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 has been operating programs for LGBTQ+ youth for more than a decade, and we’ve grown in response to community needs.
We began our first program—social and supportive meetings for LGBTQ+ high school youth—in 2011. The program, originally called WAGLY, was launched at the request of local youth and families. Attendance was robust from the beginning! We’ve since renamed this program Prism, in recognition of the diverse identities held by youth participants.
In 2012, with youth input, we launched Umbrella, our trans-facilitated program for transgender, non-binary, and gender questioning high schoolers.
Three years later, with middle schoolers consistently seeking access to our programs, we launched Nexus. Nexus was the state’s first community program for LGBTQ+ youth in grades six through eight.
In 2017, we began offering drop-in sessions in response to youth requests for additional time to connect with LGBTQ+ peers and role models. We now offer this casual, unstructured time prior to each of our structured programs.
During our most recent strategic planning process, we gathered further community feedback that led to the creation of our Shine program for gender expansive young children in 2019 and our Youth of Color Hangout in 2021.
We currently run more than a dozen youth meetings per month out of our hub in Framingham, plus online programming and satellite events around the MetroWest region. Each year, we directly serve more than 300 youth and engage hundreds of additional people of all ages through our LGBTQ+ trainings and community events.