Below is a list of resources for LGBTQ+ young people looking for information. The links below contain a wealth of information on topics ranging from community support to detailed sexual health information to financial aid opportunities.

 

Massachusetts Gay/Straight Alliances (GSAs)

Last Updated: December 28th, 2017

Statewide Regional GSA Network Meetings (2017-2018)


Greater Boston Region
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location:
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant St., Malden, MA 02148
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017
  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017
  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Northeast Region
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location:
Ipswich High School
134 High St., Ipswich, MA 01938
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017
  • Tuesday, December 19, 2017
  • Monday, March 5, 2018

Southeast Region
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location:
Oliver Ames High School
100 Lothrop St., North Easton, MA 02356
  • Thursday, October 5, 2017
  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Thursday, February 15, 2018
 

Central Region
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location:
Millbury Jr./Sr. High School
12 Martin St., Millbury, MA 01527
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Thursday, December 7, 2017
Location:
Grafton High School
24 Providence Rd., Grafton, MA 01519
  • Thursday February 1, 2018
  • Thursday April 26, 2018
Location:
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
1050 Westminster St., Fitchburg, MA 01420
  • Thursday May 24, 2018

Western Region
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location:
Westfield High School
177 Montgomery Rd., Westfield, MA 01085
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017
  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017
  • Thursday, March 1, 2018
Location:
Minnechaug Regional High School
621 Main St., Wilbraham, MA 01095
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018
  • Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Berkshire Region
Meeting locations and dates to be determined. Given the complexity of scheduling in a central location, we will offer both in-person and remote opportunities within this region.

Statewide GSA Leadership Council
[Note: The State GSA Council consists of those students who attended the GSA Leadership Summit in August 2017 at UMASS Amherst.]
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, MA 02148
  • Friday September 29. 2017
  • Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Thursday, January 25, 2018
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018
  • Thursday, May 10, 2018

Please Note:

  • All meetings take place from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Lunch is provided for all registered students and advisors.
  • Register Online

 
 

Drugs & Alcohol

Many LGBTQ+ youth use, misuse, and abuse substances for a variety reasons including to feel good, cope with stress, self medicate, or just to party. But let’s face it–sometimes it’s hard to know when substance use crosses a line and becomes a problem. Physical consequences of substance abuse include liver damage (which is permanent and often fatal), increased risk for certain cancers, brain damage, overdose, and death. Substance use can lower your inhibitions and affect your decision-making. People are more likely to make unhealthy decisions, like having sex without a condom or driving under the influence, when they are drunk or high. Also, people who are living with addiction make some decisions based on their physical need and often prioritize their addiction over their health and safety. As an example, they may choose to share a needle with someone they know to be HIV+ in order to meet their physical need. For these reasons and more, it is important to know about drug and alcohol use and to recognize and understand substance abuse and addiction.

Resource: Drug and Alcohol Addiction in the LGBTQ+ Community

Additional Resource: LGBTQ+ Addiction Rehab

Substance Abuse

A pattern of use that includes one or more of the following scenarios:

  • Experiencing multiple alcohol or drug-related legal problems such as getting arrested for driving under the influence, damaging someone's property while drunk or high, or physically hurting someone else while under the influence
  • Using substances in dangerous situations such as while driving a vehicle or operating other machinery
  • Continuing to use substances despite problems with family members, friends, or significant others that are caused by use
  • Ignoring important responsibilities such as going to work or school

Addiction

When someone has a physical dependence on, extreme desire for drugs/alcohol, and/or having to use more and more to get the same buzz or high. The following are a few signs and symptoms that are associated with addiction:

  • Constantly finding ways to include drugs/alcohol in other activities
  • Drinking/using alone before going out with friends, clubbing, or bar hopping
  • Failed attempts to stop drinking/using
  • Frequent hangovers and blackouts
  • Avoidance of family members and friends because of drinking/using
  • Skipping meals
  • Making excuses to drink/use
  • Alcohol and drug binges
  • Increased irritability or anger

If you are worried that you, a friend or family member is abusing substances or is struggling with addiction, speak up! Sometimes people don’t realize the effect substance use has on themselves and the people around them. There is support available to help people deal with their issues with substances. 

Resource: The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline -  800.327.5050 (24 hours a day | 7 days a week)

Resource: LGBTQ Alcoholism 

Injection Drug Use & HIV/HCV: What’s the connection?

Sharing needles with someone who has HIV or HCV (Hepatitis C) to inject anything directly into your body (including hormones) puts you at risk for contracting HIV or HCV from them. There are some ways that you can lower your risk of getting HIV or HCV if you are injecting anything into your body:

  • Do not share your needles.
  • Be the first one to use the needle if people are sharing.
  • Use a bleach kit, to clean a needle that has already been used. Bleach kits are available at BAGLY every week and at all of our events, just ask a HEARRT Peer Leader

DID YOU KNOW?  

There are 4 needle exchange locations in Massachusetts where you can turn in used needles and get new ones. Needle Exchange sites are free, anonymous, and safe to use. There is no risk of arrest for using a needle exchange site. They are located in Boston, Cambridge, Northampton and Provincetown. Check out our friends at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts for more information about each of these locations.

DID YOU KNOW?  

If you are 18 or older you can go into any pharmacy in Massachusetts and buy clean needles without a prescription.

DID YOU KNOW?  

You can drop off your old needles at BAGLY, just ask a HEARRT Peer Leader or staff member about our sharps box kiosk.

 

Primary Care

Having a primary care physician (PCP) whom you see on a regular basis is an extremely important part of maintaining good physical, emotional and sexual health. Having an ongoing connection with a competent doctor gives you, the patient, access to someone who can answer your medical questions, and give you appropriate medical advice and care for your body and mind for the future. Despite this, we know there are many reasons why people, especially LGBTQ+ youth, avoid annual visits to the doctor. For many of us the very real fear of discrimination regarding our sexual desires, partners or identities keeps us from accessing long-term, competent care. We may also feel ashamed of our bodies, or imagine being refused services because of our gender expression, and therefore settle for quick fixes when we “feel” sick. Still others fear health care providers will “out” them to parents, guardians or other people who “count”.

An important part of managing these challenges is discovering ways to break through barriers the that keep us queer and trans folks from getting the health care that we need and deserve!

What should I look for in a LGBTQ friendly health care provider?

When choosing a provider there are many factors you may want to consider, including:

  • What is their experience and commitment to working with sexually active LGBTQ+ youth? 
  • Can they demonstrate their knowledge of the unique needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people whose bodies or identities may be in transition? 
  • Are they able to discuss Age of Consent Laws, Parental Consent Laws and Judicial Bypass? (Judicial Bypass allows a minor to have an abortion without having to tell their parent/guardian)
  • Does their personality “click” with yours? Remember, your PCP is supposed to be someone with whom you can open up and ask medical (and most likely personal) questions. So, you want to make sure that your physician is someone you can get along with.
  • Location, location, location. Is the doctor’s office easily accessible and are their working hours compatible with yours?

And where can I find one?

There are many different types of health care facilities that can provide primary care including community health clinics, private practices and hospitals. If you live in or near Boston, a great place to start your search is at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center.  617.457-8140 | 130 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116 | Monday 8:45am to 5pm | Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:45am to 7pm | Friday 8:45am to 5pm. They are located just a short walk from the Boylston Street stop on the Green Line! 

Free, anonymous information about how to navigate the Massachusetts health care system is available at Health Care for All or call their consumer health helpline at 800.272.4232

 

Mental Health

Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexism, racism, bullying, hate crime violence… the adversity we face as queer and trans people can be frustrating, exhausting and depressing. If it ever starts to feel too overwhelming it is important to reach out and connect with people who can help keep you safe. If you or someone you know is really down or considering suicide–even if you’re not sure–make a call! Resources and support are out there.

THE TREVOR PROJECT | SUICIDE RESOURCES

866 4-U-TREVOR (866.488.7386) 

SAMARITEENS | 24 HOUR TEEN HELPLINE

800.252.8336

From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, this service is staffed by volunteers between the ages of 15 and 18; outside those hours, calls are answered by adult volunteers.

FENWAY HEALTH | TOLL-FREE LISTENING LINES

888.340.GLBT (4528) = Gay and Lesbian Helpline

888.399.PEER (7337) = Peer Listening Line

GLBT NATIONAL HELP CENTER

800.246.PRIDE (7743) = Youth Talkline

Monday thru Friday from 4pm to midnight and Saturday from noon to 5pm (eastern time) 888.843.4564 = Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline Monday thru Friday from 4pm to midnight and Saturday from noon to 5pm (eastern time)

TRANS LIFELINE (CRISIS HOTLINE)

(877) 565-8860

This hotline is staffed by transgender people.

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

(800) 273-8255 (online chat available)

Available 24/7.

CRISIS TEXT LINE

Text START to 741-741

This service allows you to text or Facebook message with a crisis counselor.

NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE

800-656-4673 (online chat available)

Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

 

Sexual & Reproductive Health

When you are LGBTQ+ it’s hard to find accurate sex education and information that speaks to you, your experience, your body, your partners… right?  Unfortunately, this means many LGBTQ+ youth can be less informed than straight/cisgender youth about sex, safer sex, family planning, HIV and STIs. It also means LGBTQ+ youth are less able to make informed decisions regarding their sex life and are at an increased risk of getting and transmitting HIV and STIs.

Well we hope to change some of that right now. Check out BAGLY’s Health Promotion Fact Sheets coming later in 2018.

  • HIV
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis A, B & C
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Genital Herpes
  • HPV
  • Scabies
  • Crabs

Your sexual health rights

  • You have the right to a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life
  • You have the right to be free to decide if, when and how often you give birth
  • You have the right to access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of birth control
  • You have the right to access appropriate health care services that will respect your body, gender, name, partners, sex life and decisions
  • You have the right to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth regardless of your gender identity or expression

Pelvic Exams and PAP Test A chest/breast exam, pelvic exam and PAP test should be done by a doctor least once a year if:

  • Your sex assigned at birth is female and
  • If you are sexually active and/or 18 or older
  • If you think you are pregnant – your provider can confirm the pregnancy, discuss options and provide care that is critical in the beginning stages of pregnancy
  • If you discover a lump or pain in your chest/breast during a self examination
  • If you have pelvic pain/pressure/or itching or are experiencing excessively heavy bleeding during your period
  • Also, don’t forget to do regular Self Exams. It can save your life!

Sexual Exploitation & Sex Economy

Have you had to exchange sex for money, food, or a place to stay?  Is someone making money off your body?

Are you wondering about your rights? If so, you are not alone. There are a lot of people who are ready to help. Whether you need a place to sleep right now, food to eat, or help untangling your life, call. It is a free call.

They will listen and, if you want, connect you to people close to wherever you are calling from that can help you get safe.

 

Partner Abuse & Sexual Violence

Partner abuse happens in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and straight communities and crosses all social, ethnic, racial, and economic lines. An individual’s size, strength, politics, gender presentation, or personality does not determine whether they can be abused or an abuser. Partner abuse is a recurring and chronic pattern of behaviors where one person tries to control the thoughts, beliefs, or actions of their partner, someone they are dating or someone they had an intimate relationship with. Partner abuse is also called domestic violence, battering, and/or intimate partner abuse. Those who abuse may use a number of behaviors to control their partner including:

  • Emotional Abuse: verbal abuse, lying, undermining self esteem, humiliation, monitoring whereabouts, threats, and/or intimidation
  • Physical Abuse: pushing, hitting, punching, choking, withholding medications or hormones, sleep deprivation
  • Sexual Abuse: rape, forcing sex and/or sex with others, exposure to HIV or sexually transmitted infections.
  • Economic Abuse: controlling money & resources, forcing to live above means, stealing, identity theft
  • Cultural/Identity Abuse: threat of outing partner’s sexual orientation, gender identity, S/M, polyamory, HIV status, or any other personal information. Using partner’s race, class, age, immigration status, religion, size, physical ability, language, and/or ethnicity, against them.

No one has the right to abuse and no one deserves to be abused.

  • The Network / La Red
    617.742.4911
    While all TNLR services are free, currently their hotline is not toll-free, so any regular pay phone or long distances charges will apply. If you are able to provide a call back number a hotline staff can call you back. You may also call SafeLink, 1-877-785-2020 (v) 1-877-521-2601 (TTY) the toll-free 24-hour Massachusetts statewide domestic violence hotline and asked to be connected to The Network/La Red.

  • Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project | GMDVP
    800.832.1901 = 24-hour hotline

  • Show Me Love (website down currently)

  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) | Teen Survivor
    800.841-8371 = 24-hour hotline
     
  • Llámanos – Spanish-language Sexual Assault Hotline
    800.223.5001
 

Hate Crimes & Violence

Have you survived a hate crime or “queer” bashing?  The following can be helpful in getting you connected to resources that can help.

  • Fenway Health | Violence Recovery Program
    • 800.834.3242
    • Monday – Friday | 9am to 5pm
    • After 5:00 pm or on the weekends, call Safelink at 877.785.2020
  • Impact Boston
    • IMPACT is a unique personal safety and self-defense curriculum that teaches effective strategies to resist threats, intimidation and violence perpetrated by strangers and people you know.
  • Girls Leap
    • This organization serves the Greater Boston community by teaching self-defense to underserved young women and girls.  They have conducted an introductory workshop at BAGLY. If you are interested in more classes find information on their website.
 

Advocacy, Activism & Organizing

Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth

The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth is established by law as an independent agency of the Commonwealth to recommend and advocate to all branches of state government effective policies, programs, and resources for LGBTQ+ youth to thrive.

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC)

MTPC works for the civil rights of transgender people in Massachusetts and ending gender identity / gender expression based discrimination. BAGLY is the fiscal sponsor of MTPC and we work together on the Transgender Youth Summit!

Boston Youth Organizing Project (BYOP)

BYOP is a youth-led, adult-supported organization that works for social change and justice in the Boston area. BYOP’s office is located on the 5th floor of 565 Boylston Street in Boston – in the same building as BAGLY Wednesdays. Go up and visit them sometime… and while you’re at it, support their youth-led campaign: Youth Way On The MBTA!

GSA Network

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. Check out “Beyond the Binary: A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools”

Day of Silence

On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-GLBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools. Visit the website to download your free copy of the Day of Silence manual and to register your DOS event!

Feminist Majority Foundation

The Feminist Majority Foundation has a website that is great for both activist updates and links to learn all about feminist happenings around the world.

Amnesty International (AI)

AI fights for human rights worldwide, and one of their main campaigns is stopping violence against women.

The Coalition for Positive Sexuality

CPS is an organization fighting for complete and honest sex education. Check out the Just Say Yes pamphlet and distribute it to your friends who may not have received a complete sex education.

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Be sure to also check out their amazing project www.amplifyyourvoice.org and get connected with their national work!

VDAY: Global Movement to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls

Get updates on V-news, shop for cute v-day apparel, or find out how to start a v-day campaign.

The National Organization for Women

NOW is the largest organization of feminist activists in the U.S. They work to bring equality to all women. Go to the site for great information about the fight for equality, and sign up for their email list to receive action alerts.

Code Pink Women For Peace

This is an organization for women against the war in Iraq and any future wars. On the website you can find local groups, read blogs, go to their links, or use their helpful resource toolbox to organize your own demonstration

International Action Center – Boston

Check out the Women’s Fight Back Network, a trans-inclusive women’s activist organization located in Boston. They protest in order to stop poverty, sexism, and war and stop the U.S. war on women. Go to the site for updates about protests and contact information.

Working for the civil rights of transgender people in Massachusetts and ending gender identity/gender expression based discrimination.

 

Legal

Have you been fired from your job because of your gender identity or expression? Are you being harassed and bullied at school? Do you need some help from a lawyer or and advocate? Call these queer and trans friendly resources in Massachusetts. We highly recommend them!

GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders

  • 1.800.455.GLAD

Members of the GLBTQ community can call the GLAD hotline to discuss their situations and find out how the law protects gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people, and people with HIV. You can obtain information on how to defend your rights, where and how to file a discrimination claim, and get referrals to experienced and friendly attorneys. GLAD can also provide links to other resources sympathetic to GLBTQ and HIV issues.

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)

  • 8:45 am – 4:00 pm
  • Boston 617.994.6000
  • Springfield 413.739.2145
  • Worcester 508.799.8010
  • New Bedford 508.990.2390

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is the state’s chief civil rights agency. The Commission works to eliminate discrimination on a variety of bases and areas, and strives to advance the civil rights of the people of the Commonwealth through law enforcement, outreach and training.

IMPORTANT: If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should file a complaint with the MCAD immediately. In all but a few exceptions, the MCAD cannot accept complaints based on incidents over 300 days (about ten months) old.

 
 

Recommended Readings

All of the books listed here (and tons more!) are available to any BAGLY member through our lending library. Contact us for more information!

  • Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know About Their Legal Rights | Lisa Keen

  • Come Out and Win: Organizing Yourself, Your Community, and Your World | Sue Hyde

  • Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy | Rinku Sen

  • Virtual Equality | The Mainstreaming of Gay & Lesbian Liberation | Urvashi Vaid

  • Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws | Kate Bornstein

  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity | Julia Serano

  • The Gilds Stories | Jewelle Gomez – Lesbian vampires… need we say more?  It was also adapted for a stage performance.  This awesome book is one of only 4 to win 2 lambda literary awards. In addition to The Gilda Stories, Jewelle has many collections of gorgeous poetry… check them out!

  • Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America | Sarah Schulman – Attention RENT-heads: This one is for you!  And then you should read…

  • People in Trouble | also by Sarah Schulman – trust us, you need to read it!

  • Skin: Talking About Sex, Class and Literature | Dorothy Allison – Her first novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Check out all of her books!

  • Stone Butch Blues | Leslie Feinberg – transgender activist, speaker and author.  This “must read” novel has been translated into more than a dozen languages.  Leslie’s work and writing has played an essential part in the both GLBT liberation and labor movements.

  • My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home | Amber Hollibaugh – she has also won an award at Sundance Film Festival, founded the Lesbian AIDS Project at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and has played pivotal roles in the GLBT liberation and feminist movements.

  • Audre Lorde described herself as a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Extremely influential in both the GLBT and the black community, she used her writing as a tool for activism. She won many awards for her writing, and held the honorable position of New York State Poet Laureate from 1991-1993. Read everything you can get your hands on. BAGLY has the complete series of the famous Beebo Brinker pulp novel series by Ann Bannon – Read the stories of lesbian life in Greenwich Village and get an insight to what lesbians were reading in the 1950s

 

Additional Resources

  • LGBT+ Resources
    • This website lists LGBTQ-friendly resources, from businesses to places of worship to HIV resources, for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
  • College Advice for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
    • This website gives advice for transitioning, finding the right school, and career options available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.