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Creating a Welcoming Space: Bolder Options' LGBTQ+ Ally Certification

Have you seen that Certified LGBTQ+ Ally Site badge on the bottom of our Bolder Options' website homepage and wondered what it was? Back in 2021 Bolder Options had the privilege of being part of a pilot program through MENTOR Minnesota and Mentorist to become a Certified LGBTQ+ Ally Site. Over the course of an entire year, and with the help of Bolder Options alumni mentees and mentors, we received training and changed organizational policies/procedures to make Bolder Options a more affirming place for LGBTQ+ mentees and mentors. 

Now, three years later, those changes have made a lasting impact in the way we approach our support of LGBTQ+ mentors and mentees. We start every program event with introductions so program participants have a space to use new pronouns or a new preferred name. Everything from how we talk about sexual orientation and gender identity in paperwork, to the questions we ask mentors and mentees to find the best fit for them in the matching process, there is an intention to make our space a place where everyone feels welcome. 

We also know that just because we have the ally certification, doesn't mean the learning and growing stops there. As a staff and community we continue to learn and gather resources for how to better support and affirm our LGBTQ+ participants. We're always looking for new ways to support our LGBTQ+ mentors and mentees, so if you have a helpful resource to share, please connect with us!

To hear about Bolder Options' and other mentoring organizations experience in becoming an Certified LGBTQ+ Ally Site you can watch this video:

To learn more about Mentorist's work to support mentoring organizations become LGBTQ+ Ally Sites visit their site here:

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