Massachusetts has a history of supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, and in 2004 became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage with passage of the Marriage Equality Act. The LGBT civil rights movement is widely considered to have begun in June 1969 when police and patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, clashed. As CivilRights.org explains: “At the time, there were not many places where people could be openly gay. New York had laws prohibiting homosexuality in public, and private businesses and gay establishments were regularly raided and shut down.” To commemorate this milestone, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month is celebrated every June with parades and advocacy for LGBT rights.
Gay or straight, adolescence can be a challenging time in a person’s life. Having a safe environment for young people to “come out” and be themselves in is very important to the Commonwealth, as evidenced by the creation of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Youth, which was founded to “recommend and advocate to all branches of state government effective policies, programs, and resources for LGBT youth to thrive.” Below is a list of organizations across the Commonwealth and the nation that are working hard to make Massachusetts a safe and healthy environment for LGBT youth.
- A statewide program, Safe Spaces for GLBT Youth provides “opportunities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth to develop their full potential in a safe and supportive environment” through youth leadership development and peer-to-peer support.
- The Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center, located at 130 Boylston Street in Boston, provides general health and wellness services, mental health services, HIV and STD testing and treatment, birth control and emergency contraception, and assistance in finding health insurance to LGBT men and women age 12-29.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – LGBT Health provides information pertaining to LGBT health issues, including dealing with sexual orientation-based violence.
Violence and Suicide Prevention:
- StopBullying.gov is devoted to ending bullying in all forms, including creating a safe environment for LGBT youth.
- It Gets Better Project – Governor Patrick wants you to know It Gets Better. Also, check out these “It Gets Better” videos from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others at the White House.
- The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Social & Advocacy Groups:
- BAGLY – Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth
- CIGSYA – Cape & Islands Gay Straight Youth Alliance
- GLAD – Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
- NAGLY – North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth
- PFLAG – Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays has a list of Massachusetts chapters on its website.
Additional resources can be found on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Youth’s website.
Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts posted on Jun 30
As the state where the Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, and first shots of the American Revolution occurred, Massachusetts is a special place to celebrate the 4th of July. Whether you’re looking for a free event for the family or a way to …Continue Reading Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts
Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast posted on Jun 26
Did you know that the Massachusetts coastline is expansive enough to cover the distance from Boston to Miami on Interstate 95? Learn how you can help preserve over 1,500 miles of the Commonwealth’s coast during Clean Beaches Week, July 1–7. Read these useful tips from …Continue Reading Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast
The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes posted on Jun 24
No one wants to spend their summer worrying about ticks and mosquitoes. Although it’s difficult to escape these pests altogether, you can prevent them from infesting your property and minimize itchy bug bites on you and your family. The Department of Public Health (DPH) and …Continue Reading The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes