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Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc. records

 Collection
Identifier: M107

Scope and Content Note

The records of the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc. (BAGLY, Inc.) document the organization's involvement in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth movement locally and nationally. The collection reflects BAGLY's administrative, social, educational, and community activities from its inception in 1980 to 2001, including programs for GLBT youth, community outreach, involvement with other GLBT groups throughout Massachusetts and the country, and participation in local and national conferences and events. The role of executive director Grace Sterling Stowell, both as a representative of BAGLY and alone, is well documented throughout the collection, and the handwritten items in the collection were produced by her. BAGLY and/or Grace Sterling Stowell have initiated, been affiliated with, or participated to a greater or lesser extent in many GLBT groups and events throughout Massachusetts and the rest of the country. Much of the material in the collection reflect both BAGLY's and Stowell's involvement in GLBT activism, and demonstrate the overlap and interconnectedness of BAGLY, Stowell, and other organizations. These related organizations include the GLBT Youth Speakers Bureau, Tobacco Education for Gay and Lesbian Youth (TEGLY), Healthy, Strong and Proud, the GLBT Youth Group Network of Massachusetts, the Healthy Boston Coalition for GLBT Youth, and the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. Materials include meeting minutes, correspondence, newsletters, reports, bylaws, financial information, informational brochures, events fliers, surveys and evaluations, financial information, bylaws and mission statements, event planning materials, brochures, conference packets, advertisements, and background information.

Dates

  • 1983-2004 (bulk 1991-1998)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

After disputes with the adult leadership of the Committee for Gay Youth (CGY), which was founded in 1977, the youth members left to form Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc. (BAGLY, Inc.), which was formally incorporated in 1980. It was the first youth-run gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) organization in Boston. In 1984, BAGLY, Inc. received tax-exempt status, which enabled it to apply for funding from charitable grant organizations. Two years later, BAGLY's Adult Advisory Board was formed, extending the organization's fund-raising and program development capabilities. In 1994, the Youth Steering Committee and the Adult Advisory Board of BAGLY voted to establish a formal board of directors to replace the steering committee in order to help the organization make the transition from a volunteer grassroots group to a more formally structured non-profit organization. The corporation was reorganized under the name of PROUD, Inc. With the reorganization of its corporate entity, BAGLY expanded into a non-profit, tax-exempt organization of youth and adults working collaboratively to create, sustain, and advocate for policies, programs, and services for GLBT youth in Massachusetts. For three years BAGLY's corporate body was known on paper as PROUD, Inc., but confusion caused by the dual names led the board to change the corporate entity back to the original BAGLY, Inc. in 1997.

BAGLY is a youth-led, adult-advised social support group for all youth aged 22 and under who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning their sexual or gender identities. BAGLY continues today (2005) as the second oldest continuously running youth organization in the country, providing a safe, non-exploitative environment where members can socialize, discuss experiences, and receive support, information, and referrals about sexual orientation, gender identity, and other issues of concern to youth. It hosts weekly and monthly social activities and special events for youth 22 and under at which GLBT young people can socialize and develop a sense of personal and community identity. Activities include a Halloween Dance, Winter Ball, and the world's oldest, largest GLBT prom. BAGLY has also been involved in a number of GLBT programs in Boston and the state of Massachusetts, including the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. Since the mid-1990s, BAGLY has added "Bisexual" and "Transgender" to its name, representing itself as the "Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Youth." This name change, however, has not been legally made.

The director of BAGLY, Grace Sterling Stowell, served as a volunteer adult advisor with the organization since it began in 1980. She formed BAGLY's Adult Advisory Board in 1986. She was hired as a part-time director in 1995, and became the full-time executive director of BAGLY in 1997. Stowell is a founding member of several local, state, and national organizations for GLBT youth, including the Healthy Boston Coalition for GLBT Youth, the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, and the National Advocacy Coalition on Youth and Sexual Orientation. She has also been active in the transgender community for many years, serving as a consultant and trainer for Gender Identity Support Services for Transgenders (GISST) and the Outreach Institute of Gender Studies, among others. Stowell received her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Lesley College in Cambridge in 1995 and was employed as the GLBT Health Access Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health from 1995 to 1997.

Through its Adult Advisory Board and its corporate parent organization, BAGLY has offered a number of programs for the Boston area GLBT community. In 1980, BAGLY launched the GLBT Youth Speakers Bureau, which has provided education about GLBT issues and information about BAGLY. Early speaking engagements included local television and radio programs, area community organizations, Boston Pride day, and Massachusetts public schools.

Other programs that have been affiliated with BAGLY, Inc. are Tobacco Education for Gay and Lesbian Youth (TEGLY) and Healthy, Strong and Proud. Formed in 1993, TEGLY is a youth peer leadership program providing education and information about smoking and other tobacco products. Formed in 1995, Healthy, Strong and Proud is a peer leadership program that sponsors social events for GLBT youth, at which they present HIV/AIDS and STD prevention information, while emphasizing community and positive self esteem. The goal of the program is to establish and support safe and healthy lifestyle choices among GLBT youth.

BAGLY has also been a member of many other GLBT groups and programs, including the GLBT Youth Group Network of Massachusetts, the Healthy Boston Coalition for GLBT Youth, and the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.

The GLBT Youth Group Network of Massachusetts is a network of community-based, youth-led, adult-advised social support groups throughout Massachusetts for all GLBT or questioning youth aged 22 and under. Its purpose is to work collaboratively to provide support, exchange information, and develop resources and standards for the improvement of services for GLBT youth across the Commonwealth. Developed out of networking meetings sponsored for these groups by BAGLY in 1992, the network came into formal existence in 1993 as an affiliated program of PROUD, Inc. BAGLY is a member organization of the network, and while each group values its individuality and independence, all view PROUD, Inc. (now BAGLY, Inc.) as their group spokesperson and collaborative voice in advocacy and leadership on behalf of GLBT youth.

Initiated in 1991 as the Sexual Minority Youth Task Force of the Greater Boston Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance, the Healthy Boston Coalition for GLBT Youth was formally established in 1992 through funding from the Healthy Boston Initiative of the City of Boston. The Coalition represents a wide range of public and private organizations and interested individuals whose mission is to secure the rights and support the empowerment of GLBT youth through advocacy, and to encourage collaboration and cooperation in services and programs among its member organizations. It is led by a steering committee made up of representatives from key member organizations, including BAGLY.

Established by Executive Order of Governor William Weld of Massachusetts in 1992, the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth—the first of its kind in the nation—was designed to assess the needs of, call attention to the concerns of, and advocate for services on behalf of the GLBT and questioning youth of Massachusetts. The Commission has held frequent state-wide public hearings which have included testimony from GLBT youth and adults and straight allies concerning the issues of GLBT youth. The Commission has released several reports including recommendations for services and programs for GLBT youth in the state. One program that came about as a result of the Commission's advocacy has been the Mass. Department of Education's Safe Schools Program for GLBT youth.

Chronology

  • 1980 BAGLY founded and incorporated
  • 1981 The nation's first prom by and for GLBT youth is sponsored by BAGLY. More than 100 youth attend.
  • 1983 Early educational efforts on HIV/AIDS and safer sex for GLBT youth is initiated by BAGLY.
  • 1984 BAGLY receives tax-exempt status.
  • 1986 BAGLY's Adult Advisory Board is formed, which expands the organization's fund-raising and program development capabilities.
  • 1989 BAGLY establishes the Infotel system, a computerized 800 number that provides HIV/AIDS information.
  • 1991 BAGLY is chosen as the Commonwealth's first GLBT youth-specific site to participate in Project Teen Health, a peer leadership HIV/AIDS and safer sex education program. It is also a founding member of Healthy Boston Coalition for GLBT youth.
  • 1992 The first Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in the country is founded in Massachusetts to address issues such as gay and lesbian youth suicide, high school drop outs, homelessness and drug use. Youths testify at the first ever public hearings on GLBT youth.
  • 1993 Collaboration between Boston Children's Services and BAGLY establishes Tobacco Education for GLBT youth (TEGLY).
  • 1994 Youth leadership of BAGLY votes to establish a youth/adult board of directors to help the organization make the transition from a volunteer grassroots group to a more formally structured non-profit organization, and BAGLY's corporate entity is named PROUD, Inc. Boston Children's Services and BAGLY collaborate on the HIV/AIDS prevention peer leadership program Healthy, Strong and Proud.
  • 1995 First state funding is awarded to BAGLY to support its programming and to serve as lead agency for funding support to the GLBT youth group network of Massachusetts.
  • 1997 BAGLY's corporate entity, PROUD, Inc., is changed back to BAGLY, Inc.
  • 1999 The largest event in BAGLY's history (and one of the largest events specifically for GLBT youth in the world), BAGLY's 19th annual Prom for GLBT Youth is attended by over 1000 GLBT youth and their allies.
  • 2000 BAGLY celebrates 20 years of youth leadership/empowerment through youth/adult collaborations, and service to over 10,000 youth ages 22 and under. Events include 20th Annual Prom for GLBT Youth and 20th Anniversary Party and Alumni Reunion.
1980
BAGLY founded and incorporated
1981
The nation's first prom by and for GLBT youth is sponsored by BAGLY. More than 100 youth attend.
1983
Early educational efforts on HIV/AIDS and safer sex for GLBT youth is initiated by BAGLY.
1984
BAGLY receives tax-exempt status.
1986
BAGLY's Adult Advisory Board is formed, which expands the organization's fund-raising and program development capabilities.
1989
BAGLY establishes the Infotel system, a computerized 800 number that provides HIV/AIDS information.
1991
BAGLY is chosen as the Commonwealth's first GLBT youth-specific site to participate in Project Teen Health, a peer leadership HIV/AIDS and safer sex education program. It is also a founding member of Healthy Boston Coalition for GLBT youth.
1992
The first Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in the country is founded in Massachusetts to address issues such as gay and lesbian youth suicide, high school drop outs, homelessness and drug use. Youths testify at the first ever public hearings on GLBT youth.
1993
Collaboration between Boston Children's Services and BAGLY establishes Tobacco Education for GLBT youth (TEGLY).
1994
Youth leadership of BAGLY votes to establish a youth/adult board of directors to help the organization make the transition from a volunteer grassroots group to a more formally structured non-profit organization, and BAGLY's corporate entity is named PROUD, Inc. Boston Children's Services and BAGLY collaborate on the HIV/AIDS prevention peer leadership program Healthy, Strong and Proud.
1995
First state funding is awarded to BAGLY to support its programming and to serve as lead agency for funding support to the GLBT youth group network of Massachusetts.
1997
BAGLY's corporate entity, PROUD, Inc., is changed back to BAGLY, Inc.
1999
The largest event in BAGLY's history (and one of the largest events specifically for GLBT youth in the world), BAGLY's 19th annual Prom for GLBT Youth is attended by over 1000 GLBT youth and their allies.
2000
BAGLY celebrates 20 years of youth leadership/empowerment through youth/adult collaborations, and service to over 10,000 youth ages 22 and under. Events include 20th Annual Prom for GLBT Youth and 20th Anniversary Party and Alumni Reunion.

Extent

2.18 cubic feet (3 containers)

Overview

The Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc. known as BAGLY, Inc., was founded in 1980 as the first youth-run organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in Boston. Headed by Executive Director Grace Sterling Stowell, BAGLY is a youth-led, adult-advised social support organization that creates, sustains and advocates for programs, policies and services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth aged 22 and under.

Overview

This collection reflects the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc's (BAGLY, Inc.) administrative, social, educational, and community activities from its inception in 1980 to 2001, including programs for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth, community outreach, involvement with other GLBT groups throughout Massachusetts and the country, and participation in local and national conferences and other events. The collection comprises meeting minutes, correspondence, newsletters, reports, bylaws, financial information, informational brochures, events fliers, surveys and evaluations, financial information, bylaws and mission statements, event planning materials, brochures, conference packets, advertisements, and background information.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into four series: 1. Administration, 2. Groups and Programs, divided into three sections: a. Massachusetts, b. National, and c. Other States, 3. Conferences and Events, 4. Subject files, divided into AIDS/HIV, Transgender, and Youth.

Physical Location

63/2-3

Related Materials:

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, which is accessible at: http://wayback.archive-it.org/1747/*/http://www.bagly.org/

Bibliography

  • Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth records (M 107). Bylaws, Mission, and Information, Box 1.
  • website. http://www.bagly.org
  • The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston. http://www.historyproject.org/
  • Stowell, Grace Sterling. Telephone interview, 10 January 2005.
Title
Finding aid for the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youths, Inc. Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jeanine Rees; updated by Ellen Lassiter
Date
January 2005, September 2005
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US