Pride for Youth is a service and an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Our mission is to enhance the health, wellness and cultural competency of LGBTQ young people through supportive services, education and youth development. We believe that LGBTQ young people are courageous, bright, creative and exceptional youth that enhance our communities.
Formidable barriers such as homophobia, stigma, lack of understanding and institutionalized bias prevent some of them from achieving their potential. Pride for Youth offers a matrix of opportunities and supports that assist LGBTQ youth with their healthy development, break through obstacles to their success, and create a more responsive community in which they can grow.
*Registration is not required for any of our programs. While you may wish to call ahead to ensure eligibility and confirm activity times, walk-ins are always welcome!
In 1993, Long Island Crisis Center started Pride for Youth at a time when support and outreach to LGBTQ youth on Long Island was virtually non-existent. Pride for Youth has grown to encompass multiple services addressing many of the needs of LGBTQ youth and their families.
- Pride for Youth created the Coffeehouse program in 1995 – the first suburban coffeehouse for LGBTQ youth in the country.
- We began airing public service announcements on MTV in the mid 90s – one of the first mass media outreach strategies for LGBTQ youth nationwide.
- In 2001, Pride for Youth launched an action research project, which documented that 94% of Long Island students are exposed to homophobia in their schools and one in ten have been victimized because of their perceived sexual orientation.
- With the new millennium’s startling HIV resurgence among young gay and bisexual men of color, Pride for Youth led the way to building a healthier generation of young people through its culturally-sensitive Young Men’s Program, initiated in 2003
- Pride for Youth seeded and stewarded Gay-Straight Alliances in several high-need Nassau County school districts from 2004 through the present.
- In 2006, working with corporate partners such as CMP Media, Pride for Youth launched an employment mentoring program for LGBTQ youth.
- In 2009, transgender teens found their own place to share their specific concerns and build pride through Pride for Youth’s Trans Support Group.
- In 2010, Pride for Youth launched the first and only chapter of Mpowerment on Long Island. The main objective of this program is to help young gay and bisexual men stay HIV and STI-free in the midst of the ongoing epidemic.
- In 2014, “Pride for Parents Night” began as a monthly educational and supportive space for parents and adult family members of LGBTQ-identified youth to come together and learn how to best support their children.
- A support group for young gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender individuals living with HIV began in 2014. This group has developed into Mpower+, a space for individuals to speak openly about their status without the fear of stigma, learn how to maintain their sexual health.
- Pride for Youth began collaborating with Northwell Health in 2013 in order to launch multiple sexual health programs including in-house HIV testing, a comprehensive PrEP and PEP program, and the groundbreaking on-site sexual health medical services offered through Project PUSH.