Celebrating Pride Month by Recognizing BGLAD
June is Pride Month!! Every summer the LGBTQ+ community comes together for a month-long celebration of love, diversity, acceptance, and unabashed self-pride. In its honor, we wanted to recognize one of YES’ education and prevention programs, BGLAD.
BGLAD is YES’ free, drop-in support group for youth ages 13 to 19 who identify as LGBTQ+ or may be questioning their gender or sexual identity. The group is co-facilitated by licensed mental health professionals who have experience working with LGBTQ+ youth. In 2019, 53 teens participated in the group, which provides its attendees with support, crisis counseling, and community in a welcoming environment.
Many of the group’s participants, including Caleb, credit BGLAD with allowing them to feel accepted and embracing their identities. Caleb, who has been attending the group since 2017, notes,
“BGLAD and the facilitators have really helped me, and also the other people that I have been going to BGLAD with…They helped me embrace who I am and not be afraid.”
Keth, who has been participating in the group for six years and is its longest-attending participant, shares a similar sentiment.
“At first it was really awkward, but I quickly warmed up. Everyone there is your friend, BGLAD helped me reach out and open up to others.”
If you’re looking to meet new people who also identify as LGBTQ+, want to learn more about local resources, or just generally want something structured to do with other teens, check us out! Due to COVID-19, BGLAD is now meeting virtually using HIPAA compliant Zoom sessions which occur every Thursday at 5 p.m.