A Haven for the Hassled

Gay teens listen up! A grant-getting guru has found you a place to call home.

And the GLBT model is spreading. This year members will provide expertise to those administrating a $240,000 per year, four-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control. The money will be used mostly to set up a gay-and-lesbian resource center based on the GLBT prototype in Liberty City.

More important than the money, though, are the faces and lives of the young people who use the center. Stevie Alcocer has been attending for four months. The 22-year-old was married two and a half years ago in a small town outside Denver. Along with his wife, Audrey, Alcocer moved to Miami this past July. After the couple began to suspect that Stevie was gay, Audrey urged him to seek counsel.

In a group meeting one day, Stevie was asked to visualize his ideal partner. He declined. "Why?" a group member asked.

"I'm already married," he replied.

In the weeks that followed, Stevie came to accept his sexuality. He said he plans to file for divorce soon. Audrey is supportive, he says. They are still best friends. "The center gave me a chance to see other people like me and what they are going through," Stevie says. "You wouldn't think it, but it helps to know you are not alone."

victor_cruz@miaminewtimes.com

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