Little SMYALs

What is Little SMYALs?

Little SMYALs is a group designed for LGBTQ youth ages 6-12 to find a safe(r) space to hang out and meet new people, access resources, and gain support.

During programs, we play games, read books, make arts and crafts, learn about the LGBTQ community and its history, and celebrate being wonderfully, uniquely ourselves!

In order to attend Little SMYALs, you must register in our SMYAL Youth Programs Portal and set up an account.

Upcoming Programs and Events

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Little SMYALs FAQs

Who can attend Little SMYALs?

We welcome all youth ages 6-12 who identify as LGBTQIA+ or gender nonconforming and those who are exploring or questioning their identities. Through our virtual programming, youth may join from wherever they are located. However, in-person programming is based in Washington, DC. 

To best meet the needs of our youth, we have programs that are designed for 6 to 9-year-olds or 10 to 12-year-olds. Some programs are open to youth of all ages 6 to 12. You know your child best, so feel free to select the programs that are the best fit regardless of age.

When and where does Little SMYALs meet?

There is a Little SMYALs group every week of the month! Programs meet every Tuesday and two Saturdays a month Currently, all Tuesday programs are hosted virtually while Saturday Sessions are hosted in-person.

If you plan to attend programming in-person, please review SMYAL’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols.

Can parents and siblings stay during programming?

We invite caregivers to stay for the first 5 minutes to meet the staff and make sure their child is ready to participate. We then encourage caregivers to give their child some space to allow their child to meet new friends and participate fully in this environment (some have enjoyed getting coffee down the street together during in-person programs).

Note: Parents and caregivers are welcome to join us on field trips and special events.


How much does it cost?

Little SMYALs is free of cost for all attendees.


Do I have to pre-register?

Registration is required for all Little SMYALs programs through our Programs Portal. To register for a program, click on the name of the program in the calendar above or directly through the Program Portal.

If this is your first you must set up an account in our Programs Portal and fill out a one-time intake form. Once you have registered, you will be able to sign up for individual programs, as well as update your own member information like name or address.

Click Here to Set Up an Account


Who leads Little SMYALs?


Ty Kitchen, SMYAL’s Community Engagement & Youth Leadership Manager

Ty comes to this work with over 4 years of experience at youth-serving organizations in Washington, DC.  Originally from Massachusetts, they studied Elementary Education, Community Action, and Latin American Studies at Connecticut College and student-taught in a bilingual sixth-grade classroom. Ty has worked with youth ranging in age from PreK-undergraduate in classrooms, afterschool programs, summer camp, and legal advocacy settings. They believe strongly in the power of youth-led change, and strive to create spaces where youth can be seen as their whole authentic selves.

What should I bring?

Please bring an ID and a health insurance card, and be prepared to fill out a registration form for your youth.

For more information please contact Ty Kitchen at [email protected]