The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth is currently accepting applications to serve as a member for the 2022-2023 (two year) term. Applications are due by midnight on Friday, November 5th for new applicants*; the priority deadline for returning members is Friday, October 15th.
(*Deadline was extended from November 1st)
The Commission’s mission is to investigate the use of resources from both the public and private sectors to enhance and improve the ability of state agencies to provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth. In furtherance of that responsibility, the Commission’s goals are to:
- Work in partnership with state agencies and the state legislature to create school-based and community-based programs focusing on suicide prevention, violence prevention, and the promotion of effective policies regarding harassment, bullying and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.
- Make recommendations about policies and programs supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth on an ongoing basis to the Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and other Massachusetts entities.
You can learn more about the Commission on our official state website at www.mass.gov/cgly and questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 13th: Application opens
Friday, October 15th: Priority deadline for returning applicants only
Monday, November 5th: Application deadline for all applicants
Tuesday, November 9th (approx): Interview invitations sent
November 15-18 5-8 PM: Interviews held (remotely)
Wednesday, December 15th (approx): Decisions sent
Saturday, January 1st: Term begins
Serving on the Commission
The Commission is a state body made up of 50 members, about half of which are appointed by community and educational orgs, and half of which are selected from the general public (by a committee of members). Members serve a two-year term, during which they attend four quarterly meetings of the full Commission, plus regular meetings of a committee or working group that interests them, about once a month, as well as 2-6 yearly retreats and other events. No particular experience is required to serve; just an interest in issues facing LGBTQ youth.
Our particular areas of focus currently are school inclusion, family engagement, health equity, justice reform, and homelessness, with a racial justice lens throughout. The Commission has a small staff that carries out the majority of the day to day work but the members guide the mission and provide oversight. Each year the Commission produces a research report and recommendations to the Legislature and 18 government agencies, developed throughout the year by the members and staff in collaboration with these agencies and with community coalitions. Through the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students, the Commission runs a GSA student leadership program, conducts training and technical assistance in schools, and advocates for supportive policies in schools and at the state level. The Commission also maintains a database of statewide resources for LGBTQ youth.
We are particularly hoping to attract people who identify as youth, trans and nonbinary, and BIPOC, as well as those with lived experience with homelessness, the justice system, HIV/AIDS, and other issues facing our community. Unfortunately as a state body we are unable to provide stipends, but we strive to make participation as accessible, fun, and meaningful as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply to be a member of the Commission?
Anyone residing in Massachusetts is invited to apply. There is no age minimum or maximum and no experience required. The selection committee strives to build a membership class that reflects the diversity of LGBTQ+ youth and their allies around the state, across dimensions such as race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, education level, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and lived experience.
What do Commission members do?
There are many different ways that members participate, from contributing research to our policy recommendations, to providing fiscal and administrative oversight, to evaluating and advising on our school programs, and more. Members are responsible for setting the Commission’s legislative agenda, determining budgetary priorities, and serving as ambassadors for our work in the outside world.
How much time do members commit?
The average time commitment for members is about four hours per month. This includes attending four mandatory meetings a year of the full Commission, a team meeting about once a month, and 2-6 special events a year, plus working on projects outside of meetings.
How are applicants selected?
A subset of current Commission members volunteer to serve on the Membership Committee, which is responsible for selecting a slate of applications to recommend for the full Commission’s vote. The number of open seats varies per year but is typically between 8 and 15. In recent years we have received 60-80 applicants for these seats. The Committee members use an informal consensus process to select applicants for interviews and then for the final slate. The criteria used may include an applicant’s accomplishments, experience, passion and commitment, as well as considering how best to supplement the existing body’s strengths.
Will I be paid for my participation?
Unfortunately, our founding legislation prohibits us from providing compensation of any kind to members, including stipends and travel reimbursements. However, benefits to members include free retreats with food included and excellent opportunities for networking, besides the chance to contribute to meaningful political change for LGBTQ youth.
Current employees and consultants are prohibited from serving on the Commission for this reason.