Bound Blog (249)

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Photographs courtesy of Edie Windsor and the creators of the documentary, "Thea and Edie: A Very Long Engagement," distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures.

Edith "Edie" Windsor, who shared her life with her late spouse, Thea Spyer, for 44 years, files a lawsuit against the federal government for refusing to recognize their marriage. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), a federal statute that defines marriage for all federal purposes as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Windsor and Spyer were married in Canada in 2007, and were considered married by their home state of New York.

Source: ACLU

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 05:00

Gisela Vega

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Gisela Vega is the associate director of LGBTQA Initiatives for Florida International University (FIU). Gisela spearheads the development and implementation of educational, social, and resource programs and services for the gay community and their allies. This is the first position of its kind for FIU.

In another first, FIU played host for the first time to the 10th annual Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition Conference this month, under the direction of Gisela. This three-day conference brought together hundreds of LGBTQA students from across the state for leadership training, networking activities, and lectures.

Congratulations on being a pioneer! Not only did you organize the first FIU-hosted state-wide LGBTQA conference, but you are the first associate director of LGBTQA initiatives.

Yes, thank you. This is the first time the university has hired a full-time person dedicated to the issues of this community. I’ve been blessed because I’m now being paid to do what I’m very passionate about, so I love coming to work every day, and every day there’s something new and exciting that has to be done.

What kind of services does your office offer lesbian students?

We connect students with academic, financial, social services. For instance, if they are wanting to talk to someone about their health and well-being, we can connect them with those services. We also offer programing to develop their academic and leadership skills. We also provide educational programs and workshops to combat heterosexism on campus and run the Safe Zone program on campus. Finally, we serve as a sounding board for any issues they may be encountering at the university.

I’ve noticed that certain offices are designated as “Safe Zones,” what are those?

Safe Zones are places that have been designated on campus as an area where students can go and speak openly about any sexual orientation issues or gender identity questions they may have. The person in the safe zone is an LGBTQA supporter and is receptive and offers support to the students.

Do you also work with straight students who may have a lesbian friend in need?

Absolutely, the A in LGBTQA stands for our allies. What we do is provide resources, education, and programming for those that are interested in understanding the needs of our LGBTQ students. We also know that the work of social justice in the LGBTQ community cannot be done without our Allies.

What organizations are currently available on campus for students to join?

Stonewall Pride Alliance is one of the oldest LGBTQA groups on campus; we also have the Advocacy Pride Coalition, Delta Lamdba Phi the Progressive Male Fraternity; the Rainbow Panthers, which is a faculty and staff group, the Access & Equity subcommittee on LGBTQ issues, the Stonewall Legal Alliance, and most recently added the medical school’s H.W. College of Medicine Gay-Straight Alliance.

Do you think that the increase of exposure of gays and lesbians in the media has helped this new generation?

I think we tend to think that it’s getting better because there’s more exposure, but the reality is that our students are still suffering. And that’s one of the reasons I’m most glad that this position exists. Within the first few months of establishing this office, I’ve had about a dozen students who were in great need physically, emotionally and academically. I’ve been dealing with students that have been kicked out of their homes for being gay. I’ve had students with great academic potential, but because they were ostracized by their family they had to drop out. So, on the one hand, there is more awareness, but on the other, there are a lot of issues we still need to bring to the forefront to best help our students be successful.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 05:00

Miami Beach Pride Starts Now

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Are you ready for the biggest party of the year? Well, you better be because its here. Check out the must-attend events to get your pride on:

MOVA Block Party

Miami Beach Pride 2013

04/12/2013 - 8:00pm to 04/13/2013 - 3:00am
RECORDING ARTIST DJ KIDD MADONNY (outside on the Main Stage)

DJ Bryan Zero (inside)

Performance by Erika Norell

Andrew Christian Fashion Show


MOVA Lounge is open 7 days a week. Each night has a great line up of DJ's & Fun for everyone! SEXY FRIDAYS at MOVA is the Miami Beach HOT SPOT for fun, and PACKED EVERY FRIDAY! There is never a cover charge and MOVA is the place to be to kick-off Miami Beach Gay Pride 2013. We will literally KNOCK YOUR SOCKS ODD, and the event is FREE for everyone to attend.

Beach Party @ Lummus Park

Miami Beach Pride 2013

04/13/2013 - 1:00pm to 8:00pm
Price: FREE
Detail: Can't wait till Sunday? Then head on down to Lummus Park. This is a first installment of two FREE out-door dance events. Where else can you hit the beach, booze and groove under the sun with DJ Theresa.

Fling - Women's Mega Dance Party

Miami Beach Pride 2013

04/13/2013 - 10:00pm to 04/14/2013 - 4:00am

Price: $15/$20
Detail: Our yearly mega dance that brings over 800 women ready to party, dance and let loose. Our sexy Go go girls and a special performance by the sexy, burlesque group, The Knockouts. DJ GiGi

Grandstand VIP Parade Seating & Brunch

Miami Beach Pride 2013

04/14/2013 - 10:30am to 1:00pm
Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Price: $30 - $50
Detail: Miami Beach Gay Parade will be adding GRANDSTAND SEATING in this years' parade route to accommodate our VIPs and guests for 2013 Your ticket will include:

General Seating with shade

Bottomless Mimosa and/or Bloody Mary

American Continental Breakfast Buffet

Pre-Show at 11:30 am to 1:00pm

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Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF) is the most wonderful time of the year, not only because it takes place right after Miami Beach Pride, but it’s also one of the rare occasions we get to see characters that look, act, and love like us on the big screen.

Without further ado, here are a few of the must-see films for us women. Click here for a full listing and then buy your tickets here.




The day after her 40th birthday, Anna, a filmmaker who sacrificed her love life for her film career, realizes she has neither, decides to get them both by adapting an all-female version of, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"


Sat Apr 27



Gusman Theater

174 East Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33131



Anna Margarita Albelo-Director & Guinever Turner-Lead Actress will attend for a Q&A immediately following the film!!!




The wonderful thing about women is their complexity. From the awkward excitement of a first date to finding love that stands the test of time, the women’s shorts program tells the beautiful, intricate, and even hilarious stories of women as they embark into the world of love, loss, and everything in between.

Painted Girl: Director Ben Kadie; RT: 9mins; USA 2012

Bombshell: Director Erin Sanger; RT: 14 mins; USA 2012

First Date: Janella Lacson; RT: 7 mins; USA 2012

Coffee & Pie: Director Douglas Horn; RT: 15 mins; USA 2011

Remember to Breathe: Director Marc Saltarelli; RT: 26 mins; USA 2012

Road Home

The devotion project: Foremost in my mind: Director Tony Osso; RT: 10 mins; USA 2013


Wed May 01



Miami Beach Cinematheque

1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139



Open LGBT elected officials, including the first openly gay US Senator, Tammy Baldwin, share their stories of self-doubt and triumph over multiple barriers, revealing a deeply personal, rarely-seen side of politicians and gay people. As they show what is possible, they give hope to struggling people from all backgrounds and walks of life.


Fri May 03



Colony Theater

1040 Lincoln Road,

Miami Beach, FL



A quintessential Gen Y story, submerge explores the current pressures on young adults to make their mark on the world, whilst juggling with the competing demands of family, peers and the absolute belief of Gen Y that they can have it all, and should, right here, right now.


Sat May 04


O Cinema-Miami Shores

9806 NE 2nd Avenue

Miami Shores, FL 33138


Sun May 05


Coral Gables Art Cinema

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 05:00

HRC Goes Viral

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In the weeks before two landmark marriage equality cases reached the United States Supreme Court, the Human Rights Campaign—in partnership with dozens of other fair-minded organizations—launched groundbreaking coalition efforts to lift up the nationwide conversation around marriage. The results exceeded our highest hopes.

Hundreds of prominent American companies, dozens of leading Republicans, and President Barack Obama each filed historic amicus briefs to the Court in support of equal marriage. Five U.S. Senators announced their support for marriage equality in a 72 hour period. Thousands gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court in support of equal justice under the law. A graphic on what's at stake at the Supreme Court became HRC's most retweeted Tweet in history. And a simple red HRC logo took over Facebook, quadrupled traffic to, and came to symbolize a transformative moment for equality.

Read more on what we did and how we did it.

Celebrity Engagement

From actors to musicians and athletes to TV personalities, dozens of celebrities shared the modified HRC logo or supportive messages about marriage equality with their millions of followers on social media. “It's about TIME!!! #EQUALITY #MarryWhoYouLove,” said Beyoncé, posting the HRC logo to her more than 44 million followers. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons changed his Twitter profile photo and tweeted, “Love is love. Strike down #DOMA,” to his more than 2.5 million followers.

Other celebrities who showed support include Sophia Bush, Leonardo DiCaprio, Fergie, Kristen Bell, Alicia Keys, George Takei, Padma Lakshmi, Kate Walsh, Felicity Huffman, Jake Johnson, Jaime King, Mandy Moore, Whitney Cummings, Abby Wambach, Jason Mraz, Tegan & Sara, Lance Bass, Alyssa Milano, Martha Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres.

Corporate Endorsements

Highly recognized brands and corporations jumped in and showed their support for marriage equality with creative reimaginings of the red HRC logo. Highlights included Bud Light, Bonobos,, Kenneth Cole, L'occitane en Provence, Maybelline, Absolut, Marc Jacobs International, Smirnoff, Martha Stewart Weddings, HBO's True Blood and so many more.

Support from Political Leaders

In a 72 hour period, Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) all publicly embraced marriage equality. Numerous governors turned their profiles red, including NH's Maggie Hassan, CA's Jerry Brown, CT's Dannel Malloy, IL's Pat Quinn, MD's Martin O'Malley, RI's Lincoln Chafee, DE’s Jack Markell and VT's Peter Shumlin. Countless other elected officials joined in by Tweeting their support or updating their profiles.

HRC Logo Memes

An astonishing number of equality supporters created their own remixes of the HRC logo. View a slideshow of some of our favorite memes here.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 05:00

Femme Invisibility

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If asked to think of a lesbian, most people's thoughts drift to the stereotypical image of a butch lesbian. It may come as a surprise to some that this is not the only type of lesbian that exists, oh no -- there are some who are "femmes."

For those of you who don't know, "femme" refers to feminine-looking lesbians (e.g., my fiancée and me). Such women are also known as "lipstick lesbians," but this tends to be more associated with feminine lesbians who like other feminine lesbians. This is a phrase I've always liked and used, and I only recently found out that others avoid using it, pointing to its supposed links to male sexual fantasy.

Despite slightly increased visibility (mainly thanks to fictional characters), one issue remains for femme lesbians: how to be recognised as being a lesbian. People look for the telltale signs to figure out whether a woman is a lesbian or not: short hair, no makeup, wearing baggy jeans and a t-shirt. Some lesbians can be spotted right away, and there are those who are a mix between masculine and feminine and are slightly easier to spot, especially for the well-trained lesbian eye. But what about femmes?

We suffer from femme invisibility. We mainly slip under the radars of both straight and gay people. For example, I used to go out gay clubbing twice a week whilst at university (the majority of my friends were gay males), and it was very hard for me to find a lady when out because 1) other lesbians most likely assumed I was straight or a "fag hag," and 2) I assumed the majority of pretty ladies in the club were straight or fag hags. See the dilemma? I often felt that flashing a neon sign proclaiming "Yes, I am gay" would help. I've also observed the frequency of couplings of femmes with butch lesbians; it seems far rarer to see a femme/femme couple. I've toyed with the idea of ditching my heels, dress, and lipstick for a polo shirt, jeans, and Converse sneakers for a night out, just to see what would happen, but I just couldn't do it. Luckily, I ended up meeting my lovely other half online, and three years later we are engaged.

Many other femmes ask us how to find fellow femmes to date, and the answer is that it's not easy. Looking femme has its disadvantages: not only is it harder for femme lesbians to find girlfriends and avoid those fears of being "forever alone," but femme lesbians also get looked at by other lesbians like we don't belong, and straight people don't believe we're gay. Don't get me started on the hassle I get from straight males, who often say things to me like, "But you're too pretty to be gay," or, "Who wears the trousers?" So femme lesbians are left wondering, "Where exactly do I fit in, and where can I find others like me?"

It seems that within the last couple of years, the representation of lesbians has risen on TV. In particular, there has been an influx of femme lesbian characters, like Santana on Glee, Emily on Pretty Little Liars, Sian and Sophie on Coronation Street, and Callie and Arizona in Grey's Anatomy. This is rather welcome, as a lot of TV series bring in gay male characters but rarely lesbians. There does, however, seem to be a peculiar trend of keeping gay male characters around longer, and the writers definitely don't try to turn them "straight" again. Conversely, TV series will follow the story of a feminine woman coming to terms with being gay, establishing a relationship, and coming out to everyone, but she will then be shown returning to a male either for sex (The Kids Are All Right, a movie, granted, but still) or to form a relationship. This is rather disheartening, and although this sort of trajectory may be true for some lesbians out there, it perpetuates the idea that lesbians can be "turned" while gay men cannot, when in fact we are probably born the way we are, and just because we are femme does not mean that we will one day be swayed by men.

The question remains: how do we tackle femme invisibility? More and more gay men are coming out in the celebrity world, but there is still a great lack of openly out and proud feminine lesbians. We have Portia de Rossi, up-and-coming actress Amber Heard, Miss California hopeful Mollie Thomas, and country singer Chely Wright. I'm not sure Lindsay Lohan or Megan Fox really count, do they? There is a great lack of lesbian role models. Who do the young lesbians have to show them that they can be feminine and still be gay? Growing up is confusing for anyone, and I certainly felt that there was no one to look up to and help me see that my future could be bright, with a gorgeous wife and the house with the white, picket fence.

In order to help tackle the conundrum of femme invisibility, I launched a Femme Visibility campaign on my blog, What Wegan Did Next, with the simple plan of inviting femme lesbians to send in their photos and together take a step toward shattering stereotypes and pulling off our invisibility cloak. If you are a fellow femme and want to stand up loud and proud and join in with the voices of other femmes, please email your photo to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 05:00

Destini Nova

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Destini NovaAfter attempting to write a novel three times, Destini Nova, the mother/business woman/author, found her true form of expression via her increasingly popular book, Secretly Bound. Although she wrote this under the pen name "Jade", not wanting the subject matter to interfere with her corporate life, Destini isn't "hiding" anymore and she's keeping us on the edge of our seats wanting more as we await her second book.

Your book Secretly Bound (an erotic thriller) has quite the following. After deciding not to continue working on 3 previous novels, what made you decide that this was "the one"?

The previous novels I started, I wrote as a compromise. I worried about what others would think of my work and I told stories I thought people would want to hear. But they were missing something. They had no color. It was like looking into a pool of water, wanting to see my reflection, but only finding constant ripples. After reading the Happy Hooker by Xaveria Hollander, something crossed over in me. I realized I could write whatever I wanted. It gave me the courage to be fearless in my writing. And so, I began.

You wrote your book under the pen name "Jade". I'm assuming it was due to the subject matter of the book. Are you still happy you decided to use a pen name given all of its popularity?

Yes, that is correct, I did write under a pen name. Mainly because I did not want my corporate life to mix with my writers life, given the subject matter. But now, I don't really care. I also wanted to add a little mystery, similar to the Story of O. The writer "Jade" is also the main character. People that read my book initially thought, "Who is the real author of this book and is this a true story?" My true identity was revealed mainly through live readings, which is fine with me. I will be writing the sequel under my real name, Destini Nova.

Who would you consider as your writing inspiration?

For this book, I can easily say, Anais Nin and Nicci French. After college, I moved to Seattle and that is where I discovered the writings of Anais Nin, through a good friend of mine. I fell in love with the fearlessness, the passion of her words. I would keep a note pad as I read her work and would write down my favorite words she would use. I could taste her writing. I always aspired to be able to write like that. In fact, her book, Henry and June is woven into the storyline of my book. The second writer, Nicci French, is a British husband and wife I believe, that write thrillers. They are mainly more popular in Europe. The end of each chapter leaves you with a hanger, and forces you to keep reading. I have a lot of fans that write that they read my book in 2-3 days, so I guess it must be working. I will say my constant inspiration is my amazingly talented and inspiring wife, Jamie Nova. I am very proud of her.

Can we expect a sequel or another novel from you soon?

First I would like to increase sales on this book. I have not done any marketing, nor have I approached larger publishers. I am considering both now and yes there is a sequel and I am about 165 pages in. I am getting a lot of requests to write the second book, so I will soon be focusing on that.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Write every day, at least 10 pages or 5 hours. I have done a lot of difficult things in my career but writing a book was by far the most difficult. I wrote Secretly Bound in 3 months, writing between 6-11 hours a day. I spent five months editing it, during that time I rewrote it twice. Then it took me a month to print it out. Finally after 9 months, I had my book in my hand, which was an incredible feeling.

You thank your mother on your website, was your mom a form of support when you came out?

My mother has always been the most incredible influence in my life. She has an amazing spirit and has always taught me I could be and do anything that I wanted. She told me that every day, without fail. She instilled self-confidence, and not only the ability to dream but the gift of believing in the dream. There is a story in my book where Jade comes out to her mother. That story is true. A friend of mine borrowed my car and unfortunately the license plate fell off. More unfortunate, he had a lot of outstanding parking tickets and so they took him to jail. They left my car abandoned under a bridge in Seattle and somehow the police did not report the car being left there. So along came another police car that found the car and they tried to find the owner. I had been out all day with friends. As soon as I walked through the door my mother called and said, "Des, is that you?" She was crying and having difficulty saying anything. She said, "I have to call you back." After about 15 minutes she rang again. She said, "The police called and told us your car was abandoned. Your dad and I have been trying to call all day. We thought you were dead." She was still crying, but a bit calmer. I knew this was the perfect opportunity. So I said, "No mom, it is okay. I am not dead... but I AM gay." Long pause on her end and then she said, "Are you sure you are not bisexual?" I didn't even know she knew what that was. "No mom, I am definitely a lesbian." Another long pause. She said, "Okay." And that was it. She was never tolerant, she was accepting, always. I am very lucky.

With a wife in a rock band, a full-time job, being an author and a mom, how do you find balance and couple time?

Our lives are very, very busy. Jamie and I spend a lot of time on the road because of our jobs. We also travel to visit our boys that live with their biological mother in the Netherlands. We are sometimes gone more than we are at home. But when we are home, we live very simply. We like to stay in, work on the house, watch movies and cook dinner. Our lives are so crazy, that we honor each moment we get to spend together and also the time we have in our home, our sanctuary. We always make time for dates, without fail. And we are both very romantic. Last time I returned home from Europe from a 3 week business trip and time with my kids, she had bought me flowers, filled the refrigerator with all my favorite things, ran me a bubble bath and put rose petals in it. Then she cooked me a beautiful dinner. I have no clear answer here, other than we respect and adore each other whether we are together or apart. Knowing that always keeps a balance in the relationship which contributes to balance in our lives.

The ability to marry, is so often taken for granted by heterosexuals and often abused. You were married to Jamie Nova, your wife, last year. How has this brought you closer and what would you say to those opposed to same sex marriages?

Jamie and I were meant to be together. We knew this immediately. Marrying her I would say, gave strength to our words and commitment in front of our friends and family. Having the law behind our union gives a social validation, not that I ever needed that, but it sure helps other people. We now are treated legally like heterosexuals within Washington state. This is a step. What would I say to those that oppose it? A lot of things. It depends on what their argument is, religion, traditional values, whatever it is. Regardless, right now gay Americans are discriminated against. Why do people fight against it and put so much energy into making sure two people that love another, cannot be recognized, I don't understand it. That is just mean. Which last time I checked doesn't follow any teachings of any religion or is one of the" traditional values". Kindness and compassion, now a little bit more of that would be refreshing. And many European countries have legalized gay marriage for years now. And it is working out just fine. I really wish they would focus their fears on looking at other societies that have done this and realize separation/discrimination is not the answer.

We created Bound to fight isolation in our community (hence our tagline “Alone we are isolated, together we are bound”), did you have a support group or person you leaned on, when you came out? What advice would you give to someone coming out?

I just came out. I have always not really cared what others thought of me. If they did not support me or come around, then I would surround myself with those that did. And that is exactly what I did. I have been very lucky that my family was accepting. Some faster than others. But yes, I have always surrounded myself with good friends. My great friends, or my inner circle as I like to call them, are my solid support system and I cherish them all dearly. And of course my mother. And most of all my beautiful wife that is my best friend and eternal partner. I guess I am just really lucky to be surrounded by amazingly wonderful people.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 05:00

How do you measure a year?

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It’s been 365 days since the launch of our little ezine. We gave birth 12 times to a dozen issues. We created a lesbian dictionary with more than 100 entries. We covered nearly 40 events and snapped 3,000 pictures. And, I can continue to bore you with statistics and number of unique visits, but none of the numbers I can mention are an accurate measure of the pure joy and excitement that we’ve experienced in making this endeavor a reality. No. A more accurate measurement is the wonderful women we meet at community events that thank us for creating this site. Or the work of our talented volunteer writers that make every issue a reality. Or the ridiculous giggle attacks that paralyze production at around 1 a.m. Or the day we interviewed Melissa Etheridge and couldn’t get a proper cell phone signal. Or the night we let Maggie drive us to an event and ended up at the parking lot of a strip mall. Or the impromptu dance party Janette organized in my hotel room (without my permission) during Girls in Wonderland.

On that fateful evening at the Miami Lakes Ale House when I agreed to take a risk and create this thing with two women I hardly knew, there was no way we could’ve predicted what this year had in store. Soon after creating this site, we realized that the “we” was well beyond us. No, the “we” was now a network of thousands of friends from all orientations and persuasions. A network that brought our little website to life. We did that together, and, for that I am grateful.

So, cheers to you. Thank you for being part of this adventure and making this little pipe dream a reality. Here’s to another year of being together. Because together we are BOUND.


Tuesday, 05 March 2013 05:00

You say I'm cheap like it's a bad thing

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You say I’m cheap like it’s a bad thing! Being a fashion copycat takes a lot of frugality and a lot less cash than you think. One of my favorite things to do is find a great outfit like the one Julianne Hough is wearing at LAX and make it “my own.” Takes a little hunting sometimes (but we women are well versed in the “art of the hunt” aren’t we?) and that’s half the fun! The other [fun] half is the amount of dough you’ll save. Join me my little pussycats and we’ll be fashion copycats together!

You say I'm cheap like it's a bad thing

Resources: Bag, $39.80; T-shirt, $10.80; Camo skinnies, $69.99; Denim Jacket, $39.94; Booties, $41.20; Julianne Hough

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YES Institute is a recognized leader in providing powerful, action-oriented dialogue and quality research-based education on gender and orientation.

YES began as a community-based initiative in 1996 to address the high rates of teenage suicide impacting young people who identified or were labeled as gay. In 2003, YES Institute added cutting-edge education courses on gender.

The Institute focuses its efforts on:
• Initiating dialogue on the topics of gender and orientation for anyone and everyone who works with, cares for, or serves young people and their families.
• Groundbreaking education for youth and their families, as well as schools, universities, therapists, healthcare providers, religious communities, and systems of care.
• Connecting with communities across South Florida, the US and Latin America through videoconferencing and travel. Our work is also available in the Spanish language.

Get involved:

Click here to donate to the YES Institute and/or here to volunteer.

Contact Yes Institute:
5275 Sunset Drive
Miami, FL 33143-5914
Phone: 305-663-7195

Mission: To prevent suicide and ensure the healthy development of all youth through powerful communication and education on gender and orientation.

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