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New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


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New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


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(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
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Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)


Lawyers for Children

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
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Featured Story

The Long Journey Home
image by YC
The Long Journey Home
I always knew I was a girl

Names have been changed.

When I was a 5-year-old boy in Mexico, I had a red sweater with a hood. I loved to put it on my head and pretend that it was my long, beautiful hair.

I looked like a girl even with short hair. In kindergarten, during recess, boys chased me in the same way that they chased the girls. I enjoyed the attention, but in elementary school the boys stopped chasing me. They must have realized that I was not a girl. I felt rejected.

Around that time, my mother got fed up with my pretending to be a girl. She had tolerated it before, when she thought I would grow out of it. But one day when I came home from school, I couldn't find my red sweater. I asked my mom if she had seen it. She told me she had burned it and that she did not want me to pretend I was a girl anymore.

I did as I was told, but I missed pretending to be a girl. I realized how different I was from other boys. As I grew older, I felt more and more feminine. Not being able to suppress those feelings, I began to walk, talk, and act like a girl. Everything I did was synchronized with how I really felt, but not with what my parents or anyone else wanted.

My hometown in central Mexico is very small. There are approximately 500 people and only one school that goes from 1st through 6th grade. After 6th grade, you must transfer to a school outside of town to continue your studies. Many kids in my town do not, but I did.

When it was time to pick my middle school, I picked a technical school. I had a keen interest in technology and wanted to learn more about how systems and computers worked. Plus my best friend since 1st grade, Gina, would be attending the same school.

Although I never told Gina I was attracted to boys, she must have figured that out because she never asked me about girls. She talked about the boys she found attractive, and I said nothing.

But my parents told me I would instead go to the school that my two older brothers were attending. Although I did not like that idea, I had no choice, because my parents would be paying for my schooling.

All My Fault

In hindsight, I think my parents sent me to that school so my brothers could protect me. They knew better than I did that their feminine son in his tight clothes would get bullied. They were right. . .

[read more]