Support groups provide community for LGBTQ young individuals and allies
Updated: April 6, 2017 at 7:08 pm
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The Carolinas, as well as the U.S., are filled with scores of LGBTQ-focused support and family groups to provide a shoulder or welcoming arms for those in the community who seek the solace of safety.
With the current political climate, the need for supportive groups for youth has never been more crucial. And, LGBTQ youth have specific needs both at home and at school, in addition to the world at large.
For students, gay-straight alliances have been a key component to make an uncomfortable situation more palatable. Not only are they front and center for them while they are engaged in their academic endeavors, but they provide a social outlet as well.
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Gay-Straight Alliance Network contacts for both North and South Carolina are:
Time Out Youth GSA Network
South Carolina GSA Network
These two organizations will also have other youth-related resources available for those who seek other options.
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Other organizations that help to support youth, both regionally and nationally are:
ASPYRE Youth Leadership Camp
The mission of the A Safer Place for Youth to Reach for Excellence (ASPYRE) Leadership Camp is to empower young members of the LGBTQ community and their allies to achieve personal growth through advocacy and activism while making a positive impact in their communities. A program of the LGBT Community Center of Raleigh.
National organization supporting secondary and post-secondary students.
Gay Straight Advocates for Education Greensboro
Organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA youth with an emphasis on creating safe educational environments for ALL youth.
Leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.
It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to LGBTQ youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.
LGBT Youth Allies
An online resource that provides information on LGBTQ youth organizations nationwide.
Matthew Shepard Foundation
An online community designed to provide support to teens and young adults within sexual orientation and gender identity minorities as well as their allies.
National Safe Place Program
An outreach program designed to provide access to immediate help and safety for all youth in crisis.
North Star LGBTQ Community Center
The center provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth 24 and younger to get connected and empowered. Its purpose is to build a strong queer, youth community through education, creative and performing arts, and community events.
OUTright Youth of Catawba Valley
Provides a safe environment for LGBTQ youth and their allies.
Provides a safe social space for LGBTQ young adults in the Charlotte area.
Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer (QORDS) empowers Southern queer and transgender youth to build community through music. It is a vehicle for expressing gender and sexuality, and harbors an environment of self-discovery and social change. It hosts a summer camp program.
Elsewhere Museum provides a youth-led media program exploring LGBTQ experience in North Carolina. It publishes I Don’t Do Boxes, a youth-focused zine dedicated to presenting stories of LGBTQ experience in the South.
Connects youth in rural and urban areas of N.C. by providing a safe space both online and in person for teens to talk about their ideas, find resources and get help with problems that they face. A program of the LGBT Community Center of Raleigh.
Safe Schools NC
A statewide group focused on training school professionals to work effectively with LGBTQ students.
Time Out Youth Center
The Queen City’s resource and support center for youth education, empowerment and more.
The Trevor Project
Leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT) young people.
A safe space for LGBTQ youth and their allies in the Midlands, S.C. area.
Youth advocacy and leadership organization located in Western North Carolina.
A Greensboro-based organization provides an environment for LGBTQIA youth to find community, share resources and build skills for responding creatively to the world around them.
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Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) groups are also an asset in helping the community to provide much-needed support and education for those who would otherwise lack the guidance and camaraderie so necessary when raising an LGBT child. They also serve as organizations that advocate for equal rights.
PFLAG chapters in North Carolina are:
PFLAG Flat Rock/Hendersonville
Flat Rock, N.C.
PFLAG High Point
High Point, N.C
PFLAG Rocky Mount
Rocky Mount, N.C.
PFLAG Salisbury/ Rowan
PFLAG Wilmington/Cape Fear
Winston Salem, N.C.
PFLAG chapter in South Carolina are:
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University LGBTQ support and resource center programs and organizations offered across the Carolinas for their LGBTQ sudents, allies and staff are:
University of North Carolina at Asheville
CPCC Spectrum Club
LGBT Legal Society
Charlotte School of Law
Duke LGBT Network
LGBTQA Community Resources
Gender & LGBTQIA Center
Gender Equity Center
Johnson & Wales University
North Carolina State University
GLBTQA Resource Center
Henderson Springs LGBT Center
Appalachian State University
Sexuality and Gender Alliance
Western Carolina University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
LGBT Resource Center
East Carolina University
LGBTQ Resource Center
North Carolina Central University
Wake Forest University
Multicultural Resource Center
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
This list is not fully comprehensive and qnotes welcomes input so that the list provides accurate information and current resources to remain its integrity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make changes or additions.
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About the author: Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at email@example.com and 704-531-9988, x205.