OUT Maine has announced the release of “Best practices for LGBTQ+ inclusive youth programming.”

This free guide provides a road map with concrete action steps for ensuring inclusive and welcoming programming for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) youth. It also serves as a training resource to increase administration and staff awareness of the current challenges facing LGBTQ+ participants.

As of 2019, there are more LGBTQ+-identified youth in Maine than ever before; 20% of Maine’s high school teens identify as LGBTQ+ (Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 2019). Given this reality, it becomes increasingly important to create safe spaces that explicitly welcome LGBTQ+ youth.

Nearly all of the youth programs surveyed indicated that helping youth find themselves and feel supported in their adolescence were essential program elements. It is important that day and residential programs for youth provide all participants with equal opportunity for this kind of growth, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression. LGBTQ+ youth particularly need this kind of support.

For more information, and to request a free copy of Best practices for LGBTQ+ inclusive youth programming, visit outmaine.org/programs/professionals.

For more information about OUT Maine, or to support its work on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth, visit, outmaine.org.