We advocate for LGBTQ youth so they can seize each day and prepare for the future.

We advocate for LGBTQ youth so they can seize each day and prepare for the future.

Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy.
Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy.

Youth Services

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Need inspiration for your next GSA campaign? On the hunt for scholarships? We’ve got your back.

Giving Back

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From volunteering to donations, the opportunities to support LGBTQ youth are endless.

Housing

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LGBTQ youth deserve a place to live, learn, and grow. That’s why our transitional housing program includes mental health services, networking, mentorship, and more

Empower LGBTQ Youth to Thrive

With 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identifying as LGBTQ, our mission has never been more clear. From transitional housing to leadership development, SMYAL serves at-risk youth as they overcome the challenges associated with their identity. Our services are made possible by the generous contributions of our community. Help SMYAL continue to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth.

Upcoming Event

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25TH | RED BEAR BREWING | 6-8 PM

 

SMYAL for the New Year

The SMYAL Young Donors Committee invites you to ring in 2024 and kick off SMYAL 40th anniversary year at the annual SMYAL for the New Year celebration!

We’re excited to be back celebrating at Red Bear Brewing Co. as we reconnect with old friends and meet new supporters. Bring a friend, raise a glass, and make a New Year’s resolution to support LGBTQ+ youth in 2024 by becoming a part of the SMYAL Champions monthly donor program. Join us to show up and show out for LGBTQ+ youth!

SMYAL Social Media

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SMYAL

SMYAL

SMYAL supports and empowers LGBTQ+ youth ages 6-24.

6 days ago

SMYAL
We are happy to announce our partnership with Shout Mouse Press as they hold their first-ever Queer Youth Voices anthology. This project is a response to book bans nationwide targeting literature featuring LGBTQIA+ characters and themes, and the related silencing of these voices and conversations. The theme of this anthology will be LOVE. Whether it be friendships, family, community, crushes, or self-love, we are curious about what it looks like to queer love in any relationship.To support the writing processes of both beginning and experienced writers, we are also hosting optional in-person AND virtual writing workshops. Check the second slide for workshop dates, times, and neighborhoods! We will be holding in-person workshops at the SMYAL Main Office for the days that say 'Eastern Market.'Shout Mouse Press will honor the hours that young people put into these workshops with either a) a PAID stipend of $15/hour or b) documented community service hours. Workshop addresses will be shared via email once registration is submitted.Register at www.shoutmousepress.org/qyv ! Please share with young queer writers you may know! ... See MoreSee Less
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6 days ago

SMYAL
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🩵🤍🩷🤎🖤Sending everyone in the SMYAL community love on Valentine’s Day!We’re feeling ALL the love from @sidwellfriends and their GSA- thank you for the letters, art, and cards! ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

SMYAL
Are you passionate about ending LGBTQ+ youth homelessness?SMYAL is #hiring for a new Director of Youth Housing!Learn more and apply here: smyal.bamboohr.com/careers/24The Director of Youth Housing, which provides oversight to our Transitional Housing (TH), Extended Transitional Housing (ETH), Department of Health Housing, and Rapid Rehousing, and Street Outreach programs. The Director of Youth Housing takes a leadership role in ensuring the overall administration, compliance, coordination, and service delivery of the programs. As part of SMYAL’s leadership team, the Director collaborates with SMYAL staff on projects, organization expansion and management, and development events. ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

SMYAL
📅 WEEKLY DROP-IN PROGRAMS FOR FEB 13 - 17Tuesday 2/13, 4-7 pm: Drop-In Programs for Ages 13-17Wednesday 2/14, 4:30-6 pm: Virtual QChat Programs for Ages 13-19Wednesday 2/14, 5:30 - 6:30 pm: Little SMYALS Virtual for Ages 6-9Thursday 2/15, 5-7 pm: Virtual Drop-In Programs on Discord for Ages 18-24Friday 2/16, 4-7 pm: Drop-In Programs for Ages 13-24Saturday 2/17, 10 - 11:30 am, Little SMYALS In-Person for Ages 6-9Saturday 2/17, 12 - 1:30 pm, Little SMYALS In-Person for Ages 10-13Learn more and join our programs for queer + trans youth ages 6-24 at SMYAL.org/schedule or click on the links in our bio! ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

SMYAL
Our first figure in SMYAL’s #BlackHistoryMonth spotlight is the DMV’s very own William Dorsey Swann, who was the first self-proclaimed drag queen and an prominent LGBTQ+ activist.Swann was born into slavery in Washington County, Maryland, around 1858. In 1880, he relocated about 80 miles to Washington DC, where he worked as a janitor and would send money back home to his family. As he found his place in the Black queer community, Swann began to hold parties that historian and journalist Channing Gerard Joseph deems the first documented “drag balls” in American history. They were held in secret as it was a risk to attend them, but they provided a safe space for gender expression.At Swann’s gatherings, guests would wear women’s clothing or men’s suits and dance to folk music. These balls included a competitive element; a “resistance dance” that was a callback to the pre-Civil War era. “Around this same time, Swann became enthralled by the “queens of freedom” crowned at Washington’s Emancipation Day parades—annual celebrations first held in April 1866. Inspired by these queens, Swann started crowning the winners of his dance competitions the “queen of the ball,” says Joseph. This led to Swann taking on the title himself, which the Washington Critic noted on April 13, 1888, “William Dorsey, who, by the way, was the ‘queen’...”There are no known photos of Swann today, but the photo above is one of a Black actor in drag that is often associated with Swann.If you’d like to read more about William Dorsey Swann check out our Black History Month Story Highlight and click the link in our bio! ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

SMYAL
Youth Pride was a BLAST!It was an honor to host Washington Mystics player Brittney Sykes at our Pride celebration centering youth and families in the LGBTQ+ community!Relive these memories with our partners at Monumental Sports & Entertainment and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield below ⬇️ ... See MoreSee Less
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