The Cov Community Continues To Show Up for Our Youth
Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month! Volunteering at Covenant House has looked very different these past two years while COVID protocols have been in place. Our existing supporters and many new volunteers have gotten creative with ways they can support youth at Covenant House while not being physically present in our buildings.
A New York City neighbor, Chloe Davis, knew about Covenant House and our services before the pandemic, but did not have a chance to visit our site and meet with staff and youth before she included Covenant House in her book as a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth. Chloe is a Broadway performer. She currently plays the character Nova and holds the positions of dance captain and associate choreographer for the new musical, “Paradise Square.” She is also the author of “The Queens' English, The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases,” a book that celebrates over 800 terms and phrases used to describe queer identity, history, and pride, which is the book that includes Covenant House on page 169.
Chloe is passionate about storytelling and highlighting communities that are underrepresented. She is a believer in art activism as a means for social change and brings the stories of marginalized people to the forefront. Chloe uses her art and creative outlook to center the narratives of Black culture and heighten awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Chloe’s book research led her to Covenant House. She said, “There is a harsh reality that many young people, particularly young people of color and queer youth, face exteme hardship and homelessness. Safety, love, nourishment, shelter, and support should be granted to every young person. Though these can be considered basic needs, there are thousands of youth who live without this support.” Chloe shares our commitment to the mission and values of Covenant House because when you “show respect and unconditional love to someone, you are giving them the opportunity to live and breathe in their absolute truth. You are creating a world that allows someone to stand in their most authentic self and feel empowered to help others to do the same.”
As an activist, Chloe promotes Queer literature and resources for both LGBTQIA+ people and their allies to understand the spectrum of identity. In February, she volunteered to be a part of the Covenant House Black History Month livestream titled “Our House, Our Power: A Showcase of Blackness, Freedom, and Art,” where she shared highlights from her book, “The Queens' English,'' with a goal of guiding important conversations around inclusivity, intersectionality, gender identity, and sexuality.
When we asked Chloe why she feels it is important to use her platform and her influence to be an advocate, she answered without hesitation. “Let's celebrate young people! Let's celebrate their understanding of diversity and equality and let's support and affirm their genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, chosen names, pronouns, and cultures. Allow them to be the leaders in the era of social change!”
Chloe is eager to host more engaging and transparent discussions with youth and staff at Covenant House about the many ways we celebrate identity, and we are eager to welcome her in.