About Youth Allies

Updated July 2016

Welcome!

Rainbow "Y" Logo for LGBT Youth AlliesLGBT Youth Allies (a/k/a Youth Allies) offers resources, news, and commentary about the legal rights, safety, health, and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth; other sexual-minority and gender-minority youth; questioning youth; and their families, friends, and allies. (For the sake of simplicity, I often refer to all of these groups collectively as LGBT—or LGBTQ—youth and their allies.) Some of the site’s content covers LGBT issues more broadly.

The site includes a frequently updated News Page with news from around the web. On the site’s blog (accessible here or through the home page), I occasionally post other news, commentary, videos, resources, and information about site updates. For additional information from other sources, check out the site’s list of LGBT-related blogs and media sources, as well as our pages listing national (U.S.) organizations, state/regional/local organizations, and international organizations. Other sections of the site’s resource library are in the process of re-development, and while you are still most welcome to access the library (here), please note that some resources and links within the library are, for now, a little out of date. (Your patience is much appreciated.)

The site’s (and blog’s) principal author/blogger/editor is me, Michael Kavey, though family, friends, and colleagues provide frequent and invaluable assistance and support in many forms (which is why you’ll often find me referring to “us” and “we”). I am also the owner of Vieres LLC, which, in turn, owns and operates this site & blog.

If you’ve got questions, concerns, or ideas for the site, or if you would like to contribute content, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

About Michael Kavey

About me: I’m an attorney, researcher, writer, and adjunct law professor based in New York City, and I’ve been an advocate for LGBT youth since I was in high school (in the early to mid 90s). (Note that while I happen to be an attorney, I’m not your attorney—neither is Vieres LLC—and nothing on this website constitutes legal advice in any way, shape or form. See the Disclaimers & Disclosures for more information.) I stayed involved in advocacy for LGBT equality during the rest of high school (in suburban New York), and during much of college and law school at Yale. And I dedicated many of my academic efforts in college and law school to constitutional and anti-discrimination law, as well as education law. While in law school, I worked on the Yale Law Journal as an editor and a member of its admissions committee. I also co-chaired the LGBT student organization OutLaws during the year that OutLaws, along with another student group, sued the U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over military recruitment policies. (Before law school, I also got an M.A. in Spanish, and I’ve spent over 2.5 years in Madrid.) While a student, I interned at several non-profit organizations, including GLSEN and Lambda Legal.

After law school, I had the good fortune to serve as a law clerk to two fantastic jurists: the first was the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, who at the time was a federal appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. I then clerked for the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch, who at the time sat on the federal district court for the Southern District of New York.

From 2007 to 2010, I worked as an attorney with Lambda Legal (for two years as a Liman Fellow and then as an Affiliated Attorney). My litigation, public policy work, and other advocacy at Lambda Legal focused on the rights of LGBT students and their allies in schools; among other things, I helped to expand Lambda Legal’s support for GLSEN’s Day of Silence, and I served as lead counsel at Lambda during the early stages of a federal lawsuit filed in 2009. That lawsuit, filed on behalf of Charles Pratt and his sister Ashley Petranchuk against an upstate New York school district and several of its employees, alleged years of anti-gay and sexist discrimination and censorship in violation of federal and state laws. The defendant school officials acquiesced to one of our suit’s demands within days of our initial filing but sought to have our other claims thrown out. We fought back, of course, and received a helpful boost from the U.S. Department of Justice, which took the unusual step of filing a brief to support our case. The district court later issued a widely-cited decision allowing all of our federal claims and most of our state claims to proceed. After I had left Lambda—my colleagues successfully settled the case. At the end of my stint at Lambda Legal, the National LGBT Bar Association named me one of the Best LGBT Attorneys Under 40.

Since late 2010, I’ve worked on a range of projects, most of which have been law-related, LGBT-advocacy-related, or both. I served as an Associate-in-Law (2010-2012) and Lecturer-in-Law (2012-2014) at Columbia Law School, where I researched and wrote about constitutional, comparative, and anti-discrimination law. I taught ten sections of Columbia’s Legal Practice Workshop course over four years and guest-lectured in other courses on employment discrimination, statutory drafting, and constitutional law. I also supervised students in Columbia’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic on asylum petitions and a brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. And in 2013 and 2014, I worked as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York

Since 2014, I’ve worked independently on several research, writing, and editorial consulting projects through my company (Vieres LLC), providing assistance to individuals and groups on LGBTQ-related publications. These projects have included research and writing for a large non-profit studying workplace equality issues in multiple countries; consulting services for an academic author analyzing recent gay-rights cases; and research and writing assistance for an organization that publishes a resource on sexual orientation and gender identity for parents and other family members of LGBT people.

In early 2015, my teaching endeavors moved downtown, where I began my current teaching job as an adjunct professor at NYU Law School. In the fall semester, I teach a seminar on Sexuality, Gender & the Law, and in the spring semester, I coordinate an LGBTQ Rights Externship program and teach a related seminar.

I’ve also been collaborating on cases and other projects in recent years in my capacity as an attorney (not through Vieres LLC), including on cases and other projects with Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality. In 2016, for example, I co-authored two amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs with Lambda Legal in cases pending before a federal court in New York. (One of those cases garnered some publicity—from CNN, BuzzFeed, Bloomberg, and other sources—when a separate amicus brief was filed in the case on behalf of 128 members of Congress.)

I’ve written extensively on LGBT issues over the years, not only through hundreds of blog posts on this site, but also through essays, articles and other pieces appearing in books published by Oxford University Press (co-authored with Kenji Yoshino), Cambridge University Press, and the University of Chicago Press, as well as in the Yale Law Journal and the New York University Review of Law and Social Change. I’ve also written educational and advocacy materials for Lambda Legal (see, for example, this post), and I’ve contributed as an author or co-author to both academic/legal and popular media blogs (for example, here, here and here). I’ve also had a number of speaking engagements over the years (and moderated some panel discussions) related to LGBT issues, including at Columbia, NYU, Yale, at various high schools, firms and non-profits, and at conferences abroad in BudapestMontreal, and at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Views Are Mine

On this website and blog, I do not speak for any current or former employer, colleague, client, associate, or student; nor do I speak on behalf of any organization, other than my own company, Vieres LLC.

Thanks for visiting!

MK

Youth Allies

Vieres LLC