LGBT youth in Summit now have Cafe Q

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Cafe Q in Summit, NJ logo 2018
Cafe Q in Summit, NJ logo 2018
Cafe Q meets every third Sunday

LGBT teens in the Summit area now have a new place to meet. Cafe Q is a once-a-month meeting to hang out in a safe and comfortable environment that is LGBT friendly and safe. It is held at Congregation Beth Hatikvah, 36 Chatham Road in Summit, every third Sunday from 3-5 pm.

Cafe Q is a non-denominational meeting and is open to LGBT youth from Summit and all the surrounding towns. Janice Masvidal is the chairperson for Cafe Q. According to Masvidal, the idea was approved by the Synagogue immediately. It is staffed and chaperoned by members of Beth Hatikvah who are LGBT or have children that are LGBT.  Masvidal lives in Maplewood with her wife Carol.

“More young people are coming to terms with their sexuality and gender identity earlier in life, and they can often feel alienated from their peer groups, reluctant to speak to straight and cis-gender people about what they’re experiencing,” Masvidal said in an interview with Michal Fineman of Patch online. “We think they should have a safe place where they can meet other kids who understand what they’re going through and where they can just relax and be themselves.”

Masvidal told Patch, “As far as they can see, not only is Cafe Q the only game in town, it is the only game for many towns. As far as we know there is only one other organization like this and it is located in Cresskill. We want anyone from anywhere to come.”

Masvidal said that the congregation does not have a way to vet adult volunteers from outside the synagogue so for the time being they are restricting adult volunteers who work with the kids. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want support and feedback.

“People with ideas , money, skill can talk with us about how they best can get involved in those ways,” Masvidal said to Michal Fineman a Patch Poster.

As the project evolves, the teens will help to determine Café Q’s future activities. For more information, email: cafeQ@bethhatikvah.org.