Our Mission
Side by Side is dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish.

*LGBTQ+ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people. The "+" acknowledges that there are many additional identities related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity not included in this acronym such as but not limited to agender, asexual, genderqueer, genderfluid, pansexual, or queer.

You may know us as ROSMY. To learn more check out part 1 & part 2 of our "From ROSMY to Side by Side" blog posts.


In 1991 Side by Side was founded under the name the Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth or ROSMY, and for over 25 years we’ve had a simple goal of providing a space where LGBTQ+ youth could be themselves.

Timeline of Important Events in Side by Side history

  • 1991 – Founded in Richmond, Virginia as the Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth (ROSMY)
  • 1996 – First college scholarship for youth offered
  • 1997 – First TV commercials advertising youth groups hit the airways
  • 1998 – Youth Advisory Council (now called YEL: Youth Engaged in Leadership) is founded
  • 2001 – First Alternative Prom hosted
  • 2007 – Steve Midgett Memorial Library is founded
  • 2008 – Charlottesville support group started
  • 2010 – Institute for Equality (now called Side by Side Training) begins, educating youth service providers throughout Virginia
  • 2011 – Host the first Run for ROSMY
  • 2011 – Trans support group started
  • 2013 – Middle school support group for youth ages 11-13 started
  • 2016 – ROSMY renamed Side by Side