Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth

Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth

Massachusetts Asian and Pacific Islanders (MAP) for Health

MAP promotes health in Massachusetts and New England Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander communities convening community meetings and forums, conducting health outreach and workshops, and providing easy and confidential HIV counseling, testing and referrals by professionally trained staff.


Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC)

MTPC is an advocacy, education, and community-building organization that works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. In addition to information on training and technical assistance services, the website provides an online transgender resource guide; updates on laws, public policies, and civil rights initiatives; and resources on education, employment, healthcare, housing, incarceration, and suicide prevention.


The Network/La Red

The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous, and queer communities. Services include a hotline, safe home, support groups, and training

Hotline (Voice): 617-742-4911
Hotline (TTY): 617-227-4911
Office: 617-695-0877


Offers educational speaking engagements on LGBT lives and issues.


Tapestry Health

Tapestry Health offers family planning and reproductive health care to often marginalized individuals in Western Massachusetts, such as young people, women living in poverty, recent immigrants, uninsured and underinsured persons, injection drug users, the homeless, and men and women with HIV/AIDS, regardless of their ability to pay. Tapestry Health encourages LGBT individuals to take advantage of its programs.


Boston Area Trans Support (BATS)

BATS is a peer-run support group of trans and gender diverse young adults (teens-mid 30's) from all around metro Boston, and Eastern Massachusetts. Join us if you are looking for support in understanding your gender identity, help with coming out or transitioning, emotional support, a sense of community, a place where you belong, or just to meet relatable people. Anybody who identifies as trans (transgender, transsexual, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, pangender, intersex, etc.) or who is sincerely questioning their gender identity is welcome.


Youth on Fire

A drop-in center for homeless and street-involved youth, ages 14-24, located in Harvard Square, Cambridge; provides support, referrals, health information, and services in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment.


Resources in Massachusetts

Youth Enrichment Services - Program of LGBT Community Ctr., NYC

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network - GLSEN

GSA Network

Safe Schools Coalition

The Trevor Project (866-488-7386 - confidential 24/7 crisis helpline for LGBTQ youth

Resources in Massachusetts


by: Julie Ann Peters

Orphea Proud
by: Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Rosemary & Juliet by
by: Judy McClean

So Hard to Say
by: Alex Sanchez

Rainbow High
by: Alex Sanchez

Rainbow Boys
by: Alex Sanchez

The Realm of Possibility
by: David Levithan


Beyond Diversity Day: A Q&A on Gay and Lesbian Issues in Schools
by: Arthur Lipkin

When the Drama Club is Not Enough
by: Jeff Perrotti and Kim Westheimer

Marriage, A History
by: Stephanie Coontz

Side by Side: On Having a Gay or Lesbian Sibling
by: Andrew Gottlieb

And the Band Played On
by: Randy Shilts


Out of the Past: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in America

Looking for Langston

Silence = Death

Silent Pioneers: Gay and Lesbian Elders

Stonewall 25: Voices of Pride and Protest After Stonewall

Resources for Educators

Making the Law work in your School

We need to inform all students attending the more than 300 public high schools in Massachusetts that it is illegal to discriminate against LGBT students.

Educating students and faculty about the existence of the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Law, Anti-Bullying Law, and Gender Identity Law and about the rights they guarantee can help create a more supportive and affirming atmosphere in our public schools for all youth.

Resources and Recommendations

Board of Education Recommendations on the Support and Safety of Gay and Lesbian Students

An Act Relative to Gender Identity

Access to Equal Educational Opportunity: Laws and Regulations

Guidance to Massachusetts Public Schools: Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment

Student Handbook and School Policies on Harassment and Discrimination

An essential way to implement and publicize the laws is to use them as a powerful tool to ensure that the language in the student handbook in your school reflects the reality of the law. School policies concerning harassment and discrimination exist in all schools. LGBT students must be included in these policies to be consistent with Massachusetts law.

If your student handbook is inconsistent with Massachusetts law, set up a meeting with your school principal to discuss changing the language. When the handbook and policies are changed, ask your principal to publicize the changes so that all students and faculty know about relevant laws and regulations.

Posters, Flyers, and Copies of the Law

Displaying a poster on a school bulletin board will ensure that hundreds of students will learn about the laws. Under the provisions of the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Law, you have the right to display a poster, as long as you follow the standard procedure for use of school bulletin boards and displays.

You can design your own flyer about the law using the language of the laws and other materials. Mass-produced flyers can be distributed in faculty mailboxes and handed out in homerooms, school clubs, and at school dances.

Handing out copies of the actual bills signed by the Governor is an excellent way of bringing the laws to the attention of students in your school. A copy of the signed bills could also be reproduced in student publications.

Other Suggestions

  • Have a LGBT Awareness Day/Week to promote understanding of LGBT student rights.

  • Invite a speaker to your school to talk about the law at a school assembly or forum. Speakers could be from the Commission on LGBT Youth or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

  • Write an article about the law for your student newspaper, school yearbook, or your town newspaper.

  • Work with students on projects about student rights in general, including rights for LGBT youth.

Resources for LGBTQ Youth

Resources in Massachusetts

MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Formerly DOE

The DESE website provides helpful information and resources for schools:
Access to Equal Educational Opportunity: Laws and Regulations
Guidance: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity
Principles for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students

In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), DESE conducts the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in randomly selected public high schools in every odd-numbered year. The YRBS focuses on the major risk behaviors that threaten the health and safety of young people. The data collected from the YRBS survey highlights the significant social, economic, and health disparities faced by LGB youth:
LGBT YRBS Data Over Time: 1997-2015
2015 YRBS Factsheet
2013 YRBS Survey Risk Behaviors and Sex of Sexual Partners Report
2013 YRBS Risk Behaviors and Sexual Identity Report
2013 YRBS Factsheet

DESE also houses the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students , which provides training, technical assistance, and professional development to students, staff, and administrators on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and school climate. The Safe Schools Program also hosts workshops and connects students through the Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) Network.

Learn about different aspects of GSAs through the Massachusetts Gay-Straight Alliances Youth Survey 2014:

For more information on training and technical assistance, contact:
Jeff Perrotti

For more information on the GSA Network and regional workshops, contact:
Safe Schools Program

MA Department of Public Health (DPH) - Safe Spaces for GLBTQ Youth

Fosters collaborations with other state and community agencies to maximize the use of resources and help achieve program goals relative to the safety and support of LGBT youth throughout Massachusetts. Safe Spaces funds programs outstanding in their community-based focus on specific racial, cultural and class enclaves of the LGBT youth community, which include homeless LGBT youth and transgender youth programs. Many of the Safe Spaces programs focus on violence, suicide and injury prevention while addressing a range of other critical public health issues affecting each population.

Steven Smyth
Program Director
Safe Spaces for GLBTQ Youth
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Violence and Injury Prevention
250 Washington St. - 4th floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 624-5490

Fenway Health

Fenway Health provides medical and mental health services to LGBT communities. It runs the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center for young adults ages 12-29. It also operates a toll-free helpline and peer listening line that offer safe places to call for information, referrals, and support:
LGBT Helpline: 888.340.4528
Peer Listening Line: 800.399.PEER


GLAD - (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders)

Offers expert legal information on the rights of LGBT students in Massachusetts public schools, and advice on how to proceed if you believe such rights have been violated.

Legal Info Line:1-800-455-GLAD
GLAD Office: 617-426-1350

The GLBT Youth Group Network of Massachusetts - Managed by The Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth (BAGLY)

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Group Network of MA is a statewide support and development partnership of community-based direct service organizations which exist to ensure that queer and questioning youth from the Commonwealth have access to a broad array of supports, services and opportunities. These groups, located across Massachusetts, offer safe, non-exploitative environments where youth can make friends, discuss experiences, and get support, info and referrals about sexual and gender identity and other issues of concern.

For a program near you, visit

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Support Project- A program of Health Imperatives

The GLBT Youth Support Project provides training, technical support, and resources for educators, school administrators, and community-based health and human service providers who are working to support LGBT youth.

Sign up for the newsletter, request materials, or get information about resources, trainings, meetings, conferences and events at or 800-530-2770.

800-530-2770 x229


Offers a comprehensive selection of programs designed to support schools and individuals on a number of different levels, including teacher and staff training, student trainings, GSA support, a comprehensive professional development program, workshops focused on specific issues, retreats for educators, an annual conference which provides networking, skill building and curriculum training opportunities, and the National Day of Silence initiative.


Greater Boston PFLAG - Safe Schools and Communities Project

The Greater Boston Chapter of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays, Bisexuals & Transgender People offers monthly group meetings, confidential telephone and parent-to-parent support, and powerful speaking engagements on LGBT issues in schools and/or community settings.

Val Frias
Telephone: 781-891-5966
Parent & Caregiver Helpline: 866-427-3524
Email: to book or to find your nearest PFLAG chapter

Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC)

HBGC is a Boston-based nonprofit that works to inspire and empower Latin@, Hispanic and Black LGBTQ individuals to improve their livelihood through activism, education, community outreach, and counseling.

617-487-HBGC (4242)

JRI Health - Boston GLASS Community Center

Boston GLASS provides counseling, advocacy and referrals for health care services and housing to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens and young adults, many of whom are youth of color. GLASS offers a drop-in space five days a week, support groups, counseling services, youth leadership development, community education, and HIV testing and counseling and STI and Viral Hepatitis screenings.

Ismael Rivera
Email: (857)-399-1920

Resources for Legislators & Policy Makers

Annual Policy Recommendations
The Commission issues annual policy recommendations to state agencies and the Legislature for the adoption of policies, programs, and resources that will enable LGBT youth to thrive. The Commission's recommendations for Fiscal Year 2014, including model programs and policies and a resource appendix, are available online: Recommendations.pdf