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Young people thrive when they feel a sense of belonging: Resources for LGBTQ+ youth, families and allies.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area is committed to ensuring equity and inclusion for all young people. After more than 100 years serving youth in New York, we know that a sense of belonging is everything, and that’s true for LGBTQ+ kids and teens. Our Clubs work to offer a safe, positive environment for youth, staff and families of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. In physically and emotionally safe places, young people can be themselves, ignite their interests and develop skills to be successful in school, the workforce and in life.

 

Our Commitment to Inclusion
We believe every kid has what it takes. The mission and core beliefs of Boys & Girls Clubs fuel our commitment to promoting safe, positive and inclusive environments for all. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area supports all youth and teens – of every race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, and religion – in reaching their full potential.

 

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Sharing Pride Month with Kids (Scroll down)

9 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month for Kids of all ages

Parenting LGBTQ Youth

LGBTQ Resources

Pride Clouds
Sharing Pride Month with Kids

 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ) Pride Month spotlights LGBTQ culture, rights and identity – looking to the struggles and achievements of the past while working toward a more inclusive future.  

What is Pride Month?  

Pride Month honors the identity, rights and inclusion of LGBTQ people in our nation, celebrating their place in American history and future. As the month’s name implies, it’s a time of pride, affirmation and celebration for who you are, as well as political advocacy to further inclusivity.  

Throughout the month of June, communities and organizations celebrate the voices and culture of LGBTQ people through marches, parades, political activism, performances and celebrations of life to those who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.

When is Pride Month? 

Pride Month takes place in June every year, honoring June 1969 which served as a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States. That June, the Stonewall Uprising – where patrons of a popular New York City establishment stood up to police raids – spurred protests that would become the start of the modern LGBTQ movement.  

The next year, the very first Pride march was held in June, and since then communities have gathered together to celebrate Pride through marches, advocacy and celebrations. In 2000, President Bill Clinton officially recognized June as Pride Month as an annual observance of the history, contribution and rights of LGBTQ people in America. 


Why is Pride Month Important for Kids?

According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ youth say the most important problem they face right now is a lack of acceptance from their family. They’re also two times as likely to say they have been harassed and called names at school.  

Unsurprisingly, this lack of acceptance and a support system has a negative impact on LGBTQ youth mental health, with LGBTQ youth suicide becoming an urgent priority – according to the Trevor Project’s 2022 survey, nearly half (45%) of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide within the past year. 

At Boys & Girls Clubs, one thing we’ve learned from  serving youth is that a sense of belonging is everything. With a foundation of safety and acceptance, kids are more likely to get involved, make new friends, and build skills to support their success. Boys & Girls Clubs provide LGBTQ youth space to be themselves, caring adults who listen and services to build healthy coping skills, self-esteem and more. 

We can all work to be more informed and inclusive friends and allies of the LGBTQ kids and adults in our lives.

How to Explain Pride Month to Kids

When talking about Pride Month with kids in your life, here are some ways to share the month on a kid-friendly level. Always adjust your conversations for your child’s age and development: 

Share that Pride Month is a time of celebration. 

If you’re celebrating Pride through activities or attending a local event, your kid will see firsthand how fun, vibrant and colorful this celebration is. Everyone is welcome and being unique is celebrated. In fact, the Pride Month flag visually represents how beautiful something can be when every color of the rainbow is represented. 
 

Use a casual tone that creates trust and minimizes stereotypes  

How you talk about people builds your child’s early understanding of the world and can impact their own judgements, biases and empathy toward others and themselves. By talking about LGBTQ identity and creating a casual, judgment-free zone, you can help break generations of stereotyping and othering LGBTQ people.

 

Ask open-ended questions to gauge your child’s knowledge and thoughts, do not use labels that perpetuate stereotypes, and be honest about what you do and do not know. This approach might also support your kid if they are wondering about a friend’s or their own sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. and shows that you’re always available to talk through what’s going on in their lives.

  

Talk about the LGBTQ experience in kid-friendly terms

Your child doesn’t need to know every detail of the Stonewall Uprising to understand Pride Month. You can keep conversations general while speaking to the power of acceptance and inclusion – “Do you see how all these people are celebrating? For a long time, they weren’t allowed to be who they were. Have you ever felt like that? It feels really bad, right? They’re celebrating because being who you are is awesome.”

 

Older kids can delve more into the history of LGBTQ rights in America, advocacy and more.

Pride Parade
9 Ways Celebrate Pride
9 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month for Kids of All Ages

 

Now that you’ve set the tone for your Pride Month celebrations, here are fun ways to celebrate Pride Month, whether you’re going out or staying in: 

Find Pride Month Activities Local to You
  • Get out and celebrate. To get the full experience, attend a local Pride march, parade or festival.  

 

  • Experience LGBTQ voices. Research local museum exhibits, art shows, or performances near you this June that highlight LGBTQ voices and experiences. 


Pride Month Activities for Kids to Do at School & Home

Create Pride-themed artwork. From rainbows to parade signs to the Pride flag, have kids color or draw art to display around your house, school or Club all month long.  


Download BGCA’s printable Pride Month coloring sheet.


Check out the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Pride Family Zone art activities


Watch videos that inspire and educate  

Give screen time a dose of Pride with videos that help explain what Pride Month is all about. 
 

Demi Lovato narrates The Trevor Project’s “Pride Everywhere” video which explains Pride Month.


PBS lists “What to Watch to Celebrate Pride Month” which includes a mix of documentaries and informational videos.


Ignite critical thinking & discussion with teens on LGBTQ representation & rights  
Did you know GLAAD creates a “Where We Are on TV” report? Discuss the findings and talk about LGBTQ representation in pop culture, what teens are watching, etc. 


Today’s teens will likely see connections in the Black Lives Matters Movement to the Stonewall Uprising and Gay Liberation Movement. Discuss bias within systems and communities, and what teens think is needed to inspire positive change.

 
 

Learn how to be an ally and an advocate

Check out these tips on being an ally and supporter to LGBTQ youth. Consider making posters or signs to place around your home, school or Club with welcoming phrases like – “You are perfect just the way you are.” / “Everyone is welcome here!” / “This is a safe place to be yourself.” – or have kids make up their own. Older teens can learn about advocacy, including contacting state & local representatives to express support for policies that protect the rights of everyone. 


Choose an LGBTQ cause to support

As a family, consider donating to an organization that supports LGBTQ+ rights, such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Trevor Project and more, and talk about the importance of supporting causes that matter. 

 

Celebrate LGBTQ inclusion year-round 

Model the way for a more inclusive future for generations to come. 


We hope you join BGCCA in celebrating Pride Month. We are committed to equity and inclusion for all – and that starts with giving millions of kids and teens a place to belong, know their value and reach their full potential.

If you or someone you know needs suicide prevention support, seek help immediately. You can call the free, confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time. You can also contact the Trevor Project, the leading national organization in providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention support for LGBTQ+ youth under the age of 25.

Pride Youth
Parenting LGBTQ Youth

 

Your kid or teen has just let you know that they identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer). Or maybe they have shared that they’re experiencing gender dysphoria – feelings of unease that their sex assigned at birth doesn’t match with the gender – and they’re not sure what to do.
 

As a parent or caregiver, what’s the best way to respond? How do you support your LGBTQ youth? And if you don’t know how to react, what should you avoid doing? These are questions many parents of LGBTQ youth have.

There are two important things to know about parenting LGBTQ youth:

 

Your acceptance and love are everything. Youth thrive when they feel a sense of belonging, so it’s important to lead with your support, even if you’re navigating your own feelings about your child’s identity. Nothing is more important than young people feeling safe and accepted.

Research shows that LGBTQ youth who were highly rejected by their families are at an increased risk of health issues such as illicit drug use and suicide. It’s important to understand mental health in LGBTQ youth, and how lack of acceptance, bullying and prejudice can have an impact. The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGTBQ Youth Mental Health found that 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.

That’s why it’s particularly important for LGBTQ kids and teens to feel supported by their families and communities.

 

Research shows LGBTQ youth who have family support have greater self-esteem and resilience and a lower risk of negative outcomes like depression, hopelessness and substance abuse.

Parents, caregivers and family members of LGBTQ kids and teens have a critical role to play in creating a positive environment where your young person feels accepted and empowered to express themselves.

 

Below are some behaviors to demonstrate your support and behaviors that may alienate your young person as they’re sharing their identity with you.​

 

Behaviors that help demonstrate support:

  • Talking with your child about their LGBTQ identity and asking open-ended questions to encourage your child to share

  • Supporting your child’s LGBTQ identity, even if you feel uncomfortable, in order to demonstrate complete love and support.

  • Learning identity terminology so you can be an ally and engage with your young person

  • Advocating for your child if they are mistreated because of their LGBTQ identity

  • Requiring other family members to respect your LGBTQ child

  • Connecting your child with an LGBTQ community organization, mentor or role model to show them options for the future

  • Welcoming your child’s LGBTQ friends and parents to your home and family activities

  • Supporting your child’s gender expression, such as clothes or hairstyles 

Behaviors that may be perceived as rejection:

  • Telling your child that their LGBTQ identity is a phase they will grow out of

  • Isolating your LGBTQ child from family members, friends and social activities

  • Making your child keep their LGBTQ identity a secret and not letting them talk about it

  • Blocking your child’s access to LGBTQ events, friends and pop culture

  • Blaming your child when they are discriminated against because of their LGBTQ identity

  • Verbally harassing your child because of their LGBTQ identity or telling them you are ashamed of them
     

Parenting LGBTQ Youth
LGBTQ Parent Resources

LGBTQ Resources

Online Class

The CDC offers third-party parent and educator resources on supporting positive environments for LGBTQ youth.

Gay Teens

The Trevor Project provides 24/7 crisis intervention & suicide prevention for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. 

Pride Center logo

Visit the Pride Center of the Capital Region which offers access to events resources and more.

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List of LBGTQ resources found throughout Troy, NY plus events, custom logos and more. 

BGCCA Programs

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Career Launch

The program offers young adults 16-24 free training for entry into livable wage career fields like agriculture, construction, hospitality, culinary, medical, & tech. 

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Lyricisim 101

Lyricism 101 offers access to music instruments and a music studio, with recording equipment & editing software, all aboard our mobile music RV!

Black Lives Matter

We stand against racism and discrimination. We stand for safety, health, dignity, and equitable opportunity.

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Violence Prevention

BGCCA is calling for solutions to the gun violence that has recently spiked throughout the Albany area.

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