Advancing LGBTQ Youth - Lambda Youth Network
The North Carolina Lambda Youth Network, abbreviated NCLYN, was established in downtown Durham in July of 1996 as a youth-led, statewide leadership development network for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24. The Lambda Youth Network provided young people with an open, identity-affirming space, in which Durham’s young LGBTQ community could be nurtured as leaders and community organizers. As a grassroots group, NCLYN inspired social change and encouraged community solidarity by holding numerous events for young people from the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas to all come and get to know one another.
They hosted Soul Circle, a network for people of color who created opportunities to talk about issues relevant to their communities; The Rainbow Youth Coalition, a group of educators, young people, and community members working to make schools safer for queer young people; an alternative prom that welcomed people of all genders and sexual orientations; and a summer leadership institute, where 15 young people would work on a service project in the Triangle and advance their skills as organizers for social justice. While the Lambda Youth Network is no longer open or providing services to the public, its transformative impact lives on in the organizing and community-building efforts of Durham’s LGBTQ youth.