GLAD’s Youth Initiative works to combat discrimination against and harassment of both LGBT youth and children with LGBT parents. These youth are often disadvantaged in the foster care system, juvenile justice system, school system, and their own communities. The Youth Initiative, one of GLAD’s major initiatives, aims to create lasting legal and social change in order to create a safe, fair, and affirming environment for LGBT youth and the children of LGBT parents.
The initiative’s approach includes litigating precedent-setting cases to ensure equal legal protection for LGBT youth and children with LGBT parents, working with youth who are facing discrimination in order to help them advocate for themselves and resolve the issue with a GLAD lawyer intervening on their behalf if necessary, and collaborating with other organizations and advocates to support legislation that would increase protections to youth. The initiative also involves public policy and public education advocacy, such as providing information to LGBT youth and children with LGBT parents about their rights and available legal resources or supporting anti-bullying efforts in schools. GLAD’s work for youth aims to create lasting systemic change and ensure that they are safe, included, and treated equally in all aspects of life.