By Kay Lazar BOSTON GLOBE, APRIL 26, 2017
Sam Mitchell, who lives in East Texas, can’t imagine a place where his gender is not an issue, where the specter of being bullied is not a daily fear.
By Roger Walker-Dack QUEERGURU, JUNE 30 2018
Comedian KRISTEN BECKER of DYKES OF HAZARD talked to queerguru about the 2nd Year of SUMMER OF SASS which gives troubled #LGBTQ kids from the Deep South a ‘mental health’ break by way of a summer in PTown. She also talked about her upcoming role performing as part of IMPROVINCETOWN all summer at PILGRIM HOUSE
By Sophia Starmack BANNER, MAY 1 2017
Kristen Becker is bringing more than her comedy to Provincetown this year with a new program that allows rural southern LGBT youth to experience life here.
Provincetown comedian Kristen Becker is making a reality of her dream to bring LGBT young people from the South to Provincetown through the Cape tip’s new “Summer of Sas” program.
Mitchell, who lives in East Texas, can’t imagine a place where his gender is not an issue, where the specter of being bullied is not a daily fear......He and a handful of other young adults are coming from Southern states to P-town, long an LGBT mecca, to experience something they haven’t before: a welcoming work and social environment.
[This summer] was the first time I ever held hands in public,” he said. “I love myself now. I don’t feel shame anymore. And it was the openness—this whole energy from Ptown that’s so happy and accepting.
Years later, the 40-year-old Provincetown townie described it to her friends. She told them about her dream to bring Southern youth like herself up to the famously gay-friendly “safe haven” to experience the healing power of acceptance.
The motivating force behind Summer of Sass is Kristen Becker, a 40-year-old Provincetown comedian who grew up in Louisiana and vividly remembers what it was like to have to hide that she was gay.
“Just to go somewhere where I will be accepted,” Mitchell said, “sounds good.”
Sam, the other young Summer of Sass recipient, said he saw issues he’s faced with anxiety fade over the course of the summer, something his mother noticed when he went home as well.
By Khalid El Khatib VICE, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
At Summer of Sass, kids get a chance to see how much better it gets, with the chance to live and work in a community that accepts them.
By Prianka Srinivasan EQUALITY, SPRING 2018
Provincetown: How this Coastal town became a “saving grace”for LGBTQ from the south.
Kristen Becker and The Summer of Sass Posted by queerguru, June 30, 2018
Comedian Kristen Becker of DykesofHazard talked to queerguru about the 2nd Year of Summer Of Sass which gives troubled #LGBTQ kids from the Deep South a 'mental health' break by way of a summer in PTown. She also talked about her upcoming role performing as part of Improvincetown all summer at Pilgrim House
The Program Offering Southern LGBTQ Youth a New Life in Provincetown. At Summer of Sass, kids get a chance to see how much better it gets, with the chance to live and work in a community that accepts them.
“We keep telling kids it gets better,” said Becker on the significance of bringing LGBTQ youth from the South to Ptown. “But this is what better looks like. This is a community to strive to build.”
“I remember stepping off the bus and breathing in,” said Lowery, recalling his first moments in Ptown. “ Honestly it was the first time I felt I was able to breath in years.”
Becker housed them with “host families” to whom participants paid some rent, earned through summer jobs. “We find them the right job, we find them the right bed. They come just to exist,” said Becker.
When Becker described to friends her dream of helping young adults experience the safe harbor of Provincetown, residents immediately stepped forward.Some donated frequent flier miles to help offset the price of plane tickets. Business owners said they would gladly hire new arrivals. Host families opened their doors.
It was Memorial Day Weekend when he first arrived and saw the community as tightly knit, friendly, and unabashedly gay. “It was a culture shock,” he said. “There were gay couples kissing on the street; guys hit on me! It was my first time there weren’t people giving me dirty looks for wearing my Make America Gay Again shirt.”
By Rob Phelps and Staff BOSTON SPIRIT, APRIL 26, 2017
‘Summer of Sass’ brings Southern LGBT youth to ‘safe haven’ in P’town.
Kristen Becker Wrapping Up The Summer of Sass Posted by queerguru, September 13, 2017
SummerofSass is a wonderful new scheme by Kristen Becker to give troubled #LGBT youth from the Deep South a summer to work and live in #PTown . We caught up with her as the summer draws to an end to see how it all worked out for everyone.Filmed by #HusseinWentz for www.queergurutv.com
“You see the smiles on their faces. They can’t ever wear that shirt again until they come back to Ptown, but just for that moment they get to be who they are,” Lowery explained. “It’s such a beautiful and eye-opening experience because that’s exactly how I felt the whole time I was in Ptown. It was my saving grace.”
But for many, Ptown is more than just a vacation spot. it is a radical community that promises to transform and empower those who visit.
The idea behind the program is simple. “We took young queer adults living in the South, brought them to Ptown, and watched how they thrived when they could be themselves,” Becker said.
Provincetown has long been a haven for queer people, one of America’s most accepting LGBTQ communities. And giving queer youth a chance to experience a place like that, so far removed from their communities back home, is the kind of formative experience that can change—or save—lives.
She hoped the magic of Provincetown would have a transformative effect, and it did. “It blew their minds that gay people walked down the street holding hands,” she said.
Her immediate goal for the program is to raise enough to hire an experienced executive director. From there, within five years, she hopes Summer of Sass will have a house in Provincetown with enough beds to house 15 or 16 kids at a time.