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. This year we are celebrating 25 years of providing support and services to LGBTQI+ youth in the Lowcountry with a goal of raising $25,000 by our Anniversary date.
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.
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+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, etc.) and ally youth up to the age of 24 through direct support, leadership development, and community engagement.
We are change agents lifting voices and shifting culture by upholding these values:
1). Affirmation. We provide affirming spaces to LGBTQI+ youth to identify and self-express freely
2). Intersectionality. We honor intersectional experiences through diverse programming and organizing
3). Community-building. We engage our community through partnerships and we cultivate community-care through self-care.