Do you have to be LGBTQ to attend BAGLY meetings and events?

No, allies are welcome too. However, BAGLY’s meetings and events are designed specifically to provide LGBTQ or questioning youth with a safe place where they can find social support, resources and referrals which are competent and appropriate for their unique, individual needs. We also create opportunities for LGBTQ youth to participate in programming that builds on their leadership potential and connects them to a broader LGBTQ community. If you are not LGBTQ identified or if you are not questioning your sexual and/or gender identity and are wondering if it is appropriate for you to access our services, we invite you to consider the above before attending our programmatic offerings.

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What can I do to be an ally to LGBTQ communities?

  • Challenge homo/bi/trans phobia whenever you hear/see it
  • Refuse to participate in events, shop in stores or eat in restaurants that exclude )LGBTQ people
  • When attending an LGBTQ event remember that you are a guest in someone else’s space, respect the rules and act appropriately
  • Educate others, learn about LGBTQ resources and share these resources at school, in your community and with your friends and family
  • Learn more about how heterosexism operates and how to challenge it
  • Learn more about how gender binary systems operate and how to challenge them
  • Don’t assume biological sex determines gender for everyone
  • Don’t ask trans people about their genitals, surgical or hormone status, how they have sex or what their “real name” is
  • Don’t be the “gender police”, respect people’s identity (including if they’re still figuring that out), name, pronouns, and what bathroom they use
  • Don’t assume you can tell if someone is trans
  • See people’s whole selves, LGBTQ people are more than their sexual and gender identities

Most importantly, do everything you can to understand LGBTQ communities and identities. Be aware of, and acknowledge your privilege and use this power for good!!

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What does non-ally behavior look like?

  • Homophobia
  • Biphobia
  • Transphobia
  • Sexism
  • Violence
  • Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Outing
  • Saying “That’s So Gay” or “No Homo”
  • Telling jokes, mimicking or making fun of LGBTQ people
  • Using religion as an excuse for non-ally behavior
  • Pressuring LGBTQ people to conform to a rigid system of mandatory heterosexuality and unambiguous gender binary
  • Trying to change or “fix” LGBTQ people
  • Forgetting about the “B” or the “T” in LGBTQ
  • Being unwilling to learn or change
  • Making assumptions
  • Avoiding LGBTQ people and issues
  • Not recognizing heterosexual privilege
  • Not recognizing cisgender (or non-transgender) privilege
  • Taking over LGBTQ space
  • Taking advantage of LGBTQ resources
  • Appropriating LGBTQ culture
  • Using the term ally to get out of trouble as in “It’s ok, my roommate is gay”
  • Not challenging the homo/bi/transphobic behavior of others
  • Participating in activities that exclude LGBTQ people
  • Being inconsistent with support for LGBTQ people as in “I’m fine with LGBTQ people, I just don’t think they should be able to get married. ”

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Does BAGLY have a minimum age?

All LGBTQ youth ages 22 and under are welcome to participate in BAGLY’s program activities and events. The average age range of the youth who currently participate in our weekly programming is 14 – 20, while our annual events are usually more inclusive of 21 and 22 year-olds. If you have questions about whether or not BAGLY’s lower age range is appropriate for you or a young person you know, please contact us and we would be happy to provide you with more information.

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Is the Youth Leadership Committee meeting open to everyone?

BAGLY’s Youth Leadership Committee meeting is held every Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm at our weekly meeting space. All BAGLY members (LGBTQ youth ages 22 and under) are welcome to join us at the YLC meeting where we design and debrief our Boston-based programming. We’d love your input!

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I use a wheelchair, can I access BAGLY’s program and events?

Of course! It is extremely important to us that ALL of BAGLY’s programs are physically accessible for everyone. BAGLY’s weekly meetings and monthly and annual events are held in buildings and facilities where accessibility is guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Does BAGLY provide ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation?

Yes, BAGLY provides National Association of the Deaf certified and Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MDCHH) approved ASL interpreters as needed at our weekly meetings. Please contact us if you or a youth you know needs BAGLY to arrange ASL interpretation at our weekly meeting space.

BAGLY also provides ASL interpreters at each of our annual events. Interpreters are used during our stage program and performances and are available to support communication among youth attendees as well as with BAGLY staff and adult chaperones.

If you are an ASL interpreter and would like to work with BAGLY please contact us! Proof of MCDHH approval and/or NAD certification is required.

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Can my parent or guardian or Dept. of Children & Families/Dept. of Mental Health worker come to BAGLY meetings or events?

Parents/guardians are welcome to attend one BAGLY meeting so that they may check out our space and speak with our on-site adult staff and volunteers. After this, if there are any further questions or concerns, we request that parents/guardians follow-up with BAGLY staff via phone (preferred), email or scheduled in-person meetings outside of programming hours.

Parents/guardians are also welcome to get involved by chaperoning our annual youth dances!

We are also happy to work with youth involved in Department of Children & Family (DCF)/Department of Mental Health (DMH) who wish to attend BAGLY programs, including those who must do so with the supervision of their assigned DCF/DMH worker. All DCF/DMH and vendor staff accompanying youth to meetings or events must check in with BAGLY staff in advance via phone (preferred) or email, and all DCF/DMH staff will be required to provide appropriate state identification on site.

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Is there adult supervision at BAGLY meetings and events?

Yes! In addition to BAGLY’s full-time Boston-based program staff, a team of trained and screened volunteer Adult Advisors are assigned to all of our program meetings and activities. BAGLY’s Staff ,Adult Advisors and Youth Leadership Committee work together to ensure competent, effective, high quality BAGLY programming is provided every week and at every event. Screening process includes interviews, background checks, observation and orientation.

BAGLY also hosts three large-scale youth events per year, and it is our goal to have a 10-to-1 youth-to-adult chaperone ratio at these events. On average, this means that we are seeking up to 200 adult chaperones per event several times per year, so if you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, please contact us! All chaperones must be at least 25 years old, and will be required to participate in a screening and orientation process conducted by BAGLY staff.

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I’m starting a GSA at my school and am in need of resources. Can BAGLY help me?

Absolutely!! BAGLY has been supporting youth and adults in making schools safer for LGBTQ youth for more than 30 years. In addition to public speaking engagements at school assemblies and diversity days through the BAGLY Speakers Bureau, BAGLY is able to provide a wide variety of Technical Assistance and Training to youth, adult allies and school administration.

Wondering if there is a GSA at a school near you? Check out our GSA List. Don’t see your GSA on our list? Contact us with the info you’d like us to include!

Of course, you may also be thinking, “I’m a seasoned youth activist, I need ongoing and advanced leadership skills building opportunities. How can BAGLY support me?” Hello fabulous, we’ve been looking for you! Check out our Youth Programs for info on our Queer Activist College and other leadership development programming…especially the annual BAGLY Youth Leadership Institute.

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But I live outside of Boston. Are there any resources for me?

Plenty! Since 1993 BAGLY has coordinated the GLBT Youth Group Network of Massachusetts (some people call it the “AGLY” Network), which is a program that – among other things – connects youth to social support, health promotion and leadership development opportunities all across the state! Take a look at our “AGLY Network” page to find a group near you.

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Do you offer mental health counseling at meetings, over the phone or at your administrative office?

No, BAGLY does not provide formal mental health counseling at our meetings, activities, special events or over the phone. However, BAGLY does offer on-site mental health referrals through our Risk Counseling and Referral Program, as well as on-site crisis intervention and referrals at our annual events. Looking for a safe, supportive mental health referral service right now? Call our friends at the Peer Listening Line: 617.267.2535 or?800.399.PEER (toll-free) or check out our Support and Resources for Youth section for a list of additional resources.

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I’m a student/researcher working on a paper/research project. Can I interview/observe the youth at BAGLY?

Although BAGLY is always happy to consider requests for interviews, surveys, and/or other research projects relating to LGBTQ youth, due to the high volume of requests, it is not possible for us to accept them all. However, we are interested in accredited projects that focus on community and population level data and assessment. BAGLY gives priority to projects that may have a statewide and/or national impact in contributing to the field of LGBTQ youth work and policy development. Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information.

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I have an event that I want to promote. Can I give you some flyers to distribute at BAGLY?

Sure, just send your flyers to our mailing address and we’ll pass along all appropriate materials to BAGLY’s youth membership.

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I just turned 23. Is there something after BAGLY?

Of course! Our community is full of opportunities to get involved and stay connected. Check out our Support and Resources section for more information about cool local LGBTQ organizations.

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I think BAGLY is awesome and want to support your work, what do you need?

Thanks for asking! BAGLY always needs your financial support through donations, donor events and our other fundraising activities. We also need your volunteer support by serving as event chaperones, adult advisors, administrative volunteers, interns, and/or on our board of directors. Please visit the get involved section of our website to find out the best fit for you.

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But, I’m under 25 and want to volunteer with BAGLY. Are there volunteer opportunities for me?

BAGLY requires all adult advisors and event chaperones to be at least 25 years of age, but there are still lots of opportunities to help out. If you are 22 or under and would like to help with program planning or meeting facilitation, please check out our Youth Leadership Committee. We are also always in need of volunteers for office work and/or community donor events, so please visit the get Involved section of our website for more info.

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