Although the LGBTQ+ community is receiving more attention and support than ever before, many LGBTQ+ teens still struggle to find the support and resources they need. When teens don't feel supported and accepted, their mental health quickly declines. However, it only takes one accepting person in their lives to make a difference for these kids.
If you're looking for a way to help a teenager in your life but aren't sure where to start, these 12 resources for LGBTQ+ teens may be helpful.
12 Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
GLSEN is a nonprofit organization that believes every member of every school community should feel valued and respected, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The organization does this by working to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in schools that are free from bullying and harassment. In fact, GLSEN offers resources for teachers and schools, and they will help schools and districts start local Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSA) chapters to help youth support each other.
11 CenterLink LGBTQ+ Centers
CenterLink partners with LGBTQ+ community centers across the country. These local centers offer community, information, and helpful resources for LGBTQ+ youth who may not have support from family and friends. There are over 300 centers across all 50 US states and in part of Canada.
10 The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention and crisis services for LGBTQ+ youth. It offers 24/7 support from counselors and other volunteers through its website, hotline, and text messaging services. The Trevor Project also offers online resources as well as TrevorSpace, an online platform where LGBTQ+ teens can connect with peers.
9 Q Chat Space
Q Chat Space is an online community where LGBTQ+ teens can chat with other LGBTQ+ teens. It's meant to be a safe, bully-free space that is supportive and welcoming. Teens can use it to connect, get help, or just have fun with other people who understand them. Additionally, teens can use Q Chat Space to talk to trained staff from LGBTQ+ centers around the country.
8 It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project is a nonprofit with a mission to uplift and empower LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. The organization offers inspirational media programming, educational resources, and access to community-based service providers. Additionally, It Gets Better Project has a free search function to help LGBTQ+ youth find other helpful resources for advocacy, housing, health, and more.
7 LGBT National Youth Talkline
The LGBT National Help Center offers support, affirmation, respect and acceptance for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. However, they offer two specific resources for teens specifically: the LGBT National Youth Talkline and online weekly youth chats. These resources can help provide support, resources, and community for LGBTQ+ teens who feel isolated or have questions they'd like answered by someone who understands.
6 Q Card Project
The Q Card Project offers easy-to-use communication cards that are designed to help LGBTQ+ teens talk about their identity and needs with health care providers. This can be especially important for trans and non-binary youth who may need to discuss options for gender-affirming care.
5 Point Foundation
Point Foundation is a nonprofit that helps LGTBQ+ students achieve their full academic and leadership potential, regardless of the obstacles they face along the way. They do this through financial support, mentorship, and leadership training as teens transition from high school to college. They also help LGBTQ+ teens find other resources to help them make it to college.
PFLAG is a nonprofit that focuses on helping LGBTQ+ families, including parents and loved ones of LGBTQ+ teens. Through over 400 local chapters and an expansive online network, PFLAG helps with advocacy, education, and legislative efforts to make the world a more inclusive place.
3 Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is a nonprofit organization committed to helping LGBTQ+ teens and adults receive the civil rights they deserve. They do this through ligation and public policy changes. Anyone can contact Lambda Legal if they need assistance with a legal matter related to sexuality or gender identity, including discrimination or other rights violations.
2 Our Family Coalition
Our Family Coalition provides community-building and support for LGBTQ+ families and children, along with allies, community partners, and volunteers. The organization offers over 200 events each year, including informational workshops, support groups, and more. Although the organization is based in California, they offer many virtual events that are open to anyone.
1 Gender Spectrum
Gender Spectrum is working to create gender-sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens. They do this through online support groups for pre-teens and teenagers, virtual resources, and professional training for parents and schools. These resources can be vital for trans and non-binary youth.
These resources can serve as a lifeline and source of refuge for LGBTQ+ teens who feel isolated, unsupported, and misunderstood. If you know a teenager who could benefit from these resources, don't be afraid to reach out for help. By simply supporting a teen in your life, you're doing more than you may realize to help them feel accepted and loved.
Sources: GLSEN, CenterLink, The Trevor Project, Q Chat Space, It Gets Better Project, LGBT National Help Center, Q Card Project, Point Foundation, PFLAG, Lambda Legal, Our Family Coalition, Gender Spectrum