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Creating Safer Spaces for LGBTQ Youth

A Toolkit for Education, Healthcare, and Community-Based Organizations

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This Toolkit has been developed to assist individuals, community-based organizations, providers, healthcare staff, educators, and others that see the value of incorporating key safer space components into their organizations so that young people survive and thrive. Recommendations serve as a guide and should be tailored to each individual young person and organizational setting.

Safer Spaces can be defined as “the environmental product of a conscious set of decisions and actions taken by individuals to promote equality, fairness, non-violence, and affirmation of the unconditional value of all peoples, where youth are free to grow, thrive, and express their individual identities.”

Furthermore, this Toolkit highlights challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, offers insight on how they thrive, and enhances the awareness among healthcare staff, educators, and additional youth-serving professionals about the existing disparities in order to provide more comprehensive, competent, evidence-based care and support to this community.

Healthcare, education, and community-based organizations vary in capacity, size, and demographics. This Toolkit does not embrace a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it provides actionable advice on implementing practices, programs, and policies that affirm LGBTQ young people. It is important to recognize that organizations are also often at different places in their evolution toward acknowledging the need to intentionally serve and uplift LGBTQ young people and in their efforts to take action to do so. This Toolkit was created through the lens of our Queer and Gender Equity Project (QGEP) which launched 10+ years ago. The QGEP provides support to organizations seeking to enhance their support for LGBTQ youth, especially young people of color, via education, policy, research, professional training, and technical assistance.

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