Apply to Become a Commission Member

The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth is currently accepting applications to serve as a member for the 2023-2024 two-year term. Applications are due by midnight on Tuesday, November 1st.

The Commission is an independent state agency that advises others in state government on effective policies, programs, and resources for LGBTQ youth to thrive. We collaborate with researchers, legislators, advocates, community activists, and youth leaders to advocate for change at every level of government in areas such as inclusive curriculum, public health, homelessness, the child welfare system, and justice reform. In partnership with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, we also produce the statewide Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Student Leadership Program.

We highly recommend reading this entire page before submitting an application. Email commission@ma-lgbtq.org with any questions.

Serving on the Commission

The Commission is an advisory body of fifty volunteer members who represent the diverse interests and needs of the LGBTQ+ youth community that are reflected in our policy recommendations to state agencies, resources we curate, and training and assistance we provide to school districts.

The majority of the everyday Commission work is carried out by paid staff. However, there are many different ways that members participate, from holding listening sessions, developing legislative testimony, evaluating and advising on our school programs, and more. Members are also responsible for guiding the Commission’s direction and serving as ambassadors for our work in the outside world.

Commission member responsibilities include:

  • Joining a team or committee and attending monthly meetings
  • Participating in four full Commission meetings each year
  • Active involvement in Commission events, initiatives, and member communications

As public servants, Commission members must:

  • Comply with state conflict of interest and open meeting laws
  • Provide responsible oversight of taxpayer funds
  • Be listed with their full name* on the Commission’s website and printed annual report (*does not need to be your legal name)

How to Become a Member

The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth is comprised of:

  • 27 members appointed by twelve community based or professional organizations in the areas of education, health, and advocacy.
  • 23 members of the public self-nominated through an open application process and selected by existing members.

Members serve for staggered terms of two years each, renewable, with no term limit. Each year there are roughly 8-14 seats up for election, some of which are filled by returning members who have reapplied, and some of which are filled by new applicants. In recent years, the selection committee has received between 70-90 new applications per cycle, meaning the process is highly selective, with a selection rate for new applicants between 7-18%.

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, and gender identity. We particularly encourage applications from those who identify as youth, trans and nonbinary, and BIPOC, as well as those with lived experience with homelessness, the justice system, disability, HIV/AIDS, and other issues facing marginalized people in our community.

2023-24 Term Application

The next membership term begins January 1, 2023 and ends December 31, 2024. Applications for this 2023-24 term will be accepted throughout October 2022, top candidates invited to interview in November, and all applicants notified of their status following a vote by all members on December 12th. 

Applicants will be asked to rank their interest in several possible teams and committees with set meeting times. These current groups are:

  • Legislative Team: This team will guide the Commission’s process of selecting priority legislation in the 2023-24 session, and advance those priorities through advocacy and collaboration with community partners. The team is also reviewing the Commission’s research areas of focus to identify gaps, and developing youth-oriented educational resources on policy and the legislative process. Meets second Thursdays of the month from 4-5pm.
  • Racial Justice Committee/Immigrants & Refugees Team: The Racial Justice Committee ensures racial justice is embedded in all of the Commission’s work, through member trainings and affinity groups, meeting with community members and state agencies, reviewing Commission publications, and social media campaigns. The Immigrants & Refugees Team is a new group that will be developing its mission and goals over the next few months. Meets every other Wednesday from 5-6pm (two groups alternate so each is only once a month).
  • Safe Schools Team: This team supports the Safe Schools Program’s mission of creating equitable and inclusive educational systems by hosting youth-centered events, community forums on school-based supports, and uplifting resources for QTBIPOC youth. Meets first Wednesdays of the month from 6-7pm.
  • Membership Committee: This committee works year-round to enhance member engagement and retention, build community among members, and hold members accountable to their commitments. In the fall, the Membership Committee leads the work of recruiting and selecting new Commission members. Meeting times to be set based on interested member’s schedules.

In addition to the teams and committees above, there is also an Executive Committee, made up of elected and appointed officers. Any member may run for a seat starting in their second year.

In addition to monthly team/committee meetings and quarterly full Commission meetings, members commit to taking part in required racial justice trainings. The next racial justice training will take place on Saturday, January 14th in Boston. It is a full-day, mandatory training for new and returning members. Applicants will only be considered if able to commit to attending this training.

Please remember the application deadline is November 1st. You can email commission@ma-lgbtq.org with any questions. We hope you will apply and share this page!

Application Timeline

October 1st: Application opens

November 1st: Application closes

Mid-November: Interviews

Mid-December: Final decisions sent

January 1st: Term begins


Frequently Asked Questions
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 monthly team or committee meeting, 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 applicants to recommend for the full Commission’s vote. The criteria used may include an applicant’s accomplishments, experience, and passion, as well as considering how best to supplement the existing body’s strengths. Your schedule and ability to commit time and energy is also taken into consideration.

Will I be paid for my participation?

Our founding legislation prohibits us from providing compensation of any kind to members, including stipends and travel reimbursements. Current employees and consultants are prohibited from serving on the Commission for this reason. Benefits of serving include being part of a community, a chance to contribute to meaningful political change, and many learning and networking opportunities.