In 1984, local youth service professionals and community activists organized a conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth issues after an LGBTQ-identifying youth was hospitalized. Through this conference, advocates founded SMYAL to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.
By creating leadership development opportunities, after-school programs, and counseling services designed to empower LGBTQ youth and educate their local community. Our organization strives to help these young leaders build advocacy skills and access crucial resources they need to succeed. We also provide education and training programs for youth service providers working in schools, runaway shelters, local government agencies, and hospitals.
Committed to social change, SMYAL continues to build, sustain, and advocate for programs, policies, and services that serve LGBTQ youth as they grow into adulthood.
SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. 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. Committed to social change, SMYAL builds, sustains, and advocates for programs, policies, and services that LGBTQ youth need as they grow into adulthood.
In the News
Recently, DC public schools decided to change public school enrollment forms to include non-binary as a gender choice. SMYAL's Adalphie Johnson was featured in…
On behalf of the entire SMYAL family, we are saddened and moved by the story of Jamel Myles – a 9-year-old boy in Denver, Colorado who died by suicide days aft…
This story is part of the Washington Blade's contribution to the 2018 #DCHomelessCrisis news blitz. Local media outlets will be reporting and discussing stori…
Meet Our Staff
LGBTQ Services Navigator
Community Engagement and Youth Leadership Manager
Operations and Volunteer Manager
After School Programs Manager
Communications and Development Coordinator
Accountant and Grant Manager
Director of Youth Housing and Clinical Services
Our Board Members
K. Dane Snowden
K. Dane Snowden is Chief Operating Officer of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association where he oversees the Association's day-to-day operations.
Get in Touch
Have a question about volunteering, accessing resources, or attending an event? Drop us a line!