SMYAL Library

Looking for something new to read? Check out a book from SMYAL's Library of LGBTQ literature, including fiction, biographies, plays, and more. You can borrow books from the youth center at any time.

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

Crisis Support

If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance or is at risk of suicide, please dial either: 

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing LGBTQ youth with crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. Youth can call (866)-488-7386 for confidential help and support 24/7 or log onto their website for access to 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. 

Housing program

According to the DHS youth census 43% of Washington's homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. 330 homeless youth total were counted in this same census. Over the last year SMYAL has provided shelter, food, case management services, crisis intervention, and community support for 13 LGBTQ youth ages 18-24. 85% of our youth are currently employed and/or attending school. Our Youth Housing program offers monthly life skills courses and community engagement opportunities including nutrition and cooking classes, financial literacy, healthy relationships and communications, self defense classes, and resume workshops. Entry into the program is a part of the District of Columbia coordinated entry for homeless persons. Anyone interested in entering the program will need to have an intake interview. To schedule an interview, please call 202-567-3166. 

Student Resources

Scholarships & Financial Aid for LGBTQ Students
This guide provides A comprehensive list of scholarships for LGBTQ students planning for their graduate education. The guide is broken down by subject, and includes pertinent information for applying for scholarships, and even tips for applying and securing financial aid.

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

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a national non-profit organization composed of the families, friends, and supporters of LGBTQ individuals. Based in Washington, DC, the group uses support, education and advocacy to build a more open and accepting society. 
For their local DC chapter, with specific information about community events, resources, and support groups, visit

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 for all educators to create and develop a GSA and promote acceptance in their schools. 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 tools and tips specifically for educators.

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 parents and teachers, including:

Advocates for Youth
Advocates for Youth began in 1980 to help provide information to youth about sexual health so they can make informed decisions on topics ranging from LGBTQ issues to contraception and from STIs to harassment. Visit their site to find resources for professionals, share resources with youth, or get involved.

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.

The Youth Pride Clinic of Children's National Health System
The Youth Pride Clinic is a specialized clinic within the Adolescent Health Center serving adolescent LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) patients. The clinic was made possible through an $80,000 LGBTQ Health and Wellness Initiative grant from the Washington AIDS Partnership.

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.

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!

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.

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.

PFLAG - DC Metro Area Chapter
The Washington, DC Metro Area Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a well-established advocacy and support group for relatives and supporters of LGBTQ individuals in the community. Their site is a great resource for discovering answers about LGBTQ issues, finding support when someone close to you comes out, and getting involved with the group's mission.

KhushDC is a support, advocacy, and political organization that's been serving the South Asian LGBTQ, Washington DC Metropolitan area for 21 years. They host monthly peer-facilitated support group meetings, provide safe social gathering spaces, hold educational seminars and are involved in various initiatives raising awareness and celebrating the AAPI LGBTQ community in DC.

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