OUT MetroWest offers three programs for youth:
Nexus is a first-in-the-Commonwealth program for LGBTQ and allied middle school youth.
Umbrella is a trans-facilitated program for transgender and gender non-conforming high school youth.
WAGLY is a youth-led, adult-supported program for all LGBTQ high school youth.
We also run a variety of educational workshops, tailored to your needs, on topics related to LGBTQ youth. During July and August 2017, we are offering additional drop-in hours for queer youth at our Framingham office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who attends Nexus, Umbrella, and WAGLY meetings?
LGBTQ youth and allies come to our meetings from more than 50 different communities in MetroWest Boston and beyond. High school youth attend Umbrella and/or WAGLY, and middle school youth (grades 6 through 8) attend Nexus. Former participants who are older than high school age are welcome at our alumni events. If you’d like to chat about which program is right for you or a youth in your life, feel free to contact us.
Do I have to be LGBTQ to attend a meeting?
You don’t have to be LGBTQ to attend our Nexus or WAGLY meetings — allies are welcome! Umbrella meetings are specifically for transgender and gender non-conforming youth, so we encourage cisgender allies to attend WAGLY instead.
I’m a gender non-conforming middle school student. Should I attend Nexus or Umbrella?
Nexus meetings are specifically designed for middle school youth, and we welcome your participation! You’ll find you’re in a good company — at least half of Nexus participants typically identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. Once you’re in high school, you can choose to attend Umbrella, WAGLY, or both!
What does the acronym LGBTQ stand for?
It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning. In reality, there are so many identities that we often use the term queer to include our community’s rich diversity.
Who leads Nexus, Umbrella, and WAGLY meetings?
All meetings are led by a team of experienced adult facilitators with backgrounds in fields like education and social work. Our high school programs, Umbrella and WAGLY, also benefit from peer leadership, with youth taking an active role in meeting planning and management.
Where do meetings take place?
We hold our meetings in spaces donated by the community. Once you arrive on-site, look for signs directing you to our meeting space! Friendly folks will be there to welcome you.
How much does it cost to attend?
Nothing. Our meetings are free!
What if I’m running late?
Come when you are able! You’ll get the most out of meetings if you arrive at the start, but you’re welcome to join us at any time.
Do I need to attend every meeting?
No. Come when you are able!
What happens at Nexus, Umbrella, and WAGLY meetings?
It depends on the week, but we like to include activities that are fun and educational. Some examples might include: yoga; guest presentations; movies; karaoke; discussion groups; and arts and crafts. We always provide snacks, time for everyone to introduce themselves, and ice-breakers.
What about confidentiality?
When you arrive at your first Nexus, Umbrella, or WAGLY meeting, we will ask for your contact information so that we may keep in touch about events, unexpected weather cancellations, etc. You are always able to tell us if there is a way you prefer that we -not- contact you. (For example, you can ask us not to send you snail mail or call your home phone.) We do ask that all youth participants provide contact information for an adult we can reach in case of an emergency. Which adult you choose is up to you. We do not share your private information with anyone without your permission. Of course, if you are a danger to yourself or others, we will do whatever is necessary for protection and safety.
Are there rules for OUT MetroWest youth programs?
We establish rules to make everyone feel comfortable as possible.
- Meetings are free of alcohol, drugs, weapons, violence, sex, smoking, and negative peer pressure. (To ensure this, we ask that those who leave in the middle of the meeting do not return to that meeting.)
- What is said here stays here (conversations are confidential unless there are health or safety concerns).
- Respect each other’s differences, points of view, pronouns, identity, personal space, and the public space we occupy.
- Everyone makes mistakes; apologies are learning opportunities.
- Use “I” statements.
- Please turn cell phones to vibrate.
How can I find out what is happening at upcoming meetings?
There are lots of ways to keep up-to-date. You can check the calendar on this website, subscribe to our weekly meeting notices, and Like our Facebook page.
Does OUT MetroWest provide resources for parents and guardians?
Greater Boston PFLAG partners with us to provide family meetings concurrent with many of our youth meetings. These meetings are held in the same building as our youth programs so that family members can attend while their children attend Nexus or WAGLY. Meetings are currently held the fourth Monday of the month (during WAGLY), the second Wednesday of the month (during Nexus Framingham), and the fourth Wednesday of the month (during Nexus Newton). For additional information about these and other family resources, please contact Greater Boston PFLAG.
How can I help OUT MetroWest?
Spread the word about our programs. Like us on Facebook. Encourage your faith community to support us if it isn’t already one of our many supporting congregations.
We also appreciate contributions of food for our hungry youth participants — gift cards to supermarkets are easy for us to use. Make a donation to support to our work or to honor someone special in your life.