Note: This holiday season, in lieu of a traditional holiday gift guide, we'll be featuring a different LGBT organization each day for our "30 Days Of LGBT Giving." Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible group that's working tirelessly on behalf of the LGBT community.
In the summer of 1980, a group of LGBTQ youth saw a need for a support and social group that would be run by youth and for the youth and they started BAGLY -- The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth -- which has been serving greater Boston's LGBTQ community for more than three decades.
Today, BAGLY continues to be youth-led with support from encouraging, affirming adults, and is Massachusetts' oldest LGBT organization and one of the nation's longest running, as well. The organization provides a variety of services and programs, some of which include leadership development opportunities, through its highly involved Youth Leadership Committee, and health awareness and risk reduction groups. BAGLY also operates a clinic that provides HIV, hepatitis and STD tests two days a week.
"Without BAGLY, I don't know how I would be today," said Dishon Liang, a member of the group since 2002. "BAGLY had such a huge impact in everything. BAGLY is what got me learning about safer sex and learning about HIV and learning about STDs. It was so a part of my life that all my friends were a lot like a family so that would be like saying, 'How would I be like without my family?'"