Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Support

The New York City Department of Education supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) students, families, and staff across the five boroughs through a variety of policies and programs.

LGBTQ Community Liaison

Our LGBTQ Community Liaison is available to answer questions and support students, families, and staff members. In addition, this position supports a variety of programs across K-12 schools including:

  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance Summit
  • Lambda Literary LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program
  • LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum Conference

Contact

Jared Fox
LGBTQ Community Liaison
Lgbt@schools.nyc.gov
212-374-6908

Policy

It is the policy of the New York City Department of Education to maintain a safe and supportive school environment for all students free from harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying and free from discrimination on account of actual or perceived race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, or weight. As part of this commitment, students, families, and staff should review these relevant policies:

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These policies are a sampling and not a complete list. For more information on all NYC policies, go to the top nav and click on School Life. There you will find a group of pages called Rules and Policies. .

College and Careers

All students in the New York City Department of Education should graduate ready for college and careers. Many students may use resources like NYC College Line to research colleges and plan to finance college, but for LGBTQ students there are other considerations such as finding an affirming environment and sometimes paying the tuition without parental support. The following resources are meant to support LGBTQ students and their families in finding and financing college.

Finding a College

Paying for College

National

Local Resources

Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs)

A GSA is a club, typically in a high school or middle school, which provides a place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and work to end harassment or discrimination for LGBTQ students. The clubs are also a great place for all kids to get support, including allies and children of LGBTQ parents.

Chancellor’s Regulations are the NYC Department of Education policies that schools must follow.)Chancellor’s Regulation A-601 talks about activities, clubs, and organizations and says that any student can start a student club as long as they follow the rules. (link in Chancellor's reg

  1. You have to let everyone in.
  2. You have to follow your school’s rules

It has to be open to everyone in the school and you cannot charge a membership fee or make it a secret club.

Every school has their own rules. For example, in some schools the principal asks that student government approves all clubs, and in other schools the club has to submit a proposal to the principal before they get started.

The best, first step is for an interested student to approach a trusted adult in their building, perhaps a guidance counselor, the Respect for All Liaison, a supportive teacher, maybe even the principal and let them know that they’d like to start a GSA and ask them what the process would be. If they need help or support, they can email us at lgbt@schools.nyc.gov.

Parent and Family Support

Parents of LGBT Students

Supporting your LGBT student is integral to their success in school and beyond. Families looking for support, including counseling, can contact: the appropriate community-based organization:

Ackerman Institute for the Family, Gender & Family Project: Provides gender affirming services for transgender and gender expansive youth and their families. Services are sliding scale and include family therapy, support groups for caregivers in English and Spanish, play group for children, support group for adolescents, sibling support groups, and gender evaluation. GFP also provides gender inclusive training and consulting for schools and other institutions.

For more information, contact:

Asaelle Mendez, Program Assistant
amendez@ackerman.org 
212-879-4900 x370

The Hetrick Martin Institute HMI offers a Parent/Caregiver Education workshop, Shared Journeys, on puberty and adolescent development, gender, and sexuality for caregivers of young children, as preparation for parenting children during adolescence and puberty, and to prevent family rejection of LGBTQ children.

The curriculum aims to: de-stigmatize and normalize same-sex attraction and gender identity; educate parents about the feelings their children are dealing with if they are LGBT; build skills for talking to children about these issues; and address the important role of families in the healthy development and safety of LGBT youth. The curriculum is specifically tailored to (Spanish-speaking) immigrant parents, with educational materials in English and Spanish.

For more information, contact:

Bryson Rose, Assistant Director
brose@hmi.org
212-674-2600 x288

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center: Provides affirming support and tools for families of LGBT youth as they navigate their child’s coming out process and developing identity. Counseling services are available for families with children ages 5 and up who are perceived to be or identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning. Services are available for a sliding scale fee; no family is turned away for lack of ability to pay.

For more information, contact:

Amanda Hayden, LMSW, Family Permanency Coordinator
foreverfamilies@gaycenter.org
646-358-1746

CAMBA’s Project ALY : Encourages parents and families to better accept and support their LGBT youth. We offer educational presentations, resources for parents and youth, and our social marketing materials (such as our posters and role model postcards) to promote acceptance.

Project ALY offers free workshops for parents and family of all youth at Brooklyn schools, faith institutions and community groups. Workshops are co-led by a parent of an LGBT youth and cover:

  • Strategies for creating a supportive and safe environment for your child
  • How to reduce your child’s risk for substance use, depression, HIV and STDs
  • Understanding sexuality and gender identity
  • Additional resources to help you improve your relationship with your child

Project ALY also offers free workshops for staff and teachers at Brooklyn schools, faith institutions and community groups.

For more information, contact:

Roslyn Campbell, Project Manager
roslync@camba.org
718-675-3372 ext 52001

PFLAG NYC: Keeping relationships strong and keeping families together when someone comes out is one of PFLAG NYC’s most important activities. PFLAG NYC helps parents when they find out that a child is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Brothers, sisters, and other family members also find information and advice through PFLAG NYC that helps them better understand and strengthen relationships with LGBT loved ones.

PFLAG NYC offers the following supports:

  • Regular Support Group Meetings
    • PFLAG NYC Main Support Group - for parents of LGBT children of all ages
    • TransFamilies Project - a dedicated group for parents of transgender children
    • Stepping Stones - a parents group and simultaneous playgroup for younger children who are gender nonconforming or gender-creative
    • API Rainbow Parents - support and information for Asian & Pacific Islander (API) individuals and their families with particular cultural and linguistic needs
  • Helpline via Telephone & Email
    • Online Resources
    • Safe Schools Program

For more information, contact:

Drew Tagliabue, Executive Director
dt@pflagnyc.org
646-403-3368

LGBT Parents

The NYC Department of Education supports our LGBT parents and caregivers and encourage their participation in school and district leadership. The Division of Family and Community Engagement has more information on getting involved. Families looking for support, including support for children of LGBT parents, can contact: the appropriate community-based organization:

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center: Kidding Around is The Center’s series of monthly play days for LGBT families with children 8 years old and under. Previous activities include: planting a 16-foot tree in the third-floor auditorium to create a whimsical indoor park, snapping photos of families inside of a giant snow globe or spooking out the grown-ups with glowing snakes at the Halloween Monster Mash. No matter the month’s theme or activity, Kidding Around is about community, laughter and a whole lot of love.

The Center also offers legal and finance clinics to support individuals and families.

For more information, contact:

Jeff Levin, LMSW, Family Planning and Health Coordinator
centerfamilies@gaycenter.org
646-358-1703

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