LGBTQ Youth and Community Education Center
Center Lane is Westchester's only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and community education center. Designed to reduce the isolation that many LGBTQ young people feel and promote a community culture that is supportive of LGBTQ youth, the center provides an opportunity for socialization, enhanced self-esteem and personal growth in a safe place where they can be themselves without the fear of harassment.
Are you LGBTQ? Do you live in Westchester County? Are you at least 16? Would you like your voice to be heard? If so, participate in a 15-minute survey about your experiences and needs. The LOFT: LGBT Community Center, WJCS Center Lane, the LGBTQ Legal Project at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and the Westchester Community Foundation have joined forces to collect data to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Westchester County. The survey is available in English and Spanish HERE! All information collected is anonymous and you can win one of eight $100 Amazon gift cards for participating. PLEASE SHARE THE LINK!!
- Weekly support groups
- TransParentcy, a transgender support group for youth and parents
- Recreational and social events to create community for LGBTQ+ youth, including movie days, social justice events, and holiday parties gatherings, most notably, Gay Prom.
- Extensive community education and training in schools, youth serving agencies and social service agencies on important issues that face LGBTQ youth
- Social justice and advocacy activities, including marching in the annual Pride March in New York City and meeting with legislators in Albany on LGBTQ rights
- Leadership training
- Opportunities to interact with LGBTQ and straight peers in a supportive, fun, safe and caring environment
In 2017, over 600 youth from Westchester, representing every racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic background participated in Center Lane activities. In addition, over 60 parents and primary caregivers benefited from direct services in Center Lane groups.. The program supports youth, allows them to be themselves and to be a change agent in their communities. The result is a respectful, multicultural community of friends who support and empower each other through the challenges of adolescence.
Read about some of the issues affecting LGBTQ youth in an article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Center Lane is supported by funding from the New York State Department of Health and Office of Family and Children’s Services and through a grant from The Westchester Community Foundation.