When I was in high school I attended SSHAGLY (South Shore Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Youth) meetings on Tuesday nights with some friends from school. They were two hour meetings made up of chatter about school, friends, family, boys, girls and anything you would normally chat about with friends. Sometimes we played games, ate pizza, drank soda or watched a movie. I met new people and some became good friends. It probably doesn't sound like much but for me it was everything. It was a safe place where I could be completely me and know I would not be judged or ridiculed for who I was. We had two wonderful leaders, Aaron and Jackie, who I still to this day look up to as role models. They were always there to listen and offer advice and were constantly making all of us laugh. BAGLY (Boston Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Youth), the main organization, hosted dances throughout the year and they were an absolute blast. Everyone was just there to be themselves and have a good time. I look back on my days at SSHAGLY with a smile and know that because of those meetings I'm so okay with just being me. I believe everyone deserves to feel safe and happy while being 100% themselves but unfortunately we live in a pretty judgmental world. I was one of the lucky ones that was pretty whole heartedly accepted by my family when I came out to them but not all LGBTQ+ youth are and having BAGLY and SSHAGLY and places similar makes life a lot easier for those people. Knowing that there's other people out there you can turn to without facing judgement could save someone's life. That is why I'm asking you, if you feel connected to this organization, if you feel like this is important for our LGBTQ+ youth, please donate to BAGLY today to help them continue their great work. If you would like to know more about BAGLY and what they do please visit bagly.org Thank you.