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Queens LGBT Youth Safe Spaces Coalition

The Queens LGBT Youth Safe Spaces Coalition is a group of community members and organizations that work with the LGBT Network to create a community where LGBT Youth do not depend on alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to cope with discrimination, stress or find a supportive community. We achieve this through changing the world around LGBT youth to be more affirming, liberating and supportive. These improvements to the community (and LGBT Youths’ place in it) allow them to be themselves and stay healthy, while avoiding substance misuse.

LGBT Youth Rights in Schools

In New York State students have the right to…

  1. Be safe and free from harassment and bullying.
  2. Be treated equally and be free from discrimination because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  3. Be out or not be out about your sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.
  4. Be yourself, including dressing and acting in ways that do not conform to stereotypes associated with your gender.
  5. Start a gender-sexuality alliance, queer-straight alliance, or similar club or affinity group.
  6. Wear LGBTQ-positive or political t-shirts, stickers, or bracelets.
  7. Speak out about LGBTQ issues.
  8. Access pro-LGBTQ websites or information about LGBTQ issues on your school’s computers.
  9. Bring a date to the prom regardless of their gender identity or expression.
  10. Use the sex-separated restroom or locker room that most closely aligns with your gender identity. You may also use a single occupancy restroom if you feel more comfortable, but no one can force you to use a single-occupancy restroom

From the New York Civil Liberties Union:

NY State Dignity for All Students Act

  • States that no student can be harassed or discriminated against by employees or students on school property or at school functions based on their race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex.
    • School districts were required to make changes to their Codes of Conduct to reflect a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination or harassment against any of the listed communities above.
  • Schools are required to collect and report data about bullying, discrimination, and harassment.

From the New York State Education Department:

Does your school need help to create safer spaces for LGBT Students?

Click here to view and request our training offerings for students, faculty, other school staff, and even parents.

Want to help increase safety for LGBT Youth in Queens, the rest of NYC, and Beyond?

Young People, ages 13-24, click here to sign up for the NYC Youth Leadership Coalition…

Adults and Young People, click here to sign up for the Queens LGBT Youth Safe Spaces Coalition…

Questions? Email Kaylie Bucaro at

Terminology To Know:

Note: All language evolves overtime. With terminology related to the LGBT Community this is especially true. As LGBT rights and visibility advance our language and understanding grows and evolves. The following definitions are guideposts and generalities. When interacting with LGBT people is important to get an understanding of their meaning behind the terms they use to identify themselves.

Aromantic/Aromanticism: When someone is not emotionally, spiritually attracted to others in a romantic, intimate sense. Aromanticism has no bearing on people’s ability/desire to form close platonic relationships.

Asexual/Asexuality: When someone is not physically attracted to others or does not desire sexual contact with anyone; not all asexual people are aromantic.

Bisexual/Bisexuality: When someone is emotionally, spiritually, and physically attracted to people of the more than one gender.

Demisexual/Demisexuality: When someone is only emotionally, spiritually, physically and/or sexually attracted to someone when they have an emotional bond with the person.

Cisgender: Denotes a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their sex assigned at birth.

Gender: Refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls, and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviors and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl, or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.

Gender Expression: The outward expression one’s own Gender Identity (see below). This can include the way someone acts, dresses, behaves, interacts and more.

Gender Identity: A person’s own internal sense of self-based on biological sex characteristics (aka – sex assigned at birth) and their own internal sense of their gender.

Genderfluid: An identity that denotes a person whose gender identity and expression is not fixed, and may change day-to-day and/or over time.

Heterosexual/Heterosexuality: When someone is emotionally, spiritually, and physically attracted exclusively to people of another gender.

Homosexual/Homosexuality: When someone is emotionally, spiritually, and physically attracted exclusively to people of the same gender.

Intersex: A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. This can manifest with differences between chromosomes, hormones, external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, and/or secondary sex traits.

Non-Binary/Gender Non-Binary: Used as both an umbrella term and an individual gender identity, non-binary refers to identities outside of the typical gender binary of man or woman. People who identify as non-binary may feel some connection to being a man or woman, or feel they have no gender at all. This understanding of their gender may be fixed or fluid overtime.

Pansexual/Pansexual: When someone is emotionally, spiritually, and physically attracted to people regardless of the person’s gender. Note: some people identify as both bi- and pansexual; for others the distinction is very important.

Polysexual/Polysexuality: When someone is emotionally, spiritually, and physically attracted to people of the more than one gender but, may not be attracted to people of every gender.

Pronouns/Gender Pronouns: Pronouns are words used to replace proper nouns, like names. In this context, gender pronouns refer to the pronouns someone should be called when referring to them in the third person. Some examples of gender pronouns in include she/her/hers; he/him/his; (singular) they/them/theirs; and zi/zir/zirs.

Sex: Refers to a person’s biological characteristics regarding reproduction and associated body systems. Sex characteristics include genitals, gonads, hormones, and sex chromosomes.

Sex Assigned At Birth: This phrase is used in place of “biological sex.” The phrase more accurately describes how someone comes to be known as male or female: an assessment of external sex characteristics shortly after birth.

Sexual Orientation: An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, spiritual, and/or physical attraction to other people. (aka- who you fall in love with)

Transgender: An umbrella term for anyone whose gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth. Transgender people may go through a gender transition, but no aspect of gender transitioning is required for a valid transgender identity. People may use transgender as an individual identity label or use other terms to identify their gender.

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How your can help

The LGBT Network relies on the support of their many volunteers to serve Long Island’s LGBT community. As a volunteer, you will join the ranks of other kind, compassionate, generous, hardworking individuals who have affected tremendous and far-reaching change for our community.