Safe and inclusive resources and services available for young people ages 13-18; annual transgender youth wellness conference to be introduced

BUFFALO, NY – Today the Pride Center of Western New York announced new transgender youth programming, focused on youth ages 13-18 of transgender experience and their families.

“We are thrilled to provide new programming and a safe, inclusive and celebratory space for Western New York’s young people of transgender experience, to reduce barriers to care and provide information and support,” said Kelly Craig, executive director of the Pride Center of Western New York. “The more we can provide safe, inclusive and celebratory spaces for LGBTQ+ communities, the better.”

The Pride Center of WNY is an affiliate of Evergreen Health, and together with allies, service providers and external partners, the Pride Center offers knowledge, experience and resources to address LGBTQ+ issues including HIV, sexual health, discrimination, social isolation and most of all – acceptance.

The new transgender youth programming will ensure young people of transgender experience receive the resources and services they need, including:

  • Drop-in services and activities in a safe space
  • Social support groups
  • Support groups for parents and caregivers
  • Individualized support and family support
  • Access to our regional referral library and Transgender Youth Resource Guide
  • Youth empowerment opportunities including a Transgender Youth Community Advisory Board
  • Linkage and referrals to affirming medical, mental health, legal and other services

The Pride Center of WNY has also hired a new transgender youth coordinator and is introducing an annual transgender youth wellness conference.

In alignment with the Pride Center of Western New York’s values, all transgender youth programming will be staffed and designed by employees with lived experience, assuring that services are culturally competent and authentic. Center staff will implement programming to reduce isolation, eliminate barriers to care, and provide support to link youth and families to an array of community supports.

The Pride Center of WNY’s new transgender youth programming is made possible by financial support provided by City of Buffalo Common Councilmember Mitch Nowakowski, the Evergreen Health Foundation and New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

  • $26,000 in 2021-2022 discretionary grant funding from Fillmore District Councilmember Mitch Nowakowski through the City of Buffalo’s neighborhood initiatives program, which will primarily support the Pride Center of Western New York and also support Upstate New York Black and Latino Pride, Vogue Buffalo and GLYS: Growing LGBTQ+ Youth Support.
  • $160,000 in 2022 funding from the Evergreen Health Foundation, an affiliate of Evergreen Health, with total three-year commitment of additional financial support.

“We are so grateful to have supportive partners who care deeply about advancing the important work we do every day,” continued Craig. “This generous support allows the Pride Center of WNY to continue to carry out its mission to work with the community to make Western New York a safe, healthy, and satisfying place for LGBTQ people to live, work and establish their families.”