The Issue: Discrimination Against LGBTQ Youth
Nearly 82% of young people who identify as LGBTQ were verbally harassed, according to a GLSEN study, and 38% of LGBTQ young people have been physically harassed because of their sexual orientation. This harassment not only affects young LGBTQ people's welfare, but also their education—46% of transgender students missed school at least once in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
The Campaign: Providing a Safe Space for LGBTQ Youth
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (BAGLY) to provide services, fund operations, and purchase supplies for LGBTQ young people. This includes purchasing rapid HIV tests, software for the center's cybercenter, and food for the youth experiencing homelessness who visit the center.
The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth
Founded in 1980 as an advocacy and support organization, The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (BAGLY) has always been on the forefront of issues facing young queer people. Such is its commitment to young LGBTQ voices that its leadership is made up of young people, with adults serving as advisors.
BAGLY's work is twofold. First, it educates and supports its young members, all of whom are 22 years old or younger. At its newly renovated center, young people can receive health education and care, get school and GED help, search for jobs, and join support groups that provide a safe space to discuss myriad issues facing LGBTQ youth. But BAGLY isn't just focused on serious subjects—it's also home to the nation's first prom for young LGBTQ people. The 2009 dance became the organization's most attended event, with more than 1,700 people celebrating at Boston City Hall.
Additionally, BAGLY advocates for queer rights, which have included pressuring the City of Boston to issue a permit for the Pride Day Parade and getting the term sexual orientation added to the Massachusetts Students’ Rights Law. BAGLY also educates people outside its doors, including starting the first LGBTQ youth speakers series in public schools and being among the first to discuss issues facing transgender youth with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.