Our Mission

Hetrick-Martin Institute believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.

Hetrick-Martin creates this environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth between the ages of 13 and 24 and their families.

Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, Hetrick-Martin seeks to foster healthy youth development. Hetrick-Martin’s staff promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models.

Our History

We’re proud to be the nation’s oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to reach their full potential. Like many leaders, we were trailblazers. In 1979, life partners and educators on gay and lesbian issues, Dr. Emery Hetrick, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Damien Martin, a professor at New York University, heard the heartbreaking story of a homeless 15-year-old boy who had been beaten and thrown out of his emergency shelter because he was gay.

They were so moved that they gathered a group of concerned adults and created what was then called the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth (IPLGY) to assist this group of young people who desperately needed support. In 1988, the organization was renamed Hetrick-Martin Institute in honor of its founders and their lifelong commitment to service.