Gabriel Blau of Equality New York reacts to the passage of GENDA, flanked by Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, and Senator Liz Krueger

In a day of historic progress for New York, both houses of the state Legislature passed civil rights protections for trans and gender non-conforming New Yorkers and banned anti-gay, anti-trans “conversion” therapy. Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign both bills into law in coming days.

GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, was 16 years in the making and had been passed by the New York Assembly 11 times. With the change in majority after November’s election, the Senate today joined in approving the bill.

PFLAG NYC salutes and thanks Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, lead sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly, and Sen. Brad Hoylman, sponsor in the Senate. They were joined over years by others, including Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell, former Sen. Tom Duane, and many more, in pushing to make protections for the trans community a reality in New York state. Read more »

I just wanted to take the time to thank you and the other PFLAG NYC guests for coming all the way to South Brooklyn to speak to my kids. The kids were so enthralled and I know it meant a lot to them to hear from adults who shared some of their struggles and persisted. Some of the kids come from very conservative families, and it’s so important for them to understand that many adults love and support them for who they are.”

— Teacher & GSA Advisor - P.S. 207 Elizabeth G. Leary School, Brooklyn
 

In PFLAG NYC’s trainings with school staff around New York City, one of the most eye-opening moments comes when we share the results of a survey of high school students who were asked to name their “biggest problem in life.”

PFLAG NYC's Safe Schools Program at New Utrecht H.S.

PFLAG NYC’s Safe Schools Program now partners with many schools to provide LGBTQ educational programs for every incoming class. That’s how school culture is transformed. Here, Clark Hamel shares his story with an English class at New Utrecht High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Non-LGBTQ students answered with the things you might expect teenagers to worry about: grades & exams, college & career plans, and financial pressures related to college or job. But among LGBTQ students, the top five thing they mention have to do with coping with their identity: non-accepting families, school bullying, fear of being out & open, depression and loneliness. Fully 80% of the issues LGBTQ youth are concerned about are related to worries that come from simply being who they are.

That is why the letter from P.S. 207 about the PFLAG NYC visit there gets right to the heart of how our Safe Schools Program helps young people. Hearing real life stories from parents and from LGBTQ people can transform the way that they think about the possibilities for their future.

Every Facet of Their Lives

Our aim at PFLAG NYC is to help LGBTQ young people find acceptance and support in every aspect of their lives, starting with the two most important places they spend their time: family and school.

Our support programs for families have never been more vibrant, now with meetings taking place regularly in eight locations around the city, including the newest meeting launched this year, the TransFamilies Project at The Center. More than 1,000 people a year attend these meetings. Every parent who comes to a meeting for the first time, not sure what their child’s revelation is going to mean in their lives, leaves feeling better and more confident to stand by their kid. That’s the first step in helping LGBTQ youth thrive, because family acceptance is key. Read more »

The school year has just ended and what a year it has been! Thanks to support from so many PFLAG NYC volunteers and supporters, we hit some major milestones with the Safe Schools Program.

Training parent coordinators in District 13

Kalima McKenzie-Simms delivers professional training to parent coordinators in Brooklyn’s Community School District 13.

The Safe Schools Program reached 50% more schools this school year. In real numbers, that means we made 251 presentations reaching almost 8,000 students, parents, and teachers. We’re now helping change the climate for LGBTQ youth in more than 60 schools each year. This has a real impact on young people’s lives. As one teacher at a Harlem school told us, “We still face so much bias. You help us create a safe space by letting students hear real experiences and ask questions they’re uncomfortable talking about anywhere else.”

In May we embarked on a major new collaboration with the NYC Department of Education to train parent coordinators on working with families with LGBTQ kids and supporting family acceptance. In just two months, we trained the parent coordinators in 25% of community school districts citywide! Read more »

Download Flyer with Meeting Info

PFLAG NYC in collaboration with The Center launched a weeknight meeting of the TransFamilies Project as one more option for parents, family members, and friends of transgender and gender nonconforming loved ones to come to a PFLAG NYC family support group. Originally a pilot slated to last through June, we are pleased to announce that the first meetings have gone so well that we’ve extended the meetings through the end of the year. The group will continue to meet on the last Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Note that the December meeting will take place one week early on December 18 due to Christmas.) Meetings will take place at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

Like all TransFamilies Project meetings, the group is open to all. No matter when your loved one disclosed his/her/their gender identity, or what stage of transition he/she/they are in, join with others to meet understanding friends, share information, and get and provide support. Read more »