A local LGBT youth group aimed at working with middle school and high school students has received its nonprofit status.
The all-volunteer-run agency called BAYS, short for the Bay Area Youth Summit, was first profiled by the Bay Area Reporter in September. At the time it had expected to receive its 501(c) 3 designation that month to coincide with a coming-out fundraisier it held.
The process took longer than BAYS leaders anticipated, however, as they announced December 19 that the paperwork had finally been completed. It now bills itself as “the only completely youth-led LGBT nonprofit organization in the world.”
To mark the occasion, BAYS posted its first PSA to Youtube that Wednesday. It features black and white close ups of several male and female young adults, a still of which can be seen at right.
The participants read from the same script, with their lines then spliced together to form the complete message. The video talks about how they know what it is like to be bullied and wanted to “give voice to the voiceless” by founding BAYS.
It had planned to make the announcement and launch the PSA Friday, December 14, which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors had designated as BAYS Day in the city and county of San Francisco. But due to the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut that morning, BAYS pushed back uploading its PSA online to the following week.
“We were incredibly upset to hear about the tragedy in Connecticut. Out of respect and memorial to those who lost their lives and their loved ones, we will postpone the launch of our Promo Video to a date to be determined,” stated a message on its Facebook page. “Today highlighted the need for safety in schools, and we hope that action will be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again.”
The agency’s primary focus is on middle school students who are struggling with coming out as LGBT. It plans to host biannual summits aimed at addressing bullying that LGBT youth face in Bay Area schools, with a spring 2013 confab already in the works.
To join its Facebook page click here.