New York City is known for its diversity, and few cities have a more active alternate-lifestyles community. Still, even here, life can be challenging for those whose social needs differ from the norm. The support groups and organizations presented in this great city offer support, guidance and a social outlet for people set in the LGBT mold.
Brooklyn Community Pride Center
The Brooklyn Community Pride Center is focused on providing "a safe, common space offering physical and mental health services, social support, recreational and cultural programming, as well as being a hub of information for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and families in Brooklyn." The Center has an impressive calendar of positive events, including bingo, youth groups and educational programs. It also has a variety of community-based projects that provide health and advocacy services for LGBTs of all ages.
Good Shepherd Services (Safe Homes)
Safe Homes helps youths from Brooklyn and The Bronx avoid becoming disconnected from family, school and society. It also helps those who have already become disconnected find ways to reconnect. For those young people whose lives have been made difficult, often times due to people's reactions to their alternate lifestyles, Safe Homes provides the services of offering safety, a sense of belonging and skill-building to help them fit into society.
More: Guide To NYC Pride Week
Identity House offers peer counseling and therapy referrals for adults struggling with their identity, feelings of alienation, relationships and family matters. The facility is non-profit. The walk-in center is open Saturday and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and no appointments are necessary. Stop in any time you have a question or concern. Those at the center can make referrals to approved therapists and offer short-term counseling in-house, without going into regular therapy. Identity House also hosts special events so check the website frequently to stay up to date.
Lambda Legal's site says it best: "Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work." They cite cases such as the successful Lawrence vs. Texas which outlawed "sodomy laws" as well as current efforts to end discrimination against the LGBT community. Lambda works on national, state and local levels, fighting for LGBT rights across the nation. However, Lambda's home base in in NYC.
Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE)
Senior citizens with alternate lifestyles have different needs than the young. That's where SAGE comes in. This service has an impressive events calendar, offers everything from massage and yoga to museum tours and visiting-nurse services. Naturally, these events focus on the elderly; generally 50 and older. Seen as a safety net for aging LGBTs, SAGE offers comfort and a sense of community to those living in the city.
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