2017 Impact Statement
In 2017, the LGBT Network fulfilled and realized its mission in more ways than ever, with greater impact throughout our 30+ programs and services and achieving progress and offering hope in spite of the unprecedented challenges facing our nation today. We’re doing more, which is why we need your support now more than ever:
- We’re creating safe spaces for LGBT youth. Our Youth Programs, including Drop-In and Leadership Building continued to serve thousands. We’re helping to build a new generation of leaders who are visible, strong and proud. Developing our young people's skills and capacity reduces isolation, prevents suicide and creates change in our schools and communities.
- We’re leading and raising our voices. The LGBT Network has been on the forefront of standing up to the Trump Administration's attempts to take away rights from our youth, immigrants, transgender military service members and more. From holding press conferences with national media that lets our voices and stories be heard to organizing thousands of others to raise their voices, we are making sure that every single LGBT family has a safe place to live, learn, work, play and pray. We will not settle for anything less
- We’re celebrating Pride. The LGBT Network reinvented the annual Long Island Pride celebration, with Pride on the Beach, a 3-day destination Pride celebration in Long Beach. More than 30,000 people visited Long Island and participated in more than 30 events, including the largest Pride Parade ever held on Long Island. From the the first-ever Pride Boat Parade, a jam-packed Market Fest on the boardwalk, a special Memorial Paddle Out to commemorate the Orlando massacre on the ocean, a full-scale carnival, Concert on the Beach featuring Rachel Platten and more, Long Island is now on the map and calendars across the country as a Pride not to miss.
- We’re stopping HIV. We conducted more than 500 HIV tests – the most the organization has ever conducted in one year. We’ve educated and connected hundreds of LGBT people to PrEP – the once a day pill to prevent contraction of HIV. We’ve also linked more people than ever before living with HIV to specialized healthcare to help them get treatment, and work towards undetectable status. We’ve also helped more than twice the number of people learn about their HIV-positive status. We provide support through our POZ Experience Group, because living with HIV still presents many challenges
- We’re giving LGBT youth the sexual health education they don’t get in health class. We delivered 23 sessions of our week-long intensive sexual health program with 417 youth in our community centers and in gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs, so that our youth have access to affirming and inclusive sexual health education that is not delivered in our schools.
- We’re building the capacity of school gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs. Our new “GSA Mini-Grant” program awards grants of $250 to local school GSA clubs to focus on in-school projects to stop bullying. We awarded our first four inaugural grants in Spring 2017 (read about it here), and are gearing-up to award our next round of grants in Winter 2018.
- We’re organizing for safe spaces. On October 11, 2017, the LGBT Network held its largest #WearTheRibbon National Coming Out Day Campaign ever. This year, we expanded the campaign beyond schools to where LGBT people live, learn, work, play and pray and in doing so, we reached more people in more places than ever before: More than 200,000 people at over 220 businesses, colleges and universities, unions, libraries, places of worship, athletic and sports groups, and healthcare institutions – places like eBay, Northwell Health, Geico, and others – creating real, long-term, systemic change.
- We’re providing support. Our Counseling and Support Services program helped over 350 people this year. Individual counseling services were provided to 113 people. Our LI Trans Experience (LITE) groups drew over 500 to weekly sessions. More than 300 attended Parent Support Group meetings.
- We’re taking care of our LGBT older adults. Our SAGE-LI programs help LGBT older adults build peer networks. We keep older adults active with heart healthy programs like dances and our “OUTdoors” series, that served over 350 older adults. Weekly “Mingles” connect LGBT older adults, and our free round-trip transportation program helps those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. We visit homebound older adults who can’t access services at all.
- We’re building families. The LGBT Network is helping LGBT people build their families. Our Center Families Program hosts family-building education and information programs so that LGBT people know about adoption, foster, and IVF strategies. We also organize social events so that LGBT-headed families can meet and socialize with each other. This year, we established our Center Families Advisory Committee to guide and develop programming.
- We’re creating a safer community. The LGBT Network’s Community Education and Training Program reached over 10,000 people in 2017. Our staff conducted 214 anti-bullying workshops to K-12 students and held a record 79 training sessions for school gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs. We also delivered 213 of our Safe Space Trainings for 2,693 teachers, school staff, human service staff, healthcare providers, corporate professionals, and college and university personnel, so that LGBT people feel safe where they live, learn, work, play, and pray.
- We’re growing in Queens. To meet a growing demand for services, the LGBT Network completed its third year of service in Queens. We’ve grown our school outreach and education, while launching an HIV prevention effort to get people on PrEP, the once-a-day pill to prevent HIV transmission. Now, we’re launching another new initiative in Queens - #GetJustice, a sexual and reproductive justice and youth organizing effort so that more people are aware of the challenges LGBT people face as it pertains to identities, relationships, building families, and seeking healthcare. Look for our formal announcement in January 2018 about our new Q-Center location in Long Island City!
- We’re helping our community and businesses connect better. We launched our new LGBT Network Directory online featuring a listing of businesses and organizations seeking to connect with LGBT people. The new platform also features an LGBT Job Board – the first of its kind in our region – to help LGBT people find jobs in LGBT-affirming workplaces, and to help businesses expand their talent pool with LGBT job seekers. See our Directory here.
- We’re building partnerships. The LGBT Network continues its expansive and far-reaching work through a variety of collaborations and partnerships. Our staff represent the needs of the LGBT community through more than 40 community coalitions and committees. We also have established collaborative programs with organizations like Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) to serve LGBT people of all abilities. We also partner with out-of-the-box organizations like Community Action for Social Justice (CASJ) to reach injection drug users with access to HIV testing, drug treatment, and linkage to needed care services. We’re also partnering with Northwell Health and Hudson River Healthcare to advance outreach, testing, and prevention initiatives for the LGBT community – to name just a few.
- We’re developing our capacity. The LGBT Network continues to grow its capacity in order to expand its services and reach. We’ve increased our staff size from 27 to 34 – a 25% increase. We’re also growing support for the organization. In 2017, we were awarded our first New York State tourism grant to support growing the LI Pride/Pride on the Beach celebration. We also were successful in completing our Calamus Foundation $500,000 Matching Grant for our Patchogue Center (coming in mid-2018!). We continued the support of our corporate stalwarts Bethpage Federal Credit Union, TD Bank, and Long Island IVF, while bringing Honda City of Long Island onboard as the Exclusive Honda Dealer of the LGBT Network. Our donor programs are growing, too: The LGBT Network has more Network Circle donors that ever before, and our Major Gift program is taking off. All of the support means we’re able to do more work for the LGBT community we serve. Go here to become a Network Circle member or renew your support. See our major Corporate Partners here.
- We’re enhancing our digital footprint and visual identity. We’re getting bigger on social media, too. We have more likes and followers than ever before, and we’re experimenting with new online engagement tools, like Snapchat filters and social networking outreach. You may have also noticed our enhanced branding – our new tag line “Be Yourself. Stay Healthy. Change the World” to better explain what the LGBT Network works to do – and our new visual strategies of assigning different colors to those different areas, and employing those colors in our promotional materials. And in early 2018, a brand new website will be unveiled!