Meet the staff, volunteers, and other people behind YGS. Also find our mission statement and a whole lot more.

Learn about and subscribe to the YOUTH E-mail lists, which exist to establish an outlet for GLBTQ and straight supportive youth to talk with each other about anything in a safe internet space.

Information about all other projects in which YGS is involved..

Make online donations to YGS with your Visa or Mastercard. Also check out our "Wish List" to donate other items that we need.

 

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Are you a gay, bi, or trans young person between the ages of 13-25? Come find friends, fun and support on the YOUTH lists.

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YGS launchs GLBTQ youth wiki

After several suggestions from our listees, we launched a new project: the YGS wiki. The wiki is a place where staffers, listees, and even supportive adults can share information about GLBTQ-related books and movies, local resources, dealing with parents, coming out stories, original poetry, and so much more!

The wiki was announced to the YOUTH lists in the beginning of September. Now, at the end of November, the wiki has over 80 pages of content!

We are very excited about this project - the contributions from listees and staff have been awesome, and we can't wait to see how it develops in the future.

To check out the wiki, visit wiki.youth-guard.org. Feel free to contribute!

Alex Sanchez releases new book

Alex Sanchez, long time friend of YGS, has just released The God Box, a novel about a teen's struggle to be Christian and gay. By tackling this issue in The God Box, Sanchez hopes to provide readers - teen and adult, gay and straight - with a thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be both religious and gay.

Many of our listees found YGS through Alex's books and his website, and we're thankful for his continued support! For more information, please see AlexSanchez.com.

YGS supports inclusive ENDA

This April, US Congressmembers introduced the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would protect Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the workplace.

Unfortunately, on September 26, Congressional leaders proposed edits that would strip the bill of much of its original force, most notably omitting protection on the basis of gender identity and expression. The reason given for these edits is that the bill is less likely to be passed if it is gender identity inclusive.

Dropping gender identity from the bill means that not only will transgender workers be unprotected, but protections for all other workers are compromised as well. When gender identity and expression go unprotected, no one has to be transgender to be fired—anyone who doesn't fit his or her boss's definition of masculinity or femininity becomes vulnerable.

At Youth Guardian Services, most of us are entering or are about to enter the workforce, and this bill impacts our lives and futures directly. The rights ENDA would assure are vitally important to us, but the non-trans GLBT among us are not interested in gaining those rights by abandoning our transgender brothers and sisters.

A compromise on this bill will hurt all of us. As advocates for GLBT youth, YGS supports the adoption of the original, inclusive ENDA bill, HR 2015, and protection for all of our community.

For more information about the inclusive ENDA, visit these links:
Lambda Legal's Analysis
The United ENDA Coalition

Imagine an end to violence

On May 4, YGS Board Chair Steve Schalchlin wrote in his popular blog:
When I called my friends last night, this is how I delivered the news:

"George Michael is flying me to Seattle on Monday to play and sing 'Imagine' on John Lennon's piano."

And that's what is happening. As part of a project in which John Lennon's piano is being transported and photographed at places where deaths resulted from violence, the piano is traveling to the Olympia, Wash. home of Alec and Gabi Clayton on Tuesday, May 8. Their son, Bill, committed suicide after being attacked in a hate crime.

This powerful tribute to the memory of Bill and to all victims of violence could not be brought to the home of more deserving people.

Steve and Gabi tell the story in their blogs. If you haven't read Bill's Story, do so now.

YGS launches new eating issues support list

A few months ago, a 15-year-old list member approached our staff to ask for help finding support resources for queer people with eating disorders. There are many online groups that provide eating disorders support, but almost all of the people in those groups are straight women. Our listee couldn't relate. She wanted a place where she could get support without having her sexual orientation be an issue.

After scouring the Internet for weeks, we were surprised to finally realize that no safe space existed for queer people with eating disorders. So we created it. Our new list, LivingColor, launched in early 2007 and is already providing much needed support and community for queer youth with eating issues.

LivingColor is open to people between the ages of 13 and 25. It is open to people from across the spectrum of YGS: if you're on the Str8 list or are a straight ally and you're comfortable with GLBT people and want to be on a GLBT-identified list, you're welcome. Whatever your sexual or gender identity, you're welcome. You do not need to be diagnosed with an eating disorder; if eating disorders or eating issues are a part of your life that you want to discuss, please join us.

From LivingColor's List Manager, Jane Ridgeway:

I know that there are a lot of young GLBT people out there who aren't just struggling with their sexuality or gender, but also with eating disorders, body image, etc. And while there are some resources out there on the subject, there just isn't that much, especially on the web. That's why this list exists — so there's somewhere for people to talk about that stuff. Anything's fair game for discussion here, as long as we're supporting each other and encouraging each other to be healthy, happy, and sane. Some things we might talk about: our own eating or body image issues, how they intersect with being GLBT, how to help a friend who's struggling with an eating problem, or how to get help in "the real world" if we need it.
To subscribe to LivingColor, click here.

YGS Turns Ten!

On January 31st, 2007, YGS celebrated ten years of helping youth to help each other!

The first YOUTH List commenced operation on January 31st, 1997.

On the Internet, ten years is almost forever. Ten years is almost as old as the World Wide Web itself. Our youngest list members were infants when YGS was founded.

Together, we have built a wonderful community!

The staff of YGS sincerely thanks the thousands of youth who have made YGS the premier online safe space for GLBTQ youth since the earliest days of the Web. We look forward to sharing this community for many years to come.

YGS operates entirely on the goodwill of volunteers and on private donations. We always appreciate your tax-deductible donation. This year, a generous donor has offered to match all donations up to $2,500 - for a total of $5,000! We have until March 31st, 2007 to reach our goal. (You can check our progress here.)

Give now and your donation will be doubled!

To read Executive Director Rachel Popkin's letter to the donors who have supported YGS through our ten years of service, click here. We appreciate any amount you can give. Thank you.

New Executive Director Begins Term

On August 11, 2006, Rachel Karin Popkin becomes the third Executive Director of Youth Guardian Services.

From the moment she joined the staff of the YOUTH Lists, Rachel has been an invaluable asset to Youth Guardian Services. Her sensitivity, kindness, professionalism, thoroughness, and intelligence were noted, and she was quickly tapped to join Executive Staff. Rachel has been an Assistant List Manager and the List Manager of the YOUTH 13-17 List. In October of 2003, she was appointed Volunteer Coordinator, and in April of 2004 she was appointed Associate Director, a position she has held until now. In this capacity she has assisted the Executive Director with the broad range of administrative responsibilities entailed in operating YGS.

Rachel is only the third Executive Director in YGS' nearly ten years of history. The first person to hold the position, founder Jason Hungerford, continues to be a source of inspiration for generations of YGS staffers. His successor, Patrick "Q" Quealy, submitted his resignation to YGS' Board of Directors recently, citing a need to devote more time to personal affairs.

Rachel now leads the all-volunteer, all-youth staff members of YGS as they build upon Jason's dream: an online community where lesbian, gay, bi, trans, questioning and queer youth support one another, creating safe cyber spaces with the freedom to be.

As always, YGS will continue to be 100% run by youth. Jason and Patrick each stepped down in their mid-twenties. Rachel brings the talent and energy of a brilliant college-age woman to the demanding task of shaping YGS to meet the changing needs of GLBTQ youth. In so doing, she embodies YGS' continuing process of mentoring each new rising generation of youth leaders — a part of our mission often emphasized by Board Chair Steve Schalchlin.

Rachel is a student at Harvard and, like many YGS staffers, leads the kind of life that makes one ask — "Where do you find the time?" Read a bit about her here.

"I could not have asked for a better candidate to succeed me," Patrick said. "Rachel has been around YGS for a long time. She's been a list member and a staffer; she knows what we do and why we're here. I know she is ready for this job and is going to excel. That is why I asked that she be named my replacement, and why the Board confirmed her unanimously."

Youth Guardian Services is a youth-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides support to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and straight supportive youth through peer-operated, Internet-based projects and programs.

Steve Schalchlin Releases New CD

Steve Schalchlin, the composer and lyricist of the award-winning, hit musical The Last Session and the Youth Guardian Services Board of Directors Chairperson, released his recording "BEYOND THE LIGHT" exclusively through YGS.

You cannot get this NEW CD anywhere else but right here!

This is the second time Steve Schalchlin has recorded a CD with the majority of profits going to benefit Youth Guardian Services. In 2000, Steve released "The Bonus Round Sessions" and donated all the money from the sale of that CD to YGS in memory of one of his best friends, Richard ("Dickie") Lee Remley. Dickie was a great friend and a huge supporter of young people, and Steve wanted to be sure his memory will lived on in the work Youth Guardian Services does for youth everywhere.

The new "Beyond The Light" CD is the product of months of work and it reflects a whole new sound that Steve fans are just going to love!

You know you have to have this CD! Visit the BRAND NEW Steve Schalchlin Online Store to place your order for "Beyond The Light" or "The Bonus Round Sessions." And through special arrangements, we now have THE LAST SESSION Original Cast Recording CD and "The Souvenir Album" available too. Plus, we're offering exclusive downloads of audio and video clips of some new stuff Steve is working on, plus some older stuff that you can't get anymore. Come hear the MP3 sample clips of the new CD at The Steve Schalchlin Online Store.

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