We Are Family is the second oldest LGBT organization in the state of South Carolina. We Are Family began in April 1995 under the direction of Tom Myers, the father of a gay son. Tom recognized the need for support for LGBTQI+ youth, and WAF was born from the love of a father for his son. Last year, we celebrated 25 years of providing support and services to LGBTQI+ youth in the Lowcountry!
The story future generations will tell about We Are Family (WAF) will go something like this: In the heart of the Bible Belt, in a state with limited protections and support for LGBTQI+ people, We Are Family shifted the culture of the SC Lowcountry by creating safe spaces, building resilience among LGBTQI+ youth, and equipping them to speak out about social injustices and resist systemic oppressions. For decades, WAF has cultivated affirming, intersectional communities for LGBTQI+ youth in SC, with a focus on those who are most vulnerable and marginalized, and has stood alongside LGBTQI+ youth as they advocated for change in educational, employment, and health care settings. Through this, WAF has promoted youths’ “voice and choice”: WAF has empowered generations of LGBTQI+ youth to use their voices to advocate for themselves and others; at the same time, WAF has promoted youths' right to "choice," including fair access to resources. Because of WAF, LGBTQI+ youth in the SC Lowcountry were able to see, envision, and create LGBTQI+- affirming places in their own communities--and, if they wanted, could choose to stay, knowing that SC can be a place where they not only survive but also thrive.
In the past year, WAF has held a variety of programming for over 200 youth. 84 youth attended our peer social support groups. 103 engaged in GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance) support services in area middle and high schools, and staff visited 76 schools. 75 transgender individuals received a microgrant through the Trans Love Fund. Closet Case Thrift Store, our social enterprise, has provided over 100 gender-affirming products for youth, and recycled over 8,215 lbs of textiles with Greenzone.
This year, WAF is expanding its programming to provide free mental health services for youth by partnering with inclusive counselors through our Mental Health Assistance Program.
Your donation will go towards our youth programs that help us fulfill our mission as a Southern Grassroots non-profit organization of providing affirming spaces for LGBTQI+ and ally youth up to the age of 24 through direct support, leadership development, and community engagement.
With your support:
- A gift of $25 provides gender-affirming gear, a chest binder or Tuck Kit, for a trans youth.
- A gift of $50 provides leadership development supplies and resources for the GSA Coalition, a network of student-led clubs for LGBTQI+ youth and allies in middle and high schools in the Lowcountry.
- A gift of $100 provides emergency assistance support for a member of our trans community though the Trans Love Fund.
- A gift of $225 provides 3 sessions of mental health services for LGBTQI+ youth.
Additionally, in concert with Give OUT Day 2021, WAF is proud to launch an incentivized monthly donor program called Chosen Family. At We Are Family, we take care of each other. We’re a Chosen Family who invests in ourselves and our future. We build community and give back monthly in support of the community.
Become part of the Chosen Family and help us continue to build community and provide affirming spaces and products for LGBTQI+ youth in the SC Lowcountry.