Here in Portland, we are fortunate to have many organizations who create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth and their families, as well as provide learning resources, support groups, and databases for those seeking LGBTQ-friendly providers of all kinds. Nationally, many communities are creating much-needed resources. Learn about one youth perspective here.
Here is a list of several of these organizations who are doing important work in Portland:
- PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a nationwide organization with three chapters in the Portland area (located in SW, east Multnomah County/Gresham, and Beaverton). PFLAG offers a variety of opportunities for peer support, including in-person support circles and a helpline staffed by LGBTQ volunteers. Additionally, PFLAG’s website has an excellent database of content about the continuum of gender and sexuality, as well as additional resources and provider links. Youth and loved ones will find no shortage of information about gender identity, sexuality, how to be an ally, and how to understand non-gender conforming identities in the context of faith and spirituality.
PO Box 6743 Portland, OR 97228-6743
- Q Center is the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific Northwest, and serves as a hub for LGBTQ individuals, families, and allies seeking to make connections with resources all over the state. Q Center hosts many peer-based support groups for individuals who identify as transgender, genderqueer, intersexed, and more. Groups meet both monthly and weekly, and activities include peer-based support for coming out, recovery, resource sharing, social connection, & organizing for social change. Many of these groups allow a “+1” for allies who might be interested in participating. Also be sure to check out Q Center on Facebook, where they post local LGBTQ events and happenings! https://www.facebook.com/pg/PDXQCenter/events/ . Q Center is always looking for volunteers, which is an awesome way to find out more about their work! Volunteer opportunities range from outreach, to admin, to hands-on upkeep of the center itself. Find out more here: http://www.pdxqcenter.org/get-involved/volunteer/
4115 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, Oregon 97227
- Basic Rights Oregon is an organization committed to the equal rights of all LGBTQ Oregonians, via community-building and direct challenges to anti-LGBTQ policies and measures over the past two decades. Basic Rights is currently offering a support group for family members of transgender youth. To find out more : http://www.basicrights.org/get-involved/fierce-family-members-transgender-youth/
620 SW 5th Ave. Suite 1210 Portland, OR 97204
- Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) creates numerous opportunities for LGBTQ youth to engage with peers — a supervised, safe space that invites youth to come together for art, music, open mic nights, and drag shows, among other things! The center is also a hub for those seeking counseling, support groups, and/or employment and housing opportunities. Additionally, SMYRC’s Bridge 13 community education program provides an interactive curriculum covering topics like sexual orientation, sexual identity, and gender expression, targeted for youth and youth service providers. Check out their website for more information and to sign up for a training!
1220 SW Columbia, Portland OR 97201
Some additional resources for college-bound people: