NAGLY is a place for youth ages 14 – 21 who provides a welcoming, safe & fabulous place for those of us who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning.
Introduction to NAGLY
It’s about time. Finally. I found it. I really found the space. A space where I can be myself. A place where I am understood and can understand others. A place to identify; to get respect. It’s unlike anywhere else. It’s a place where I am welcome. We welcome you, too.
You’ve found it. It’s a place like few others.
a place for youth ages 14 – 21
a welcoming, safe & fabulous place for those of us who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning
for those of us who live, go to school and/or work on the North Shore of Massachusetts
open to allies of GLBTQ youth
We talk about what’s important to us – ourselves, our relationships, our families, “coming out” at school or work, combating homophobia, gay history & activism, community service and…PRIDE
It’s not always easy being young and gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. There are the suspicions of others. There is misunderstanding. There is even ridicule and harassment - at school, at work and at home. There is risk – losing your home, friends, family. This can be isolating and lonely.
According to a recent national study….
75. 4% of us have heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school, and nearly nine out of ten (89.2%) of us reported hearing "that's so gay" or "you're so gay" - meaning stupid or worthless- frequently or often.
Over a third (37.8%) of students have experienced physical harassment at school on the basis of sexual orientation and more than a quarter (26.1%) on the basis of their gender expression. Nearly one-fifth (17.6%) of students had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and over a tenth (11.8%) because of their gender expression.
Reference: Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) 2005 National School Climate Survey, www.glsen.org
It makes a difference to have a place to ask your questions. It matters when you need to discuss coming out. It is critical to have a place to talk when you are dating. How else do we feel good about ourselves? How else do we stay safe when hooking up? How else do we keep safe when in a relationship? How else do we have support facing the challenges? How else do we become – and, stay - hopeful?
We are lucky to be in Massachusetts. Our state has a law making schools safe for GLBT students. We have a Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth and money to fund programs in towns across the state. And, currently, we are the only state where we can legally marry. We are truly lucky.
NAGLY is part of this statewide effort to assist our young people in being healthy and safe and to grow to their fullest potential. NAGLY can provide an escape from one’s daily life. It offers young people information, skills and community. It provides a new reality and images of a hopeful future.
NAGLY was founded in 1993 to provide a safe place on the North Shore for all of these things. And we have a lot of fun!
Check NAGLY's website at www.nagly.org
1. NAGLY is a safe environment where I know that we can be comfortable and speak with people who are accepting, respectful and supportive.