wherever “better” is. Summer of Sass is an organization built around the idea that “better” might be possible right now, right here in Provincetown.
For the past two summers this life-changing start-up program has helped young adults who hail from parts of the country where, as program founder Kristen Becker once said, “the only place to be gay is a bar.”
Kristen is a lesbian comedian who grew up in Louisiana, an experience that was not so funny. “Living in an oppressive area motivated me to start Summer of Sass. We always tell young people that it gets better. So let’s show them that welcoming places do exist where they can be themselves and look forward to the future.”
The program matches young people with summer jobs, provides transportation, arranges a place to stay, and offers access to professional counseling. Participants are expected to contribute financially, but they can’t be expected to cover all expenses. Housing is the biggest and most costly challenge.
“Like many places that depend on tourism, P-Town is incredibly expensive to live or even rent a small room,” Kristen said. “We are trying to build a sustainable program and that takes some serious funding.”
Summer of Sass will be hosting a fundraising event on Thursday, 5/2 at NYC’s historic Stonewall Inn. This “Feel Good Cabaret” will include comedy, burlesque, and storytelling by The Generations Project. The event will raise funds to help change young people’s lives. To contribute now to Summer of Sass’ permanent housing campaign, visit summerofsass.com and their GoFundMe.
SUMMER OF SASS FUNDRAISING ACTIVITY
Summer of Sass is a seasonal work and travel program for queer youth (18-20) who hail from parts of the country where the only place to be gay is a bar. Our program provides these kids with affordable housing on the Outer Cape, a job, and an opportunity to be exactly who they are in a place where it’s safe to do so.
So far host families have offered rooms at vastly discounted rates, but the program’s goal is to fund permanent living arrangements. Our fundraising activity right now exists in grassroots, crowdfunding spaces like Facebook and GoFundMe. We accept donations on an ongoing basis via SummerofSass.com. SoS is also planning a fundraising event, “The Feel Good Cabaret,” on Thursday, 5/2 at The Stonewall Inn. This will be a small, ticketed event, with entertainment, storytelling, and an opportunity to help fund Summer of Sass’ permanent housing campaign.