We are an organization dedicated to inclusiveness. We celebrate the diversity of every person who walks through our doors, whether a Big, Little, Parent, employee, board member, or community partner. No person will be denied equal opportunity to volunteer because of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Be a Big Ally
• Listen: When it comes to being an ally, it is important to not only hear what your Little is saying but really listen. If your Little opens up to you about harassment or bullying, let them guide the narrative.
• Respect Privacy: If your Little opens up to you, recognize the trust they are placing in you. Ask questions to learn more and get clarity on how you can be supportive and with whom this news can be discussed. Avoid premature problem-solving. Follow the youth’s lead. Talk with your Match Support Specialist to receive resources and work with the youth to determine ways to be supportive. Please do not share with the parent; this is the youth’s news to share when and how they determine. Our job is to support you!
• Implicit Biases: Be aware of them. We implore you to dip into self-reflection. Before you respond to something your Little says about their identity or sexuality, acknowledge that systemic homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism may impact your efforts in being an ally. Be forward-thinking in ways that you can recognize and challenge your own biases.
• Continue Learning: While we have several resources listed within this website, your Match Support Specialist has tons of articles to share, too! Your Match Support Specialist can give you webinar dates, in-house training opportunities, or engage in a conversation with you that allows you to find the best ways to be the best ally possible for your Little.
Adapted from BBBS Orange County and Empire Island
The LGBTQ+ Guide to Online Safety
Navigating a heterosexual and cisgender society can be difficult for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Alienated from their family, condemned by their community, and isolated from their friends, many LGBTQ+ people turn to the internet for solidarity. Unfortunately, most LGBTQ+ people are cyberbullied online. Here’s a guide on how to stay safe online.
SPACING Youth & Family Resources
PFLAG is the United States' first and largest organization uniting parents, families, and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. PFLAG National is the national organization, which provides support to the PFLAG network of local chapters.
The Safe Zone Project provides free online training for LGBTQ awareness and ally programs. Their website provides training resources, handouts and edugraphics, an LGBTQ+ glossary of terms, a free 2 hour curriculum, and much more!