Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Carolyn Reyes, Esq.

Senior Youth Policy Counsel

Born in Miami, Carolyn Reyes was raised by her monolingual Cuban grandmother with a fifth-grade education, who read the newspaper cover-to-cover and watched “The Price is Right” daily. With almost three decades working on behalf of marginalized children, youth and families, Carolyn serves as NCLR’s Youth Policy Counsel and directs the Born Perfect campaign to end conversion therapy nationwide.

Leading the Born Perfect campaign, Carolyn directs NCLR’s efforts to protect youth from conversion therapy. She has worked to pass state legislation to prohibit licensed mental health professionals from practicing conversion therapy on minors in over 10 states and in dozens of municipalities across the country. As a national expert on issues related to LGBTQ youth in juvenile justice and child welfare systems, Carolyn has also worked with youth as a child welfare worker, children and family therapist, and school counselor.

Prior to joining NCLR, Carolyn served as Director of getREAL California—a collaboration between NCLR, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and Family Builders—where she advised the state of California in integrating sexual orientation and gender identity and expression-informed policy and practice into the child welfare system. For nearly a decade, Carolyn also represented children and youth in dependency, guardianship, immigration, and education matters at the non-profit legal organization, Legal Services for Children (LSC). Throughout her career, Carolyn co-authored numerous publications related to LGBT youth in out-of-home care, most notably Hidden Injustice: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in Juvenile Courts, the first groundbreaking report to examine the experiences of LGBTQ youth in juvenile courts across the country.

Carolyn received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law, her M.S.W. from San Francisco State University, her M.A. in Theology from Pacific School of Religion, and her B.A. from Wheaton College. When not at work, she enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her daughter, Kairos, eating yummy meals prepared by her wife, Yvonne, and cheering on her son, Sanjay, at Cal track and field events.

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