The Legacy of Visibility Starts Here.

TLC’s Project Flare is an LGBTQ+ initiative that intends to create a legacy of visibility for LGBTQ+ foster youth. It provides both virtual and real-time connections to all those seeking Project Flare’s invitation to “undo aloneness.”

History of Project Flare

TLC has been serving the LGBTQ+ Community since 2005. Working and evolving as a leader in LGBTQ+ services and outreach, TLC earned its first Seal of Recognition from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in 2014. We then earned “Leader” status in 2017, then skipped over the “Solid Foundation for Inclusion” tier in 2019 by being awarded HRC’s most prestigious Seal of Recognition as “Innovators” supporting and serving LGBTQ+ youth and families. The Innovator Seal was, in part, a recognition of Project Flare’s launch and its intention to create a legacy of visibility for LBGTQ+ foster youth. Only 39 organizations across the U.S. were awarded this seal in 2019; TLC being one of nine of those organizations in California. 

Today, TLC continues to earn this seal year over year. In 2023 TLC was highlighted in their Annual Report as Change Makers doing this important work. You can read the report HERE

TLC launched a video project in 2019 using grant money awarded from Sonoma County’s Giving Circle (then Pride United) to pioneer a digital storytelling event they dubbed, Project Flare. The event was a first of its kind for this unique cross-section of the LGBTQ+ Community. The original Project Flare Event featured a keynote address by local psychologist and gender specialist, Dr. Jill Rees, mask-making and other workshops, and three makeshift film studios used to permanently capture the stories of those youth, foster parents, and staff attending. The intention was to offer participants space to tell their story, be visible, and to send out a flare of hope, connection, or support to other LGBTQ+ youth, who may not have the same support.

Recognizing that all LGBTQ+ youth and their families need and deserve these supports, Project Flare continues to serve foster youth, BIPOC youth, and ALL youth and families connected to the LGBTQ+ Community

Project Flare desires to….

Decrease aloneness, anxiety, depression and isolation

Help eradicate suicidality in the LGBTQ+ community

Increase connection, belonging, confidence, community

Increase knowledge, skills, confidence, and voice

Provide mentorship and nurture attitudes of empowerment as youth leaders in their communities

“There is a world out there where you can be queer and you can have fun and you can meet amazing people and you can have this wonderful, full life. It is out there for you, too.”

#ShareYourFlare Participant

Why Project Flare Matters

LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in foster care and face an increased risk of both negative experiences and outcomes [Trevor Project National Survey 2022].

  • 45% of LGBTQ+ identified youth SERIOUSLY considered suicide in the prior 12 months
  • 30% of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ+ and are 3x more likely to attempt suicide
  • LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to report being treated poorly as their non-LGBTQ+ peers while in care
  • LGBTQ+ youth have a greater average number of placements than their non-LGBTQ+ peers
  • LGBTQ+ youth are more likely than their non-LGBTQ+ peers to be placed in congregate care, including group homes.

Upcoming Project Flare Events

How Can I Get Involved?

We encourage LGBTQ+ foster youth and ALL youth to make their own #shareyourflare video. Stories matter. Telling YOUR story matters. Share yours with TLC and the world. If you are an LGBTQ+ ally and want to share a supportive message, we encourage you to share your flare, too.

Click here to see how.