OUT MetroWest builds communities where LGBTQ+ youth thrive.
- Affirming LGBTQ+ identities through positive role modeling.
- Challenging ableism, classism, misogyny, racism, and other systems of oppression.
- Creating supportive spaces where LGBTQ+ youth can be themselves.
- Respecting, embracing, and celebrating diversity.
- Treating people with care and compassion.
OUT MetroWest began running youth programs in 2011 and became an independent non-profit organization in 2014. The organization’s first program, Prism (formerly WAGLY), was created as a program of the Unitarian Universalists of Wellesley. It formed in response to requests from local youth and their families, who sought a safe space for LGBTQ+ high schoolers in MetroWest Boston. The only program of its kind between Boston and Worcester, Prism immediately drew dozens of area youth with its weekly social, educational, and supportive meetings.
In 2012, the organization’s second program launched. Umbrella, a twice-monthly program for transgender, non-binary, and gender questioning high schoolers, was created in response to community requests. Umbrella offered social interaction, education, and support within meetings facilitated by transgender adults.
By 2014, the demand for programming was only increasing, and it became clear that the programs had outgrown their home at the church. The organization sought and received independent not-for-profit status as OUT MetroWest.
In 2015, OUT MetroWest launched the state’s first program for LGBTQ+ and allied middle schoolers, Nexus. Two years later, the organization began offering weekly drop-in sessions for LGBTQ+ middle and high school students. The organization added the Shine program for gender expansive young children in 2019 and piloted a program for LGBTQ+ Black, Indigenous, and Youth of Color (BIPOC Hangout) in 2021.
Between BIPOC Hangout, Drop-In, Nexus, Peer Leadership, Prism, Shine, and Umbrella, the organization currently runs more than a dozen youth meetings per month out of its hub in Framingham. OUT MetroWest also provides online programming and satellite meetings around the MetroWest region. Since 2011, the organization has directly served more than 1,000 youth at its meetings, has conducted dozens of trainings for local schools and organizations, and has welcomed thousands of supporters to its community events.