Campus & Community

Explore Boston’s LGBTQ+ Events, Advocacy, and Support Networks

Senator Elizabeth Warren participates in the 2017 Boston Pride Parade. Photograph by ElizabethForMA, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Creative Commons.
Senator Elizabeth Warren participates in the 2017 Boston Pride Parade. Photograph by ElizabethForMA, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Creative Commons.

Throughout June, Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and commemorates the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, the presumed birthplace of queer activism in the United States. For Pride Month 2024, we are spotlighting local organizations dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals. (Note: this is not an exhaustive list of available resources in the Boston area).

Bisexual Resource Center: Established in 1985 (first as the East Coast Bisexual Network), this Center is the oldest nationally-focused bisexual organization in the United States. The Center imparts key resources to ensure that the bi+ community is visible, thriving, and empowered. The website offers literature to support the sexual and mental health of the bisexual community. The Boston-based community sponsors support groups, socializing activities, and open mic events; click here for more details.

Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (BAGLY): Formed in 1980, this youth-led and adult-supported collective helps advocate and implement programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ+ youth community. Incidentally, many Simmons alumnae/i have helped shape this organization and its values. For instance, Bishop Jeffrey Mello ’00MSW, the first openly gay bishop within the Episcopal Church of Connecticut, served as program director of BAGLY before attending the Simmons School of Social Work.

Boston GLASS (GLBTQ + Adolescent Social Services)Operating under the auspices of the Justice Resource Institute, this community center provides numerous services to LGBTQ+ youth (ages 13–29) of color and their allies. Services include support groups, educational workshops, social events, and HIV/STI testing.

Boston Pride Parade: Primarily run by local volunteers, Boston Pride for the People organizes an annual Pride Parade that embraces four pillars of LGBTQ+ pride: empowering, educating, commemorating, and celebrating. This year’s parade will occur on Saturday, June 8, at 11am, followed by a festival and block party. Individual marchers may register here.

Boston Public Library’s Pride MonthFor Pride Month 2024, the BPL has programmed dozens of public events, including craft sessions (make your own Pride bookmark, coaster, etc.), film screenings, author talks, LGBTQ+ history lectures, Drag Queen Story Hour, and public panels.

GLAD (LGBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders) Transgender ID Project: Since 1978, this organization has fought against discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender expression. Operating throughout New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), GLAD’s Transgender ID Project offers support for transgender individuals, including those who seek to update their legal name and gender on federal and state identification documents.

Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youth: Founded in 1992, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth first emerged as a response to high suicide rates among gay and lesbian youths in the Commonwealth. In recent years, the Commission has expanded its efforts by addressing juvenile justice, education, and homelessness. The Simmons community is a close ally of the Commission; Professor of Public Health Valerie Leiter is the Statistical Consultant for the Commission, analyzing statewide data on LGBTQ youth (paying particular attention to youth risk behaviors) and co-authoring the Commission’s annual report. At the Commission’s 2024 Gayla, Professor of Practice in Social Work Gary Bailey received a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to advocacy and social justice. Click here for more information on the Commission’s services, events, and ways to get involved.

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC): Founded in 2001, MTPC is the nation’s longest-running transgender advocacy organization. Focused on local communities, this collective “works to ensure the wellbeing, safety, and lived equity of all trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community members in Massachusetts.” MTPC offers many key resources, and its Trans Leadership Academy enables community members to become involved with cultivating advocacy and equity.

Hope Center: Under the auspices of the Metro Boston Recovery Learning Community, the Hope Center supports the mental health of individuals who may be questioning their identity or orientation. The Center hosts in-person and online support sessions, as well as LGBTQ+ Affinity Groups. Walk-ins are welcome, regardless of documentation/citizenship status.  

The Network/La Red: Formed in 1989 by a group of Boston lesbians who survived domestic abuse, this 24-hour LGBTQ hotline offers confidential emotional support, referrals, crisis intervention, and additional resources for the queer community who are being abused or have been abused by a partner. Voice: (617) 742-4911; Toll-free phone number: 1-800-832-1901.

Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center: This Center, named after African American HIV/AIDS activist Sidney Borum, Jr. (1954–1992), is a licensed health center and mental health clinic that is affiliated with Beth Israel Lahey Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Fenway Health. The clinic aims to provide “safe, non-judgmental care for young people ages 12–29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else.”

The Trevor Project: As the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention nonprofit organization for LGBTQ+ youth, The Trevor Project provides information and support around the clock for individuals struggling with coming out, gender/sexual identity, and/or self-harm. To communicate confidentially with a trained crisis counselor, call: 1-866-488-7386. For a text chat, text “START” to 678-678.

On-campus resources

The Simmons student body, of which approximately 40% identifies as queer or non-binary, strives to cultivate inclusion, belonging, and advocacy through its many student organizations, including TaNC (Trans and Nonbinary Collective), SWAG (Sexuality, Women, and Gender Union), and Alliance. Additional resources include Simmons’ Trans and Non-Binary Living-Learning Communities, the Counseling Center, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI). Moreover, student researchers have helped unearth a queer history of Simmons, and the Simmons News service enables readers to search for recent and archived LGBTQ-related content.  

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Kathryn Dickason