Creating an Inclusive Community At Vibrant 

“It’s essential for there to be space at Vibrant for queer staff to offer mutual aid, support, and resources to one another, alongside our allies.”

– Christian Burgess, Director, Disaster Distress Helpline 

Vibrant aims to create an inclusive community where everyone feels welcome, supported, and valued. Out @ Vibrant, an affinity group initiated and collectively led by queer staff, offers spaces for LGBTQ2SIA+/allied Vibrant staff to connect, share resources, and celebrate queer identity and culture.


80+ Out @ Vibrant members


20+ staff joined the NYC Pride March

~2 MIL

Approximately 2 million people viewed the NYC Pride March - and likely witnessed Vibrant's messages

Out @ Vibrant

Launched in 2019 by and for queer staff, Out @ Vibrant is a discussion, information, & resource-sharing group that offers forums for LGBTQ2SIA+ and allied Vibrant staff across the agency to connect and celebrate queer identity and culture. The group meets at least quarterly and hosts chats in a dedicated Slack channel, including sharing resources and engaging in discussions that address the emotional health of LGBTQ2SIA+ people, within the agency workforce and in Vibrant’s programs and services.

Christian: Working in emotional health support has unique effects on Vibrant’s queer staff. Regardless of the program you’re involved in or the role you have, the work can be very activating, such as triggering difficult memories of past traumas. That’s why it is essential that we carve out a space to provide mutual aid and support to one another. Recognizing a need to explore and share resources pertaining to the specific emotional health needs of the queer community, I founded “Out @ Vibrant” as a group meant to be run by and for queer people, serving in any role in the agency, in any department, and including allies. 

Lindsay: I live my life very “out” so having this group within Vibrant made me feel like I didn’t have to worry about people judging me for being queer. I immediately found a community of people like me.  

Damon: As a Black, cisgender person, Vibrant is the first professional place that felt safe for me to share all parts of my identities, especially those historically oppressed identities. Out @ Vibrant provides a space for LGBTQIA+ colleagues to exist in their authentic selves; that is what belonging is for me.

Kelsey: With the launch of 988, Vibrant is expanding rapidly. In this time of growth, Out @ Vibrant helps us feel less alone. While we grow, this interagency group helps unite us all. 

Christian: One of the ways we’re demonstrating Vibrant’s support of and from the LGBTQIA+ community is through our participation in NYC’s Pride parade. This is the largest Pride parade in the country, with 2 million participants. In 2022, many Vibrant staff, their families and friends, marched together, showing our visibility, and a commitment to our mission of providing emotional health support to all—no matter who you are. 

Damon: Being a part of Pride was a humbling, yet inspirational moment for me. I have never been a part of an organization where I saw Black LGBTQIA+ masculine bodies that looked like mine, and I wanted to make sure that people outside of Vibrant saw that represented at our organization. I wanted to inspire and encourage others to be true to themselves and know that they are not alone.  

Kelsey: Marching in the parade together was a reminder of what Out @ Vibrant is all about – ensuring that the queer community is seen, heard and feels supported. This group has given all of us a chance to feel that way.  

Lindsay: Knowing that Vibrant supports us and provides a space for us to be our authentic selves gives me hope—hope for the future and hope for society.  

To view a video made by Out @ Vibrant for the 2021 Virtual NYC Pride March and access resources in LGBTQSIA+ emotional health, visit