Ten Gay Youth Groups Making a Difference On National Coming Out Day

Oct 11, 2010 by

Monday is National Coming Out Day, and with the recent news of gay youth suicides, it’s more important than ever to locate the resources to get involved. Young people are coming out earlier than every, and they need role models to welcome them to our flourishing gayborhoods. Here are ten organizations offering mentorship programs and volunteer opportunities.

1. Austin: Out Youth

Here you’ll find a program in which all all that is required is being a great listener at the drop-in center. Social butterflies and party animals can volunteer at events and recreational activities.

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2. Chicago: Howard Brown Health Center

You have to be at least 25 to join Howard Brown’s mentor program, and willing to commit at least 14 hours a month participating in activities, both individually and within a group setting.

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3. Dallas: Youth First Texas

Remember wishing you had a fairy godmother that could turn your pumpkin into a porsche? Well, here’s the next best thing: Become a life coach for an older teen making practical choices, like getting a decent job, saving for that first apartment and learning how to navigate all the communal offerings.

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4. Denver: The Center

Rainbow Alley caters specifically to the needs of LGBT youth. Its popular buddy program provides an adult presence during drop-in hours.

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5. Las Vegas: The Center

The youth group meets every Thursdays at 6pm to discuss the concerns of queer youth.

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6. Los Angeles: LA Gay & Lesbian Center

LifeWorks is a youth mentoring program in which mentors need to be at least 30, but younger volunteers can sign up for peer programs.

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7. New York: Hetrick-Martin Institute

You don’t have to be a power gay to volunteer at this well-connected organization. The Institute has an after school homework program and a 24 hour nationwide emergency hotline: 1-866-488-7386 and 1-800-543-3638.

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8. San Francisco: Larkin Street Youth

For over 30 years LSY has helped homeless youth find everything from a home to addiction counseling. Volunteers reach out to kids living on the street, provide mentoring support or lead recreational activities.

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9. Seattle: Lambert House

Volunteering opportunities are available at the drop-in center and cyber cafe. If you feel comfortable leading group discussions, become a facilitator.

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10. San Diego: The Center

Hillcrest Youth Center volunteers run a large portion of the center’s programming and activities, including health education, employment prep, tutoring and support groups.

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Know of any more local resources for LGBT youth? Spread the love by sharing information and your own perspectives on coming out young.

On the national level, check out ways to volunteer as a phone counselor with The Trevor Project, a teen suicide prevention hotline.