As a member of the LGBTQIA community, if you don’t live in a trendy gayborhood or have regular access to other queers, it’s very easy to feel isolated and alone. I’m here to remind you that you’re not. Gentle Reader, today’s post feels like a cop-out – there’s no saucy anecdote, or uplifting homily – just a list of resources for those members of the community who might need them.
This project was ambitious, to say the least. While I was hoping to provide nationwide resources for Gentle Readers across America, there are few that serve the entire nation. I’ve scrounged up a few, which are mostly lists or links to lists, unfortunately. However, because I love you, I have done what I can. These links aren’t categorized, but each has a brief description of the services they offer. Good luck out there, Gentle Reader.
I can’t say enough good things about PFLAG. PFLAG helped my folks come around when I was outed, and they basically coach one’s support network through a transformative time in a queer person’s life. They are nationwide, and have branches in every state except apparently North Dakota. Get your shit together, North Dakotans.
The Center for Disease Control has some resources regarding LGBT suicide prevention, STDS, and domestic violence, as well as a list of LGBT medical clinics across the country. Besides being an official arm of the government, the CDC is staffed by doctors and scientists and generally know what they’re talking about.
GLMA, which stands for “Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality”* somehow, is really a stunning organization. No matter where you live (well, as long as you live in the U.S.) they can help you find a LGBT friendly health care provider. They also have a number of queer-specific pages, like the “Lesbian Health Fund” and “10 Things Bisexuals Should Discuss With Their Healthcare Providers.”
Centerlink is a sort of online hub of LGBTQIA community centers. North Dakota, again, is starkly lacking in support.
The Trevor Project is a crisis/suicide prevention line for queer young people from ages 13-24. If you need to talk to someone, they can be reached at 866-488-7386, twenty-four hours a day.
There is also the Trans Lifeline, which is specifically for trans folk, obviously, is not available 24 hours a day because it’s staffed by volunteers. However, they do their best. In the U.S., the number is (877) 565-8860. In Canada, they can be reached at (877) 330- 6366.
GLAD and GLAAD are both useful places to look for resources, although one-a GLAD is mostly limited to New England. Both organizations do a number of things for the community, and are a good jumping-off point if you’re looking for a specific type of aid.
The ACLU has a decent record of representing LGBTQIA individuals who have been attacked or whose rights have been violated if the matter winds up in a court of law. They’ve also been known to force the issue into a court of law. While they tend to stick to bigger, headline-making cases, if you find yourself in such a situation, they may be worth turning to.
Lamda Legal similarly will take cases of LGBTQIA folks – if they’re pertinent to achieving social and legal equality. They do a lot of good work, and will represent their clients for free – if your case qualifies. Don’t get me wrong! They’re a great organization, and will probably be able to point you somewhere if you need legal help and they, um, can’t help you.
Though located in California, GenderSpectrum.org has a lot of information about gender identity, and offers a call-in- based support group monthly.
And that’s what I was able to dig up, Gentle Reader. Many of these organizations are probably familiar to you, but please – if you find yourself in need of their services, avail yourself of them. Find a Pflag. Find a community center. Call the suicide lines and get some help. Do what you need to do to survive, and use the resources at your fingertips. I love you, Gentle Reader.
*Again, GLMA was named before bisexual and trans people existed (in the eyes of the community). It was originally the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association – but these days, moving with the times and welcoming all in the community, it’s strictly an acronym, and they use the more inclusive tagline.