Queer & Trans Youth Council


The Queer & Trans Youth Council of Santa Cruz County (QTYC) provides local LGBTQIA+ youth with leadership skills and an opportunity to serve the local LGBTQIA+ community. Council members work together to identify needs, then plan and implement projects to directly impact their community.

The QTYC is an advisory chamber to the adult-led Santa Cruz County Queer Youth Task Force, and a part of the Santa Cruz County Youth Led Leadership Alliance, which also includes the Countywide Black Student Union, Youth Artists Taking Action, Youth for Environmental Action, Multilingual Youth Taking Action, and the Youth Mental Health Leadership Council.  

You can follow the Youth Led Leadership Alliance on Instagram at @sccstudentleadership

If you would like to volunteer with the Queer Youth Taskforce or financially support their projects (like the QTYC), email them at  info@QYTF.org or call them at (831) 427-4004.


If you are a Santa Cruz County high school student interested in applying to be a part of next school year's Queer & Trans Youth Council, please fill out both our general interest form and the QTYC application below. The QTYC Application button will reroute you to an external webpage, and the application can be found at the bottom of the page.  

Applications are due Friday, September 8th at 11:59pm  

For more information contact Andres Ortiz at anortiz@santacruzcoe.org or 831-466-5713. 


* Our orientation and first meeting of the 2023-24 school year will be on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 11am-2pm at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education building (400 Encinal St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060). At this meeting we will confirm our weekly meeting times and location. 

Weekly Meetings: Mondays via Zoom 4:15 to 5:15pm

YLLA Monthly Meetings: Generally first Saturday of the month 10am-2pm with the other YLLA groups (In person only):


2023 - The Queer Agenda Zine 

The 2023 Queer & Trans Youth Council designed, created and printed a zine featuring resources, information and art by and for queer youth and their allies. The entire process from concept to completion was lead by our high school QTYC members Sion Erkiletian and Nico Olmstead.  They did research, wrote articles created the graphics, and hand assembled over 300 hard copies for distribution the Queer Youth Leadership Awards in May.

Check out this article from Lookout Santa Cruz! 

2022 - All-Gender High School Bathrooms Student Survey

The mission of the 2022 Queer & Trans Youth Council was to support public high school students in Santa Cruz County in having reliable and safe access to all-gender bathrooms at school. To do this, they created and distributed a survey to collect information from Santa Cruz County high school students on the current state of school all-gender bathrooms. Their survey received over 800 responses from high school students across the county. They organized and processed the data to compile the issues that needed to be addressed in order to contact school administrators and offer direct assistance and funding.

2021 - Resources Website for Closeted LGBTQIA+ Youth

The 2021 Queer & Trans Youth Council created the Cryptids in the Closet website to provide closeted LGBTQIA+ youth with informational resources. They chose a URL that wouldn’t alert guardians to the LGBTQIA+ content of the website (CryptidsInTheCloset.com) and the cover page is about cryptids. As part of the design, there is a built in Safety Exit which can be used as a discrete way to leave the LGBTQIA+ site quickly and go back to the cryptid page. There is also an art gallery where they continue to accept art submissions, and there is a gallery of coming out stories that you can also contribute to. Their intent with building this website was to provide a safe place for closeted youth.

2020 - LGBTQIA+ Students' Rights Training for School Staff

The 2020 Queer & Trans Youth Council created and presented a training for school staff in Santa Cruz County about LGBTQIA+ students' rights and how to support LGBTQIA+ them, and when shelter-in-place went into effect, they converted the training to a virtual platform to ensure educators still had access to the information.


Jamie Cutter (She/Her)

Jamie Cutter is the facilitator for the Queer and Trans Youth Council. Jamie is also a teacher and the author of Inclusive Sex Education, an LGBTQIA+ inclusive sex education curriculum that is currently being taught throughout the country. In her spare time, Jamie likes to drink coffee and hang out with her dog, Oaklie, and partner, Toni.