Turning Hate and Fear into Inclusivity and Creativity

July 28th, 2022

“I envision a crossroads where all of Fort Worth can gather; where every cultural group feels a sense of belonging, of being seen, represented, and listened to; where we celebrate the richness of our individual cultures freely and openly; and where repairing past harm and damage leads to greater respect and appreciation, creativity, and love – of self and one another.”

– Daniel Banks, Ph.D., Board Chair and Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of DNAWORKS, a founding organization of Transform 1012

Saving the youth of the LGBTQIA community

July 27th, 2022

The mission of LGBTQ SAVES is to provide safe and brave spaces for social and personal development of LGBTQ youth. Their vision is to build a community where all youth are safe and its physical and virtual programs offer hope in the lives of each youth served.

His grandfather was lynched in Fort Worth more than 100 years ago. He didn't know it until last year

July 8th, 2022

Fred Rouse is the only recorded African American to have been lynched in Tarrant County. His grandson and several non-profits seek healing by sharing his story.

Meet Sharon Herrera | Founder and Executive Director

June 21, 2022

In September 2010, several publicized suicides of LGBTQ youth reminded United States Air Force veteran and educator, Sharon Herrera, of a pain she was all too familiar with. Having contemplated her own suicide, she knew things had to change and that we needed a community where all children are safe. Sharon knew that with peer and community support she could save lives and build a network of passionate and caring individuals to help LGBTQ youth and their allies in Tarrant County. LGBTQ SAVES (Students, Allies, Volunteers, Educators, Support) was born.

Former KKK building being transformed into space of healing

June 16, 2022

A building in Fort Worth, Texas, that was once used by the Ku Klux Klan is being transformed into a center for healing, catering to people of color and the LGBTQ community. NBC’s Blayne Alexander reports for TODAY.

The KKK once gathered at this Texas site. Decades later, it's becoming a racial justice center named after a Black man who was lynched

June 16, 2022

Founded in 2019, Transform 1012 N. Main Street is attempting to perform a bit of alchemy: Instead of razing a former Ku Klux Klan hall, the organization is converting it into a cultural hub and arts center. The new structure will direct resources toward groups previously targeted by the Klan, including Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Catholic and LGBTQ communities.

Former KKK meeting place transformed into arts and cultural center

June 1, 2022

The meeting space was built in 1924 by the KKK, and became the Fort Worth headquarters for the white supremacist group. 

It now stands a three-story monument to racism and terror.

"When I think about this place and the hatred that members of this place, the KKK, how they went out into the community and struck fear in a lot of residents," said Fred Rouse III.

Former KKK meeting place to be transformed into arts and cultural center

June 1, 2022

The project, Transform1012, received $3 million in federal funding on Tuesday. It will go towards transforming the decrepit building on Main Street, just north of downtown Fort Worth.

Marc Veasey Delivers $3 Million for Fred Rouse Center in Fort Worth

May 31, 2022

The Democrat from Fort Worth dropped off a check for $3 million from the U.S. federal government to advance the transformation of the former Ku Klux Klan Klavern No. 101 Auditorium into a place of healing.

The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing, named after a local Black butcher who was lynched in 1921, will soon emerge on the property at 1012 N. Main St., with a grand opening planned for 2025.

Trans kids and allies in Texas face anxiety as legal battle over gender-affirming care continues

March 17, 2022

Trans kids across Texas are anxious as a legal battle plays out that could determine whether their parents can be prosecuted for providing them gender-affirming medical care. But there's help available.

Fort Worth wants suggestions to name new bridges. We have some

March 12, 2022

The city of Fort Worth is inviting residents to name three new bridges that have been constructed as part of the Panther Island project. The city should tread carefully. Polling the internet to pick a name is courting absurdity. Remember Boaty McBoatface?

Transforming history: ‘Fort Worth is ready to exhume our relationship to white supremacy’

January 14, 2022

A coalition of grassroots organizations and nonprofits are reimagining a former KKK auditorium as The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing.

Nonprofits Plan Bright Future for Old KKK Building in Fort Worth

January 12, 2022

A group of nonprofits that bought a Fort Worth building built by the Ku Klux Klan plans to turn it into a cultural hub and arts center – and name it after a Black man who was lynched a century ago.

Fort Worth’s high score for LGBTQ inclusivity doesn’t provide full picture, advocates say

January 8, 2022

The city scored 100 points on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, but the categories mentioning transgender people received zero points.

Daily Inspiration: Meet Sharon Herrera

September 16, 2021

The first LGBTQ SAVES meeting was held in my backyard. SAVES volunteers and I funded the organization out-of-own pocket while hosting meetings and events where we could.

Pride: el Mes Del Orgullo LGBTQ - Univision Dallas-Fort Worth

July 14, 2021

Voluntario de L.G.B.T.Q. SAVES comparte la misión de su organización, su historia, y los objetivos y programas que tienen para la comunidad LGBTQ durante el Mes Del Orgullo LGBTQ. (VIDEO)

Fort Worth: Organización le ofrece ayuda a jóvenes de comunidad LGBTQ - Telemundo Dallas

July 5, 2021

La fundadora nos explica que la organización comenzó hace 11 años y ayuda a jóvenes de la comunidad LGBTQ a integrarse a la sociedad y apoyarlos con sus familias. (VIDEO)

A picnic of community: A North Texas nonprofit expanded services to help LGBTQ youth during pandemic - The Dallas Morning News

June 30, 2021

A sun-soaked summer picnic in Trinity Park is common enough, but the rainbow-colored clothes among the more than 200 youths and volunteers who gathered Saturday were a sign of their event’s special significance: the largest gathering ever organized by LGBTQ SAVES.

Fort Worth PD holds Community Conversation - Dallas Voice

June 30, 2021

Fort Worth Police Department on June 22 presented its “LGBTQ Community Community Conversation,” a panel discussion featuring Police Chief Neil Noakes, LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S founder and Executive Director Sharon Herrera, HELP CEO Deejay Johannesen, Trans-Cendence International Executive Director Finn Jones and transgender advocate, consultant and producer Naomi Green, who is program manager for Abounding Prosperity.

Fort Worth family share struggles Latinx LGBTQ+ families face - Spectrum News 1

June 23, 2021

“Especially in the Hispanic community, being gay is not right, so I don’t blame my mom,” said Alvarado, who identifies as pansexual and non-binary.

Tarrant County cities have become more LGBT friendly. Advocates see room for growth - Fort Worth Star Telegram

June 15, 2021

Tarrant County community and city leaders say they’ve made incremental improvements to protect the LGBT community, especially on the heels of approved city policy changes. But advocates say the work is nowhere near done.

Honoring Pride Month - Dallas Voice

June 10, 2021

The Fort Worth City Council issued a proclamation honoring LGBTQ Pride Month. Sharon Herrera with LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. and Tyler Long with Trinity Pride accepted the proclamation from Councilmember Ann Zadeh. 

Meet Sharon Herrera: Executive Director and Founder - Shoutout DFW

July 8, 2020

I started this organization without any idea "how to" with a vision and mission to save lives! Our youth needed, not only a safe space but also a brave place to be themselves and build positive relationships.

S.A.V.E.-ing lives - Dallas Voice

March 27, 2020

New programming includes more leadership opportunities — and more meetings. “We have increased our monthly meetings from two to four, our assistant director and program leaders are building our programming and providing daily support through our ‘Groupme’ chat that we call our lifeline,” Herrera said.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth and Being God’s People in the World - First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth

December 11, 2019

One of the ways that we can “show up” for our youth is to become more educated about the ways in which we can love and support our LGBTQ+ youth.

Making history: Tarrant County Commissioners Court honors Pride Month - Dallas Voice

June 28, 2019

The Fort Worth resolution earlier this month passed unanimously, with Councilwoman Ann Zadeh presenting the signed proclamation to a group of activists, including Herrera, former Councilman Joel Burns, and Resource Center Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell.

Pride Month - Fort Worth Weekly

June 5, 2019

Unfortunately, that work is not complete, even here in the United States. The very real fear of a teen being thrown out of his or her family home for admitting to being part of the LGBTQ community is devastating. According to Sharron Herrera, a former member of the United States Air Force and founder of LGBTQ Saves, a nonprofit that provides a safe space for social and personal development in Fort Worth, 40 percent of the people in the LGBTQ community between the ages of 10 and 24 try to commit suicide, and enough succeed to make it the leading cause of death in that age group in the country.

Meet Sharon Herrera of LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. in Tarrant County - Vogage Dallas

March 22, 2019

"Some of past roadblocks included finding venues to host events, reaching LGBTQ students, and sustaining LGBTQ-friendly programs in a conservative community. Also, financially, most of the funding was out of my pocket and the pockets of friends, family and their family and friends. Once word got out, we saw an amazing outpouring of commitment to LGBTQ youths, churches, artists, local businesses and theaters, other non-profit organizations and entertainers began to have fundraising events in our honor and still do today!"

Gender Fluidity - Fort Worth Weekly

January 30, 2019

“These kids are feeling rejection, being kicked out of their homes,” she said. “They are bullied at school, and they are trying to find out who they are in the middle of all this adult chaos going on around them. We create a safe space where they are supported and loved and accepted, which allows the child to have hope and get rid of that negativity. One child told me that when they are here, they do not think about suicide. That’s important, because the majority of the youth that we serve have tried to commit suicide. We have the tools to help these children deal with what they are going through with love an acceptance. It’s what we do.”

What does it mean to be an American? - Dallas Morning News

July 3, 2018

Herrera wants to be, quite literally, a lifeline for LGBTQ youth in her community. Nearly all of the kids who have attended her youth meetings have attempted suicide, she said, and it breaks her heart.

Daireds and Teed Pride Boost Self-Esteem - Fort Worth Weekly

September 27, 2017

“We are trying to help the kids,” salon owner Daired Ogle said. “I guess in a lot of situations, these kids have self-esteem issues, and they experience bullying, which upsets us all. We’re going to give them a new perspective and let them see their value a little differently and more positively.”

Rainbow Reception celebrates diversity - The Shorthorn

August 31, 2017

LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., an independent LGBTQA rights and support group, was also present at the event. The organization provides counseling and advocacy resources to the LGBTQA community. The organization creates a safer environment for the community and promotes equality, president Sharon Herrera said. “Would you deny your own child a place at the table?” Herrera said about people who are anti-LGBTQA.

LGBTQ Saves - Fort Worth Weekly

May 17, 2017

The equal treatment of LGBTQ students in Texas’ public schools remains a battle. One year ago, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick visited Fort Worth school district headquarters to lambast the transgender student guidelines that allow students to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. In a press meeting tirade, Patrick invoked the term “social engineering” several times when referring to the school policy. More recently, Patrick, with the support of Gov. Greg Abbott and several high level state officials, pushed for a state bathroom bill that mandates people use public restrooms that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates. The controversial bill, which many say will harm business, has until May 29 to reach the governor’s desk. Amid a hostile political climate, Herrera and her volunteers soldier on.

Battleground Fort Worth - Dallas Voice

May 13, 2016

Sharon Herrera, the FWISD educator who founded LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., a support group for LGBT youth, was one of those who spoke during the meeting, talking about her own experience as a lesbian teen and how she attempted suicide at age 16. On Wednesday, she said she is encouraged by what she sees as the board’s support of Scribner and the guidelines. “These policies have been in place since 2011. I worked with Fairness Fort Worth’s former president, Tom Anable, and current President David Henderson and Jon Nelson on those policies,” Herrera said. “This superintendent made those policies come to life to ensure that all students are safe on our campuses. Dr. Scribner made an impact on students’ lives.”

Standing out in the crowd - Dallas Voice

October 17, 2014

Khan, an active participant in PFLAG and LGBTQ Saves, said he would love to eventually be a mentor as well. But one look shows he’s doing it already: A closeted friend recently asked him how to come out. Another friend wants to join PFLAG because he “always talks about it.”And it’s that spirit, that willingness to stand up and stand strong when it counts, that makes Khan — despite his young age — worthy of the honor he is receiving. It’s also what puts him in position to become a leader for tomorrow’s LGBT community.

Cowtown Pride - Dallas Voice

October 3, 2014

LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., an independent LGBTQA rights and support group, was also present at the event. The organization provides counseling and advocacy resources to the LGBTQA community. The organization creates a safer environment for the community and promotes equality, president Sharon Herrera said. “Would you deny your own child a place at the table?” Herrera said about people who are anti-LGBTQA.

LGBT students prepare for Tarrant County Gay Pride Week - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

October 1, 2014

“It is a very vulnerable and a very dangerous period of their lives,” she said of the teen years. “The reason is there are few resources out there. Parents or society has rejected the LGBT community, and so I designed this so they can have a place to reach out and meet others.”

Saving LGBTQ youth - Dallas Voice

November 15, 2013

“I think it’s important to have these events and show people that being gay doesn’t mean you have to hide,” Ortiz said. “It actually saves those kids who are gay when they tell their parents because it shows there are people who care for the gays and support the gays.

‘It’s NOT Okay’ - Dallas Voice

May 3, 2013

“I choose to be openly gay because of my personal story,” she said. “I want people to know I am here for them. I want to also be a role model for our LGBTQ students.”

Dying for Change - Fort Worth Weekly

June 6, 2012

“The community has a right to its own cultural norms, but when they become a part of a larger institution — a school, for example — they have to make sure that other cultural groups are protected as well.” Teachers and administrators don’t have to approve of homosexuality to enforce anti-bullying policies that protect students, Vallarino said. “The community has a right to its own cultural norms, but when they become a part of a larger institution — a school, for example — they have to make sure that other cultural groups are protected as well.”

Another LGBT Issue for Dansby’s Plate - Fort Worth Weekly

October 22, 2011

Anable, Vann, Herrera and others have praised the district for expanding the district’s anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies to include protections based on gender identity and gender expression. This week, however, Anable told the Voice, that advocates have become frustrated with the district’s slow progress in implementing training regarding the policies and in enforcing them.  The fact that there have been no training sessions set up for administrators and teachers to fully understand the policies and to know when and how to recognize hate speech and to understand that expressions such as those voiced by the secretary thru the district’s email system are not allowed, led to the unfortunate outcomes for both Franks and the secretary, Herrera said. “This is a clear failure of leadership,” she said.

Safe haven - Dallas Voice

October 13, 2011

Inclusivity, says Herrera, is not enough; LGBTQ kids need programs tailored to their specific challenges — challenges that are made ever more apparent every time the local news reports on yet another bullied teen’s suicide.