Israel Gay Youth

IGY-Featured-1Israel Gay Youth (IGY) aims for LGBTQ teenagers and young adults to lead the gay community in social change by creating a more tolerant society of the “other” and the “different”. The not-for-profit organization aims to stop “homo” from being a dirty word in schools, and end discrimination, exclusion and violence geared at the LGBTQ community. Official Website

WHAT THEY DO

IGY operates about 40 social and support groups that meet weekly in 20 communities throughout Israel. The groups’ central goal is to provide a welcoming environment where youth can freely express thoughts and feelings concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Each group is led by a counselor who is trained and supervised by professional staff. The groups are divided according to age level, serving teens (ages 15-18) and young adults (18-23). Teen groups explore sexual and gender identity development and formation, coming-out issues and school environment issues. Young adult groups focus on issues regarding military service, academic studies, leaving home and personal independence. Counselors seek to instill a sense of belonging among all participants, who learn they are not alone and are part of a larger LGBT community that is an integral component of Israeli society. This process fosters a sense of empowerment, motivates social activism and develops young leadership.

GREAT THINGS FROM IGY

AILO LOGO NEW A1Alliance of Israeli LGBTQ Educational Organizations
AILO is a collaboration of Israel Gay Youth, Hoshen and Tehila working together to build community, teach understanding, and create change.  In March 2012, A Wider Bridge sponsored “Rainbow Generations,” a visit by the leaders of AILO to the West Coast of the United States and Canada.  They spoke at events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver.  You can read about that visit here.

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IGY’s girls get ready for the pride parade in Haifa [photo from Facebook]