"It's isolating being LGBT+. Am I a freak?"

Last month PFLAG NYC’s Safe Schools Program received this note from a student at a school where we’d just made educational presentations to the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It’s a thank-you note from one of the student to one of our community speakers. Here it is:

Hello! :-) I’m a part of the GSA and I really appreciate you coming out to our school and speaking cause it’s really isolating sometimes being in the LGBT+ cause it’s like ‘am I ever gonna find someone?’ and am I a freak? So it’s nice seeing cool people representing. From: :wave: — 7th Grade Student, Middle School in Flatbush, Brooklyn

It’s really isolating… Am I a freak?… This short note captures just why even as there is unprecedented acceptance and equality broadly, PFLAG NYC is working harder than ever to expand the spaces where young people can feel safe and affirmed no matter what their identity. LGBTQ people of all ages can still feel alone and under threat — in families and schools in our local communities just as much as on the national stage.

Acceptance Where It Matters Most

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Our aim at PFLAG NYC is to help LGBTQ young people find acceptance and support in the most important places in their lives — in the family, in school, and in their community.

From the start of PFLAG NYC as a parents’ support group, we’ve grown a lot, but it still starts with family. Research demonstrates what we all know: family acceptance is the most important factor in supporting LGBTQ young people, and family support remains central to what we do.

This year we’ve added staff to our family support services. We want every parent, relative, and caregiver to be able to access support that is meaningful to them. We’re strengthening our peer support programs so that every family finds information and resources that speak to their situation. There are now ten regular support groups happening around the city. Whether it’s one of our original meetings, our TransFamilies Project, Stepping Stones, API Rainbow Parents, or the new Spanish-language groups we’re launching, everyone has a home in PFLAG NYC.

Help Us Create Acceptance Everywhere

We first went into schools to bring support to young people whose families weren’t coming to PFLAG NYC for help. Now schools have become an important nexus where PFLAG NYC brings help to young people and families alike.

Speaking with Students at P.S. 207

The Safe Schools Program now works with schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. No matter where they are in school, kids are learning how to find support as they come to understand their identities and how to support and be allies to each other.

Over the last two years we’ve trained nearly every parent coordinator and family leadership teams in schools throughout New York City on how to work with families with LGBTQ kids. Schools know that they can call on PFLAG NYC to help change their climate to one of acceptance and support, and also call on PFLAG NYC to help the parents and other caregivers in their school community who struggle when a child comes out. We’ve built a strong partnership with the NYC Department of Education that has let us bring Safe Schools community speakers from PFLAG NYC in front of more than 9,000 students, parents, teachers and counselors during the last year.

PFLAG NYC is making life better for LGBTQ young people where they live, where they learn, and where they find community. Help us continue this vital work by making a donation now to keep our programs expanding to reach every corner of NYC.

Help Us Reach More LGBTQ Young People and Their Families

Please help us continue this vital work by making a donation now to keep our programs expanding to reach every corner of NYC. Our kids are counting on you.

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