Join Our Mailing List

We will send you updates about the changes GLAD is winning in the law and invitations to upcoming GLAD events.

Sign Me Up


For more information on a case,
contact Carisa Cunningham at 617-426-1350, or contact by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Youth Initiative

In schools and community-based organizations, in state-run child welfare programs, in the foster care system and juvenile justice facilities, LGBTQ youth and the children of LGBT parents experience harassment and discrimination regularly.

GLAD is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ youth and the children of LGBT parents are safe, welcomed, and treated equally and with respect in every facet of life.

GLAD has done behind-the-scenes advocacy for LGBTQ youth for many years. With the LGBTQ Youth Initiative, we are broadening and deepening our work to generate systemic change that builds a just, inclusive, and affirming environment for all LGBTQ youth and the children of LGBT parents.

We pursue “impact litigation” – lawsuits that set new precedents to establish and enforce protections for LGBTQ youth in a range of settings, including schools, community programs, the child welfare system, and the juvenile justice system.

Often helping LGTBQ youth means intervention, not a lawsuit. Our goal is to empower youth to advocate for themselves. We first assess whether we can coach the youth or family involved to resolve the discrimination on their own. But when necessary, a GLAD lawyer will intervene directly with a school or other agency on the youth’s behalf, providing the incentive the agency needs to act properly.

We work collaboratively with state agencies, statewide LGBT organizations, youth advocates, and other allies, to draft and promote legislation that is essential for ensuring full legal protections for LGBTQ youth and the children of LGBT parents throughout New England and beyond.

We strive to effect policy change with public and private entities. Our work extends to many areas affecting youth, including anti-bullying efforts, safe and supportive policies in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and positive learning environments in schools.

Through GLAD Answers, social media and other community outreach, and publications for schools and providers, we offer useful, user-friendly and up-to-date legal resources. We provide LGBTQ youth with information about their rights so that they can invoke the protection of the law when needed, and educate providers and the general public in order to ensure full and lasting protections for LGBTQ youth in all settings.

Latest Youth Initiative NewsMore→

November 11, 2014

GLAD Appoints Janson Wu, GLAD Deputy Director and Senior Staff Attorney, as New Executive Director

Janson Wu, deputy director and senior staff attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), has been appointed the organization’s new … Read More →

November 5, 2014

Transgender and Homeless:
MTPC and GLAD Distribute Best Practices Guide and Model Policy for Shelters as Winter Approaches

Winter in New England is hard on people without … Read More →

Latest Youth Initiative Blog PostsMore→

March 25, 2015

Mary L. Bonauto: 25 Years of Standing Up For Justice

I have had the honor to observe Mary Bonauto’s work for 25 years – as a GLAD Board member, a GLAD Litigation Committee member, as Executive Director … Read More →

March 23, 2015

When Pink and Blue Are Not Enough: An Experience at the True Colors Conference

We were welcomed to the campus with rainbow flags, a giant rock painted to say “The sky can be pink and blue, so why can’t you” and tons and tons of … Read More →

Project Director

Photo of Vickie Henry

Vickie Henry

Vickie Henry leads GLAD's Youth Initiative. Vickie joined the legal team as a Senior Staff Attorney in January 2011, after a twenty year history supporting GLAD as a volunteer and co-counsel. She is a skilled litigator who came to GLAD from the law firm Foley Hoag LLP, where she worked for 15 years, becoming a partner in 2002. Vickie focused her career on intellectual property and commercial litigation disputes.

Prior to joining Foley Hoag, Vickie served as law clerk to the Honorable Denise R. Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court. She is … Read More →

Related Cases


In re Jane Doe

GLAD submitted an amicus brief along with the ACLU in a case in which the state seeks to transfer a transgender girl from a youth juvenile justice … Read More →

Victory • 2014

Doe v. Clenchy

January 30, 2014 - Victory! Maine High Court rules  that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls' restroom at her school violated her rights … Read More →

Victory • 2012

Parents of Student K.1 / SAU #53 – Epsom School District

In a victory upholding the efficacy and enforceability of New Hampshire’s anti-bullying statute, GLAD represented an Epsom, New Hampshire student … Read More →

Victory • 2000

Doe v. Yunits

GLAD obtained a landmark ruling, in the first reported decision ever in a case brought by a transgender student, that a middle school may not … Read More →

Victory • 1999

Jason H. v. Boston Public Schools

Representing a Boston student subjected to peer harassment, GLAD negotiated a settlement that includes system-wide training and information regarding … Read More →

Victory • 1999

West High GSA v. Manchester School District

Faced with a lawsuit by GLAD and its NH co-counsel, the Manchester School District directed West High’s principal to recognize a student initiated … Read More →

Victory • 1980

Aaron Fricke v. Richard B. Lynch

GLAD’s 1980 case, Aaron Fricke v. Richard B. Lynch, is a milestone in protecting the rights of LGBT students. GLAD founder John Ward and co-counsel … Read More →