Being Different; Staying Safe

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Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Once a month, in a downtown Walla Walla, Wash., coffee shop, about a dozen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and their friends gather for a social event. The meeting, called Triple Point, provides what one counselor calls a “safe zone” for LGBT children: a place to ask questions and to learn about dating in a supportive environment. Heather Rodriguez, a counselor at Children’s Home Society of Washington, began the program after she asked her local domestic-violence/sexual-assault coalition if there was a program to which she could refer a youth with sexual identity issues, “and the answer was ‘no.’ ” March 1,