SMYAL Resources

Welcome to our resource page, where we collect information about other local resources and national organizations that may be of interest to LGBTQ youth and their allies.

SMYAL Library

Looking for something new to read? Check out a book from SMYAL's library of LGBT literature, including fiction, biographies, plays, and more! You can browse our shelves online here and borrow books from the youth center any time.

Interested in sharing some of your book collection? We're always happy to take donations! Just contact Thank you!

SMYAL Publications

Local LGBT Resources for Aging-Out SMYAL Youth

A guide for youth who age out of SMYAL and are looking for ways to stay connected to the DC-area LGBTQ community.

Confronting the Crisis

In September 2005, SMYAL facilitated two focus groups, one with SMYAL youth and one with SMYAL staff, to discuss the challenges LGBTQ young people in D.C. face in their daily lives. From these discussions, SMYAL staff identified major areas of need, discussed possible solutions and strategies, and determined concrete actions to address these issues. Learn more about how to make D.C. safe for all its youth in SMYAL's April 2006 publication.

SMYAL Literature Review: Risk Factors for LGBTQ Youth

Recent studies show that LGBTQ youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to be at risk for many negative health factors, including substance abuse, homelessness, HIV and other STD infection, physical and verbal abuse, and suicide. Read more in our literature review.

For Help and Information

Mental Health and Crisis Support
If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance or
Suicide Prevention Lifelineis at risk of suicide, please dial either:

For more information and resources on suicide prevention and intervention, please visit the website for I Am The Difference.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing LGBTQ youth with crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. Call (866)-488-7386 for confidential help and support 24/7 or log onto their website for free and secure online chat and Q&A pages. is a federal site designed to help prevent bullying throughout the nation's schools, including a special page focused on LGBT bullying. Parents and educators should visit the site for great tips on how to identify and stop bullying, as well as the best places to find help.

GSA Network
The national GSA Network connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances with each other, so that each individual chapter does not stand alone. Though this site focuses on California programs, it has great resources on creating and developing your own GSA and promoting acceptance in any school. Also, don't forget to check out DC's state GSA Network, based right here at SMYAL!

The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is a national group focused on creating a safe and respectful school environment for all youth, regardless of orientation and identity. Their site has information about GSAs, creating a Safe Space, and other events like the Day of Silence and No Name-Calling Week. Click here for tips and tools just for students.

Lambda Legal
Since 1973, Lambda Legal has been taking LGBTQ discrimination and inequality to the courtroom to advance civil rights for the community. This group is a safe place to turn to whether you need legal help or a trustworthy source of facts and information.

The site includes some great resources for youth and students, including:

Advocates for Youth
Advocates for Youth began in 1980 to help provide information to youth about sexual health so you can make informed decisions for yourself! Check out their site for info on tons of topics, ranging from LGBTQ issues to contraception and from STIs to harassment.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), based right here in DC, is a fierce advocate for equality as well as an excellent center for research on issues facing the LGBTQ community. Check out their powerful 2007 report Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness, which discusses the reasons why so many LGBT youth are homeless and the risks they face in shelters and on the street.

Guide to the Most Progressive LGBTQ Graduate Degrees

Laws and policies supporting LGBTQ individuals have expanded in the last decade, yet LGBTQ graduate students may still have concerns when selecting a school, taking a job, or moving to a new city. This guide by Go Grad is designed to alleviate those concerns by providing research-driven information on the best LGBTQ degree programs, top employers for diversity, and most inclusive cities.

Scholarships for African American Students

84% of African American students used Pell Grants to finance their education and graduated with debt, compared to just 60% of white students. To help bridge this funding gap, the college planning experts at developed a holistic financial aid guide specifically for black students. We provide context for how students can best take advantage of available resources while offering a comprehensive listing of scholarships.

Community Partners

The Wanda Alston House
The Wanda Alston House is the only housing program in DC solely dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth obtain pre-independent living and support services, so all youth have a safe place to live and grow.

Metro TeenAIDS
Metro TeenAIDS is a DC organization dedicated to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, along with providing support and care to young people affected by the virus. Along with counseling and testing, Metro TeenAIDS provides prevention education and a weekday drop-in center.

DC Trans Coalition
The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is a volunteer community organization fighting for human rights, dignity, and liberation for transgender individuals living in the District of Columbia. DCTC works to spread awareness, runs workshops and trainings about the legal rights of trans individuals, and hosts many social events in the community.

For a fantastic publication on the legal rights and protections of the DC trans community, check out their publication D.C. Trans People: Know Your Rights!

Sasha Bruce Youthwork
Sasha Bruce Youthwork seeks to assist and empower youth and their families in the Washington, DC area. The group provides safe housing, healthy activities, advocacy training, and opportunities to help local youth succeed.

DC Rape Crisis Center
The DC Rape Crisis Center is dedicated to putting an end to sexual violence through outreach, education, and legal and public policy initiatives. Their strong support systems for healing include a 24-hour hotline to link survivors with trained counselors and help them navigate the medical and legal systems.

Brother, Help Thyself
Brother, Help Thyself Inc. is a community-based organization that provides financial and other support to non-profit organizations serving the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities in the Baltimore/Washington, DC metro area -- including SMYAL!

The DC Center
The DC Center was founded in 2002 as a home for DC's entire LGBTQ community. The Center provides a wide variety of programming, including special group support for LGBTQ youth and people within the community who are deaf, Latino, Black, Asian Pacific, and more.

For more information about SMYAL publications, please contact:

Sharifa Love

Development & Communications Coordinator