Community Climates Project

While tremendous advances in civil rights and social justice for LGBTQ individuals have occurred in the past decade in the United States and elsewhere, growing up lesbian, gay, bi, trans or queer in a predominantly straight world still has its challenges. The goal of the Community Climates Project is to better understand how today’s young LGBTQ people negotiate the challenges of growing up in diverse communities.

With a focus on California, we are studying 10 randomly selected counties, collecting data on the community climate toward sexual and gender identity diversity, interviewing adult LGBTQ leaders, and interviewing and surveying young LGBTQ people. We want to understand the resources young LGBTQ people have in their communities to develop into healthy and happy adults, and we want to better understand the link among community climate, stress, and health for today’s youth.

Project Contact

Sam Hughes
Community Climates Project Coordinator

Mission Statement

The Community Climates Project looks to better understand the experiences of LGBT youth in two regions of California: the Central Valley and the Bay Area. The knowledge we gain from the Community Climates Project will be useful in developing resources to support LGBT youth in their own hometowns. As social scientists, we adhere to the following values:

No exploitation and no harm. We aspire to learn from community members and utilize our findings to give back to our research sites. With the knowledge we gain, we’ll develop resources and make them available to community members.

Listen to feedback and advice. We are entering our participants’ hometowns! As locals, you know best. If you have feedback or advice for our research team, please contact us or talk with one of our researchers.

Respect our participants. If you are sitting down for an interview with us, prepare for us to be all-ears! We want to know what you think about your community, the experiences you’ve had living there, and what you believe your community needs to enhance the lives of LGBT youth.

Meet Our Team

Phillip L. Hammack, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Sam Hughes

Project Coordinator


Elliot Cohen

Field Researcher