The national organizations listed below provide information about and/or advocate for the rights, safety, and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, other sexual- and gender-minority youth, and their allies.
The first list below includes groups working primarily or exclusively on LGBT youth issues—or on issues affecting the parents and families of LGBT youth. The second list includes LGBT equality groups that are not primarily youth-focused. The third list shows groups that do not focus on LGBT issues but whose work is LGBT-youth-inclusive. (For the second and third lists, clicking on an organization may reveal links to its LGBT-youth-focused projects or web pages.)
Have a suggestion? Let us know!
…and more information will appear in a gray box like this. To expand all sections at once, click here. To close all sections at once, click here.
Organizations & Projects For LGBT Youth & Their Families:
The Human Rights Campaign‘s All Children – All Families project “promotes LGBT cultural competency among child welfare agencies through innovative resources, including an online agency self-assessment tool, comprehensive staff training, free technical assistance and more.”
“Ambiente Joven es un proyecto de Advocates for Youth y está dedicada a la comunidad gay, lesbiana, bisexual y transexual joven latina en E.E.U.U. y Latino América, con la meta de proveer información sobre salud sexual y mental, así como información sobre cultura general.”
“Campus Pride represents the leading national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.” This “volunteer-driven network ‘for’ and ‘by’ student leaders” aims to “develop necessary resources, programs and services to support LGBT and ally students on college campuses across the United States.”
The Equity Project works to “ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in juvenile delinquency courts are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness.” The Project “examines issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGI/E) that impact youth during the entire delinquency process, ranging from arrest through post-disposition.”
“Everyone Is Gay is an advice website for all, with an emphasis on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth. The website uses humor and honesty to support these youth, to dialogue with others in the LGBTQ community, and to simultaneously keep everyone laughing. Everyone Is Gay also works to increase awareness at high school and college campuses through an ongoing, nationwide tour.”
See also the Parents Project (below).
“The Family Acceptance Project™ is the only community research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease major health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV and homelessness – in the context of their families. We use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBT children.”
The Project’s research and publications are available here.
“GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community.”
GLSEN produces fantastic resources and research, all available on its website.
“Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.”
“Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources through peer support, leadership development, and training.”
“The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.”
National Youth Pride Services is “an intellectual, creative urban movement that focuses on socially forward, leadership and development activities for black LGBTQ young adults.” Its mission is “[t]o empower black LGBTQ young adults through leadership development, networking and collaborative events, in order to better improve their quality of life.”
“The Parents Project is a first-of-its-kind digital presence, inclusive of videos, advice, and resources, dedicated exclusively toward helping parents understand their LGBTQ kids. Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo, co-founders of the award winning LGBTQ youth organization Everyone Is Gay, began The Parents Project in November 2013 to answer the many questions they were receiving from parents whose children had recently come out to them. The Parents Project sources voices from across the world to help answer these questions, including advice from Dannielle and Kristin themselves, parents, youth, and experts on a variety of topics related to sexuality and gender identity.”
Founded in 1972, “PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and allies united with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and full societal affirmation of LGBT people through its threefold mission of support, education, and advocacy.” The organization “has over 350 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states.” Its “vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced, and serviced by PFLAG National, located in Washington, D.C., the National Board of Directors and 13 Regional Directors.”
“Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.”
“The Safe Schools Coalition is an international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that is working to help schools – at home and all over the world – become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The SSC has a vast resource library available through its home page.
“Scouts for Equality is an organization composed largely of Boy Scouts of America alumni dedicated to ending the BSA’s ban on gay members and leaders.”
“Trans Student Equality Resources is a youth-led organization dedicated to improving the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. We believe that trans and gender nonconforming youth should be allowed the same opportunities and respect enjoyed by their peers and that education is a matter of civil rights.”
“TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected.” The organization envisions “a society free of suicide and violence in which ALL children are respected and celebrated.”
“Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.”
“The True Colors Fund was co-founded by Cyndi Lauper to raise awareness about and bring an end to” homelessness among LGBT youth, “and to inspire everyone, especially straight people, to become active participants in the advancement of equality for all.”
See also Forty to None (above), which is a project of the True Colors Fund.
“The Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF), guided by the life and story of Tyler Clementi, promotes safe, inclusive and respectful social environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for vulnerable youth, LGBT youth and their allies.
Through educational partnerships, research, public dialogues and awareness programs, TCF fosters empathetic, constructive discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families, at all levels of society.”
The organization envisions “a world that embraces all members of society with human dignity and unconditional love regardless of sexual orientation or differences, real or perceived.”
“We Are the Youth is an ongoing photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in the United States. Through photographic portraits and ‘as told to’ interviews in the participants’ own voices, We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness among the LGBTQ youth population.” The project “addresses the lack of visibility of LGBTQ young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way.”
Welcoming Schools, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, “offers professional development tools, lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and many additional resources for elementary schools on . . . [e]mbracing family diversity, [a]voiding gender stereotyping and . . . [e]nding bullying and name-calling.”
More LGBT Equality Organizations:
“The Asian Pride Project aspires to foster greater visibility, pride, acceptance, unity, and harmony for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asians & Pacific Islander (API) people in our families, cultural communities and beyond, no matter where we are! We believe in the power of sharing, connecting, and relating to give API families and communities the support they need when struggling with the challenges of our sexual and gender identities in the API cultural context.”
The Project is engaged in a “two-phase media campaign using two means of outreach”: an online component and advertising in local community papers.
Athlete Ally “provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities.” The organization “mobilize[s] Ambassadors in collegiate, professional and Olympic sports who work to foster ‘allyship’ in their athletic environments. The programs include Ambassadors from over 80 colleges and over 100 professional athletes.”
“The Bisexual Resource Center envisions a world where love is celebrated, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Because bisexuals today are still misunderstood, marginalized and discriminated against, the BRC is committed to providing support to the bisexual community and raising public awareness about bisexuality and bisexual people.”
BRC’s youth page is here.
“Centerlink: The Community of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Centers exists to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and to build a unified center movement.”
“COLAGE unites people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer parents into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other to be skilled, self-confident, and just leaders in our collective communities.” COLAGE envisions a world where youth with one or more LGBTQ parents “are connected to a broad community of peers and mentors, are recognized as the authorities of their shared experiences, belong to respected and valued family structures, and have the tools and support to create and maintain a just society.”
“The combined vision and mission of the Consortium is to achieve higher education environments in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni have equity in every respect. Our goals are to support colleagues and develop curriculum to professionally enhance this work; to seek climate improvement on campuses; and to advocate for policy change, program development, and establishment of LGBT Office/Centers.”
“As the strategic partner to a robust network of state-based organizations that are advancing equality in the communities we call home,” the “Equality Federation provides critical expertise and support to members who are adapting to a changing landscape that demands smart investment and political know-how to overcome shrinking but increasingly savvy opposition.”
EF includes “Safe and Just Schools” among the critical issues it addresses.
“Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the one million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender in this country and the two million children they are raising.”
“Freedom to Work is a national organization committed to banning workplace harassment and career discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender Americans through public education, policy analysis, and legal work.”
“As the LGBT movement’s communications epicenter, GLAAD is the principal organization that works directly with news media, entertainment media, cultural institutions and social media. Through the undeniable power of the media – whether it’s your favorite TV show, telenovela or local newspaper – or even on the sports field or through an online petition with hundreds of thousands of signatures, GLAAD is there advancing the stories that need to be told and that make real change.”
“The GLBT National Help Center … is dedicated to meeting the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and those questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity. …
We offer several different programs including two national hotlines that help members of our community talk about the important issues that they are facing in their lives. We help end the isolation that many people feel, by providing a safe environment on the phone or via the internet to discuss issues that people can’t talk about anywhere else. The GLBT National Help Center also helps other organizations build the infrastructure they need to provide strong support to our community at the local level.”
“The Global Equality Fund was launched in December 2011 to support programs that advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons around the world. The Fund is a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of State, bridging government, companies and NGOs with the objective of empowering LGBT persons to live freely and without discrimination.”
“Harvey Milk’s dream for a better tomorrow filled with the hope for equality and a world without hate guides the Foundation. Harvey Milk’s ground breaking election in 1977 as one of the world’s first openly gay elected officials-and its most visible one- symbolized the freedom to live life with authenticity to millions of LGBT women and men around the world.
As a not- for-profit global organization, our program goals – to empower local, regional, national and global organizations so that they may fully realize the power of Harvey Milk’s story, style, and collaborative relationship building – are as large and bold as Harvey taught us! The Foundation, through Harvey’s dream for a just tomorrow, envisions governments that celebrate the rich and universally empowering diversity of humanity, where all individuals – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, the young, the disabled – all who had been excluded can fully participate in all societal rights without exception.”
Founded in 1981, GLMA “is the world’s largest and oldest association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) healthcare professionals.” Its mission “is to ensure equality in healthcare for [LGBT] individuals and healthcare providers.”
“In 2012, GLMA announced a new tag line and preference to be known as GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, or simply ‘GLMA’. This shift recognizes that all health professionals and our supporters have a role in improving the health and well-being of LGBT people and that GLMA is an organization that welcomes and serves everyone who shares in that belief.”
“HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.”
HRC Youth Resources include:
- The HRC Youth & Campus Page (with links to various resources)
- HRC Issue Maps (maps of state laws & policies).
See also All Children – All Families (above) and Welcoming Schools (also above).
“Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals. Founded in 1994 as the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, Immigration Equality provides legal aid and advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families.”
Information from IE about the federal program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is available here.
“The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.
Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs, and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to ‘Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, & Acceptance’ through its varied educational, outreach and, advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew’s story.”
The Foundation also runs the Matthew’s Place website for LGBT youth and their allies.
“Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. MAP’s work is focused on three primary areas:
The NBJC “is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.” Its mission “is to end racism and homophobia. As America’s leading national Black LGBT civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead Black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBT equality.”
The NBJC’s Safe and Inclusive Schools page is here.
“The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.”
NCLR’s youth page is here.
“The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.”
NCTE has an Safe & Supportive Schools page here.
“Founded in 1995, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) is the only national coalition dedicated to reducing violence and its impacts on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities in the United States. NCAVP currently brings together LGBTQH anti-violence programs in cities and regions across the United States and in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario.”
“The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement.”
The Task Force’s “Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies.”
The Task Force’s Youth page is here.
“The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander organizations. NQAPIA seeks to build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias.”
“The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.” While the organization was originally formed in response to the anti-gay, anti-marriage-equality amendment to the California constitution known as Proposition 8, the NOH8 Campaign “has grown to stand against discrimination and bullying of all kinds.”
“The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.”
“The Trans Advocacy Network (TAN) is an alliance of transgender organizations that work at the state and local level, coming together to build a stronger trans movement by facilitating the sharing of resources, best practices, and organizing strategies.
Our member organizations are statewide, local, and campus-based trans organizations that work on advocacy, training, and education to help change the climate for trans people in their communities. Member organizations are also LGBT groups who are actively advocating on issues that directly relate to transgender equality through a trans-specific project, committee, or dedicated staff.”
“Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.”
“TPOCC is an organization to inspire and nurture collaboration among communities of color dedicated to anti-racism and fighting transphobia and the empowerment of transgender persons of color. We work to strengthen and mobilize individuals, families, and communities by changing laws, educating the public, and building social and economic strength among all persons of color.”
“The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.”
You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.
You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.
You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.
More Groups Supporting LGBT Equality & LGBT Youth:
“Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health.”
“The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world’s largest association of psychologists, with nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.” Its mission “is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.”
“The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 ‘to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.’ Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.
A leader in the development of materials, programs and services, ADL builds bridges of communication, understanding and respect among diverse groups, carrying out its mission through a network of 30 Regional and Satellite Offices in the United States and abroad.”
“AVEN hosts the world’s largest online asexual community as well as a large archive of resources on asexuality. AVEN strives to create open, honest discussion about asexuality among sexual and asexual people alike.”
“Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.”
The “CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”
The CDC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health page is here.
Its LGBT Youth Health page is here.
- For an example of the Department of Education’s LGBT-inclusive guidance, see the October 2010 Dear Colleague letter (PDF) regarding school bullying (and in particular pages 7-8). See also the Department’s June 2011 letter and accompanying information sheet about the right of public secondary school students to form gay-straight alliances.
- Like the Department of Education, the Department of Justice has acted to protect LGBT individuals (including youth) under federal law—particularly under laws prohibiting sex discrimination. Click here for an overview. For information on specific cases involving students, see the DOJ’s case summary page, and more specifically, the sections describing cases from the Indian River School Central School District (NY), the Anoka-Hennepin School District (MN), the Arcadia Unified School District (CA), and the Tehachapi Unified Central School District (CA), and the Mohawk Central School District (NY).
For additional federal government programs, see Stopbullying.gov (below) and the Global Equality Fund (above).
Groundspark’s mission is “create visionary films and dynamic educational campaigns that move individuals and communities to take action for a more just world.” The organization’s films and campaigns include both independent and commissioned projects.” Groundspark “specialize[s] in crafting strategic documentary films and distribution campaigns with ambitious social, economic, and environmental justice goals.”
“People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way.”
PFAW has tackled issues of importance to LGBT youth, including through its publication of Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Bullies and Dangerous for Gay Kids.
“The StopBullying.gov coordinates closely with the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee, an interagency effort led by the Department of Education that works to coordinate policy, research, and communications on bullying topics. The Federal Partners include representatives from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, the Interior, and Justice, as well as the Federal Trade Commission and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”
For more LGBT-inclusive projects of the federal government, see Federal Government and the Global Equality Project (above).
“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.”
SPLC’s page for LGBT students (“Students: Know Your Rights“) has information on Bullying and Discrimination, Proms and Other School Events, Keeping Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Private, Clothing and Dress Codes, Censorship, Gay Straight Alliance Clubs, and LGBT Conversion Therapy.
⋅ Highlight the economic, moral, cultural, scientific, and educational harm done to civilization by political fundamentalist movements
⋅ Study the intersection of American religious extremist groups and their foreign counterparts
⋅ Create an early warning system to detect future problem spots, so resources can be shifted to counter the threat before it materializes and metastasizes
⋅ Connect the dots and uncover global patterns of religious extremism [and] ⋅ Find long-term solutions to help counter American and global religious fanaticism
Follow Us and Help Us Expand:
Don’t hesitate to send along suggestions for this page!