I'll Be Your Rock...

It's free. It's priceless.

I'll Be Your Rock,   support for  rural LGBTQ+ youth, was founded by Christine Terpening in January 2022 in Vermontville, Michigan .   Christine knows the  fear, shame, loneliness and angst that comes from being in a dark and dangerous closet as she came out  late in life quietly, but  with great heartache .  Knowing the pain these kids may be going through and knowing the high risk of suicidal thoughts and self harm among LGBTQ+ youth, it wasn't long after surviving her own coming out that she rolled up her sleeves and came Out loud.  Making  a difference for LGBTQ+ youth in her own community and beyond has made all the hard times worth it.  With that, I'll Be Your Rock was  born.

With one  brave youth at the  first meeting, IBYR quickly grew to pushing tables together to fit all the kids and Rocks that mentor.  The rapid growth of our organization speaks to the dire need of inclusive resources for small communities.  It is the mission of  I'll Be Your Rock to provide  love, support and resources to  every LGBTQ+ youth in rural communities. We also support parents and work to improve the communities that queer youth call home. Our Rocks are host to Vermontville Youth Pride, a family friendly Pride dedicated to teens, kids and families.

IBYR hosts meetings once a month in Vermontville, Michigan. We have kids coming from surrounding areas and as far as an hour and a half away. For youth that live too far to attend in person we offer a safe, private Facebook group that is supported by our Rocks. Contact us today if you  or someone you know needs this safe space.

Chapters of I'll Be Your Rock are now available. Make your community a place  of safety and inclusion for  rural LGBTQ+ youth.  Contact us today to  become a champion for  rural LGBTQ+ youth in your own community.

I'll Be Your Rock is a 501c3 nonprofit and is supported by donations, sponsors and our own Rocks.  Your financial support would be greatly appreciated and put  to good use.

As our founder, Christine often says, coming out should be a happy story, not a survival story.

With Peace , Love & Pride--I'll Be Your Rock, board of directors

Who do we support?

All LGBTQ+ youth

While our focus is rural communities, we turn no child away. IBYR has kids coming from as far as an hour and a half away to partake in our monthly meetings, and from the large cities. This speaks to the need of more youth programs because queer kids, indeed, know who they are at a young age. We allow them space to evolve and grow and change as they feel comfortable. 

We are more than monthly meetings. We communicate with kids regularly to check-in and provide support in any way they need. Most kids are doing well and that makes us Rocks so happy, but there are those who have more struggles in life. IBYR has addressed bullying issues, food insecurity, healthy relationship advice, applying for needed programs, and coming out or not coming out issues. We are what these wonderful kids need most...Rocks. Whatever that child/teen needs to feel whole, happy, supported and loved is what we have to offer. 

Parents/Caregivers of LGBTQ+ youth

Many parents want to support their children. Having an LGBTQ+ child may bring many different feelings for parents. We are a safe place to discuss those feelings, to say things that you can not discuss and should not discuss with your child. I'll Be Your Rock is a Rock for parents and caregivers as well. The importance of parents getting this right from the start is paramount. We can help. You are not alone.


Allies are paramount to a healthy, happy queer person. Most people want to be allies but wonder what they can do or how they can be better. Allies in our program are called Rocks and we welcome you. Being an ally can be as simple as honoring pronouns and as extensive as standing up for LGBTQ+ rights. All are important. Letting people know that you are a safe space makes other closeted allies speak out also. Your role is immeasurable. Allies can even reach out to find out how they can host their own chapter of I'll Be Your Rock.


Rural or small towns often have the reputation that they are not inclusive, nor a safe space for LGBTQ+ community. IBYR knows that the best way to help queer youth is to enlighten the communities they call home. As we have found in our founding community of Vermontville Michigan is that the majority of people are closeted allies. Perhaps they were unaware that there is a need for them to be loudly supportive. Once they know, they rise to the occasion. IBYR will help guide chapters in enlightening their community. Will there be hate? Yes, but an elightened community will not tolerate them. 


At I'll Be Your Rock we have taken on homophobic school board members and hateful citizens that are willing to speak out. IBYR has the knowledge, expertise and resources to take on school issues. We advocate for students rights and can help you take on issues for disadvantaged students. IBYR has taken on GSA and bullying issues with success. No child, nowhere, should feel like their school is not a safe place to be.

Artwork by Landree, a 5th grade IBYR artist.

If you are having  an emergency, thoughts  of suicide or self harm please call  The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 to reach a counselor, 24/7.   To reach I'll  Be Your Rock, TEXT Christine at 517-231-3740.  She will  respond as quickly as possible.