Mission Statement

 

GLYS WNY builds affirming cultures and supportive communities for youth of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

Purpose

GLYS provides a safe and positive environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender 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, transgender 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 as “Gay & Lesbian Youth of Buffalo” or GLYB where youth and volunteers met at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center (GLCC) 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 (GLYS) of WNY.

Until 2000 GLYS was a part-time counseling based organization. After Labor Day in 2000, we opened our 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. From 2005 to 2017 this is where our Drop-In Center was located, before we outgrew the church basement and relocated to our current office location at 393 Delaware Ave, which is still Trinity Church property. 

When we 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 we has been supporting the Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) 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. 

In 2020, GLYS decided that after 26 years with the name "Gay & Lesbian Youth Services" that this title did not adequately reflect our dedication to LGBTQ+ youth and was too exclusionary for the ever growing and accepting LGBTQ+ community. So, we have officially changed our name to GLYS of WNY: Growing LGBTQ+ Youth Support. Growth is inevitable as time passes and our community evolves, so once again we have outgrown our space. We are currently searching for the next best place to serve our *new* mission…GLYS of WNY builds affirming cultures and supportive communities for youth of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. 

Members

Members range in age from 5-21 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, transgender and questioning youth.

 

Call us:

716.855.0221

Find us: 

393 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY  14202

© 2020 by RAR

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GLYS of WNY, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Incorporated in NYS and registered with NYS.

All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law

Attention Federal Employees: Please donate to charity #68607 in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)