Mission Statement & More

GLYS is funded through the NYS Department of Health,
United Way/SEFA/CFC donor choice programs,
and individual and corporate donors.

Mission Statement

The GLYS mission is to provide an accepting environment to enhance the personal growth of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth in Western New York. GLYS advocates for community awareness and acceptance of young people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Purpose

GLYS provides a safe and positive environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (GLBTQ) youth to learn more about themselves through peer interaction and educational experiences. The organization creates opportunities for emotional growth and community awareness.

Goals and Objectives

Through GLYS outreach, other agencies learn about and increase their sensitivity to the needs of sexual minority youth. GLYS provides GLBTQ youth with positive role models. It promotes their self-esteem and the integration of these youth into the larger community. GLYS assists families with resources and referrals.

GLYS assists gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth by providing
•    safe space
•    interaction with GLBT peers and adult role models
•    a Peer Support Group
•    health & wellness activities
•    opportunities for leadership development
•    access to cultural events and youth development activities
•    information, resources & referrals
•    advocacy
Through GLYS outreach, other agencies learn about and increase their sensitivity to the needs of sexual minority youth. GLYS provides GLBTQ youth with positive role models. It promotes their self-esteem and the integration of these youth into the larger community. GLYS assists families with resources and referrals.

HISTORY

GLYS began in 1983 at “Gay & Lesbian Youth of Buffalo” or GLYS and youth and volunteers met at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center that was located on Delavan Avenue. When the GLCC closed in 1986, the YWCA of WNY on Franklin Avenue offered to rent GLYB space for its Drop-In Center. In 1994, GLYB changed its name to Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of WNY.

Until 2000 GLYS/GLYS was a part time counseling based organization. After Labor Day in 2000 it opened its doors as a full time youth development agency. After the YWCA put its building up for sale in 2004, Trinity Church offered to rent space to GLYS. Since August 1, 2005, this is where our Drop-In Center has been located.

When it moved to Trinity, GLYS offered only its Drop-In Center to LGBTQ youth. Since then we have worked to earn the “Western New York” in our name. Since 2006 it has been supporting the Gay Straight Alliances in WNY high schools. In 2009 GLYS began reaching out to youth in out-of-home care. We now assist youth in all 8 counties in a variety of ways.

Members

Members range in age from 14-21 and represent many racial, ethnic, religious and class backgrounds.

Staff

Our Staff is also diverse in background, education, and experience. Each staff member is dedicated to serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Michael F. Moraca, CPA, President
Niagara Falls

Richard P. Valentine, Esq., VP
Buffalo

Timothy J. Moran, Treasurer
Buffalo
Publisher of The Outcome, WNY’s only LGBT online publication

Marjorie E. Gillies, Secretary
Niagara Falls

Diane E. Elze, Ph.D.
University at Buffalo School of Social Work
Buffalo

Carlos R.A. Jones
Buffalo State College Theatre Department
Buffalo

Joseph O’Donnell
Buffalo

Gail W. Sfeir
mother of a gay son
Buffalo