Our Guiding Principles

In addition to our mission and vision, there are a core set of principles that guide our work at Hetrick-Martin Institute. The wide range of these statements reflects the diverse and intersecting nature of our work and speaks to the challenges facing young people that we serve.


HMI believes LGBTQ youth should have the opportunity to learn in an inclusive and affirming environment.
HMI believes LGBTQ youth should have access to quality education.
HMI believes all school personnel should be actively encouraged and enabled to practice cultural fluency in creating inclusive and affirming school environments for LGBTQ students.
All schools should have anti-discrimination policies that support youth in celebrating their most authentic selves and protecting LGBTQ youth in schools from bullying, harassment and violence.


HMI believes LGBTQ youth should have access to comprehensive healthcare.
HMI supports policies and practices that increase and guarantee access to healthcare for LGBTQ youth.
HMI believes part of healthy adolescent development is access to inclusive comprehensive sexual health education.

Mental Health

HMI believes youth service providers should utilize the studies of trauma-informed care, emotional wellness, and positive youth development in serving their communities.
HMI believes all systems, policies, and organizations should be curated to make sure LGBTQ youth feel safe and included.
HMI believes that reparative therapy is harmful, and laws should be in place to protect minors from the negative impacts of these practices.
LGBTQ youth should have access to emotional wellness services that are affirming of LGBTQ communities.


HMI believes homelessness is a byproduct of systemic discrimination, rejection and isolation.
HMI believes all youth should have access to safe spaces to sleep.
HMI believes all homeless shelters should have cultural fluency in serving LGBTQ youth.
HMI believes that when safe to do so, families should be supported and encouraged to have their child(ren) remain in the house.

Economic Empowerment

HMI believes all youth should have access to opportunities for academic and career success.
HMI encourages and supports all policies and laws that support and protect LGBTQ youth employment.
HMI believes that LGBTQ youth and adults deserve federal protections.

Transgender and Gender-liberated Youth

HMI believes that emotional and physical safety is essential for the growth of young people.
HMI supports the development of policies, practices and programs that increase economic and educational opportunities for Trans and gender-liberated youth.
HMI believes that all young people should be encouraged to live as their true authentic selves, free of stigma, bias and fear.