Free to Be is an initiative of YOUTH POWER! created to provide a peer network for LGBTQ+ young adults that is all-inclusive. Whether one identifies as asexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, queer, or any other identity, this is a safe place for resources and support.
Connect with other young adults statewide, learn about resources in your area, and learn more about LGBTQ+ leaders throughout the state.
Free to Be is currently led by Imari Williams (Hudson River Regional Youth Partner) and Zach Kilmer (NYISA Coordinator). Click here to learn more about them!
What are we looking for?
We need YOU(th), agencies, and providers to:
- Share and learn about LGBTQ resources!
- Offer input – what do you need from an LGBTQ network?
- Help us understand various perspectives through your experiences
- Find/provide peer support throughout NYS while connecting young adults with LGBTQ leaders and resources
- Help spread the word!
Who is invited to join? Youth, young adults, and agencies are encouraged to join our meetings. This is to ensure that youth and young adults’ voices are heard and that agencies can offer their resources and listen to our feedback. As we move forward, there will be separate meetings dedicated to the attendance of only youth and young adults.
When? Monthly meetings will be held until we have an established group of young adults to help build the network.
Where? We meet via GoToMeeting. You can call in to listen via phone or watch us on video through the app or website. It is free and easy to use. We provide you the call in information ahead of time.
Why? Statistics show the extremely high rates of discrimination, violence, and lack of support that LGBTQ+ youth and young adults face. Support, resources, and connections can be incredibly difficult to find. Every staff member of Free to Be is part of the LGBTQ+ community. We understand challenges people face. We understand and respect the overlap of different identities. We recognize the regional differences throughout the state and how that impacts access to support. We are here to connect with you to help bridge those often overlooked gaps and barriers in order to create a more welcoming and accessible environment. Free to Be is a team effort. You can help whether you are a young person or agency. Your input helps guide important issues that need to be addressed while receiving support from others throughout the state.
Interested in learning more? Contact: FreeToBe@YOUTHPOWERNY.org