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The Lambert House

A Written Tour of Your New Favorite House
I'm not entirely sure what I expected The Lambert House to be. Big and crowded, probably. Loud, definitely. I’d heard it described as “the local gay house,” which sounded promising. I wasn’t excited about the prospect of possibly being around a crowd of people that already knew each other, and possibly had no interest in getting to know me. However, that’s not what happened. The Lambert House was the opposite of what I expected in many ways. Except it’s definitely the local gay house. I’m going back for sure.

After being let into what is unmistakably, irrefutably a house (it even smells nice; like old wood and the promise of dinner), my friends and I were given a few forms to fill out. As I checked boxes that indicated I was not in desperate need of their services, which include free clothes, free dinner, a library, and advice on most things (yeah, this place rocks), I noticed a few things. Most rooms had at least one group of people talking quietly, but it really wasn’t crowded. Information about local LGBTQ+ events filled the bulletin board and an entire table. Chill music, that I later made a note of to listen to, played on the communal Spotify.

Next was the tour. We were led past a puzzle table, and a pool room, through the kitchen where a volunteer was in fact kindly cooking dinner, and upstairs to the library. All the books in it are queer- related, over a thousand more than the public library has, according to a volunteer. I checked out Proxy by Alex London. Another surprisingly large collection is their free clothing in the basement-- - providing everything from binders, to oversize sweaters (yay! There were enough of them for us to each take one). I’m planning on donating a few clothing items, which they’ll accept in new condition.

    The Lambert House has been around longer than I expected. In 1981, when it was still called called AGLYA (the “Association of Gay and Lesbian Youth Advocates,”), was the first LGBTQ+ youth organization with 501(c)(3)* status. It was renamed in 1993 in memory of queer youth advocate Gray Lambert, who’d died of AIDS two years before. Today, it continues to be a top organization in the Northwest for LGBTQ+ youth.

    The visitors to The Lambert House that I talked to (mostly at the kitchen table, where they drew and mapped out stories) seemed to spend as much time as possible there, and had only positive reviews. Cass, a fellow Nova student I interviewed who is both transgender and gay, did as well. She’d also heard about The Lambert House through friends. “It’s very welcoming… It’s just a place to escape and be gay” were among the praises she had for the place. It continues to be a safe place for queer youth and people 22 and under to hang out, go to workshops, and get the help they need. So take a bus or bike or whatever over to Capitol Hill some day, and check it out. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be disappointed.

*Tax exemption for nonprofits

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