Legal Aid Society

Advancing LGBTQ+ Rights

We advocate for New York’s LGBTQ+ populations, across all three practices, in courtrooms and communities, fighting discrimination, ensuring access to healthcare, housing, benefits and entitlements, and assisting people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Get Help Now

Every day, in courthouses and communities across the city, we advocate for the rights of all New Yorkers. Learn more about the services we provide.

Get Help
Making a Difference

Projects, Units & Initiatives

Our specialized teams have experience working on nearly every area of law that impacts New Yorkers. Explore the ways we fight on behalf of clients and communities.

A Day in the Life

Challenging Systemic Injustice Through the LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit

Erin Beth Harrist was two weeks into her tenure as the Supervising Attorney of our LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit when the COVID-19 pandemic rocked New York City. When the pandemic kicked in our work on behalf of LGB and TGNCNB people into overdrive, especially in state prisons. Trans folks, especially trans women of color, are particularly subject to the traumas of incarceration, and the pandemic added yet another potentially fatal layer to an already dire situation.

Erin Beth Harrist  LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit 

Our Work with Partners

TGNCNBI People Are Facing a Crisis in New York City Jails

The New York City Council’s Task Force on Issues Facing Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, Non-Binary, and Intersex (TGNCNBI) People in Custody, which includes two members of The Legal Aid Society, released its long-awaited report on the crisis facing TGNCNBI people in New York City jails in August.  The report’s findings reveal a jail system that renders these individuals invisible, and therefore extremely vulnerable to the worst harms of arrest, incarceration, abuse, and neglect.

KuntalSaha/Getty Images 

By the Numbers

Many of our LGBTQ+ clients who come from low-income communities and communities of color often live at the intersections of multiple oppressions. Our work helps them overcome the obstacles keeping them from thriving in New York City.

<1 in 3

Youths in NYC foster care is LGBTQAI+.


TGNCNBI people in state prison or city jails who benefited from our advocacy.


LGB people are incarcerated at three times the rate of straight people.

A contribution to The Legal Aid Society is about more than money.

Every donation helps us offer essential legal services to thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers, helping people buy food, pay rent, and care for themselves and their families.

Stand With Us