If you are aged between 14 and 25, Gay and Lesbian Youth NI (GLYNI) will have something to offer! Our flagship group is based in Belfast City Centre where we provide an open social space to meet other young people who are LGBT or Q. The group has always adopted a peer led ethos and is run by the members, for the members. Volunteer leaders who are GLYNI members receive specialist training and play an active and important part of creating a safe, energetic, fun and innovative environment for all its members, where young people can be themselves, relax, meet new people who may have shared experiences and be able to offer the support and friendship that we all need sometimes; no matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity. Most importantly we want to offer a space in which young people who are LGBTQ can have fun, laugh, be themselves, embrace their uniqueness and live life to the full!
GLYNI is here to support all of our members and volunteers and we do this by offering opportunities to take part in social events run either in the LGBT Centre in Belfast or by local GLYNI groups and organisations across Northern Ireland, residential projects, activities and opportunities to travel internationally to represent Gay and Lesbian Youth NI and Cara-Friend as a pioneer in supporting young LGBTQ people all across Northern Ireland. We pride ourselves on giving as many opportunities and skills as we can to our young people; we want to see them succeed and thrive and take their place in society as proud and happy individuals who have unique talents and experiences to offer and share. At GLYNI we offer drop-in social sessions and also activities and workshops every week with the opportunity to take part in accredited training and gain skills and qualifications. What we decide to offer is always decided by the members of the group; we are here to facilitate the needs of our young people and give them the support they want or need to be able to reach their goals and full potential as important members of: families, friendship groups, communities, schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, churches, clubs, sports teams, and most importantly to have respect and pride in themselves!
We take great pride in groups and we encourage our members’ to progress to become volunteer leaders and show the impact becoming part of GLYNI has had on them, by giving back to our new members and allowing the group to continue to carry on what it does so well. GLYNI groups exist all over Northern Ireland and it is important to us that we are able to offer the same support and opportunities to all young LGBTQ, no matter where they are from. We would love to see our groups grow and also become an important part of their communities, welcoming diversity and the opportunity to make a difference.
There is nothing better than being free to be yourself, share time and experiences with friends, have a shoulder to cry on or to laugh hysterically on, be made to feel that you are someone who matters, someone who is important and has something to be proud of and a person who someone or many people are proud of; to be able to take a stand and know that you are not standing alone and most importantly to walk away at the end of the night smiling…and mean it!
Welcome to GLYNI, this is what we do!