LGBTQ+ Spiritual and Social Support

What is community?cards

Community is a hard thing to define but an important thing to be a part of. Community can be brought together by many things, including geographical proximity, shared values, and identities, as well as a shared appreciation and affinity for like things and ideas. Social and spiritual connection is often a way into community. Whether it is through church, sports clubs, after-school activities, or social gatherings, connecting to people and community is vital to living a healthy and well life.

For LGBTQ+ people, finding community has been a life-saving practice. Community can be a response to discrimination, stigma, trauma, and social isolation, which all disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ people. 

Where to Go for Community

The form of a community is less significant than the individuals who comprise it and ideals that motivate it. Be it online or on-the-ground, sustainable communities have been forged through the collective labor and love of those who consider themselves to be a part of them, even in the face of changing and challenging political, economic, and cultural forces. These contexts can provide opportunities for some as they foreclose chances for others, and what might seem like a time of progress might also include the repeal of already assumed wins.

Although the places and spaces of  LGBTQ+ community formation continue to shift because of the internet and covid, there is no doubt that some will still be found in physical through art galleries at the Montgomery County Historical Society or through venues selected through the PA LGBT History Network. In this way, the landmarks of LGBTQ+ history will still be remembered in parade routes in Philadelphia, New Hope, Phoenixville, Lansdale, and coming this year, Hatboro, as well as informal gathering spots in places such as Conshohocken (Guerilla Gay Bar) and well-known LGBTQ+ youth groups in Doylestown (Rainbow Room) and Hatboro (SAGA).

Below are groups and organizations that organize, host, and facilitate a number of activities and events designed to engage local LGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and build supportive communities for everyone - lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, queer, gender non-conforming, etc. The list is not entire, and you should consult local LGBTQ+ organizations for new and upcoming events and activities.

Spiritual Support

  1. Jewish LGBTQ+ Community
  2. Muslim LGBTQ+ Community
  3. Open and Affirming Places of Worship
  4. Other Resources

Welcoming Shuls: The Project 

With the generous support from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Eshel has embarked on a multi-year project to explore which North American synagogues and leaders would welcome LGBTQ+ people and to what degree.

Keshet

Keshet works for the full equality of all LGBTQ+ Jews and our families in Jewish life.

Congregations in Philadelphia

Congregation ShivteiYeshuronEzras Israel

The South Philadelphia Shtiebel

Congregation Rodeph Shalom Prism

The mission of pRiSm is to strengthen Jewish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Allied (LGBTQIA) life and identity at RS and in the world. pRiSm strives to create an inclusive congregation through education, advocacy, and celebration.

Social Support

Community Centers and Support Groups

Location Contact Information
Ambler Counseling Center
Who am I and what does that even mean? Identity exploration and conviction is a cornerstone for teen growth and development. The teen LGBTQIA group creates a space to support safety and freedom in being who YOU are, wherever you’re at in your journey of self. Alongside a young and relatable group facilitator with familiarity in LGBTQIA themes, group members will explore relationships, gain a better understanding of self through community, take opportunities to vent in a contained space, and process out issues that hit home for teens who are just planting their first seeds or teens who are firmly rooted in the LGBTQIA community.
1018 N. Bethlehem Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
267-664-0734
Bradbury Sullivan Center
Support groups and community groups include cancer, tweens, spirituality, medical marijuana, managing emotions, parents of trans kids, queer community, legal, bereavement, transmasculine, transfeminine, and more!
522 W. Maple St.
Allentown, PA 18101
610-347-9988
CHOP Gender & Sexuality Clinic
Monthly support groups offered
267-426-5980
Gay Straight Alliance Network
GSA clubs, or GSAs for short, are student-run organizations that unite LGBTQ+ and allied youth to build community and organize around issues impacting them in their schools and communities.
info@gsanetwork.org
LGBT Center of Reading (Berks County)
1501 N. 13th Street
Reading, Pennsylvania 19604
610-864-5800
Qmmunity Alliance (Ascension United Church of Christ) 1700 West Main St. Jeffersonville, PA 19403
SAGA Community Center
LGBT+ and allies, all ages welcome!
350 S. York Road
Hatboro, PA 19040
Sage: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders
*Sign up for connect and receive weekly phone calls from volunteers to help with Covid-19 isolation. 
connect@sageusa.org
The Trevor Project 
LGBTQ+ youth and their allies can find answers to frequently asked questions and explore resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and more! Trevor’s counselors are just a phone call, chat, or text away. You are not alone. *Also offers a suicide hotline
Online Support
TransCentralPA
Monthly meetings offered at Metropolitan Community Church in Harrisburg, PA. For transgender and non-binary individuals 18 & older
 
William Way LGBT Community Center (Philadelphia)
1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-732-2220
info@waygay.org

Resources for LGBTQ+ YouthTwo non-binary students doing work together in class

LGBTQ+ Youth Groups

The Attic Youth Center 

The Attic creates opportunities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ+) youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth in society. 

Mainline Youth Alliance

MYA provides a safe and healthy environment for their LGBTQ+ youth. MYA meets each Friday evening from 7-9:30 pm. There is no charge for admission and like any group, where teens gather, snacks are served! From time to time, we welcome parents to join in for an activity of fundraising or discussion – and those will be posted on our calendar in advance.

The Rainbow Room

The Rainbow Room is an LGBTQA youth program that provides a supportive and empowering environment for youth ages 14-21. Weekly meetings are a free and confidential place where you can learn, build support networks, and have fun. Program topics include: sexuality education, life skills, guest speakers, game nights, community building, and activities.

Parents & Friends of Lesbian & Gays (PFLAG)

Location Address Contact Information
PFLAG Bucks County

Warminster, Pennsylvania 18974 267-396-7865
PFLAG Kulpsville Harleysville, Pennsylvania 19438 pflagkulpsville@gmail.com
PFLAG Media 

145 West Rose Tree Road
Media, Pennsylvania 19063
610-368-2021
PFLAG Philadelphia 3907 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
215-572-1833
PFLAG Royersford

452 S. Lewis Rd.
Royersford, 19468
610-831-5455
PFLAG West Chester/Chester County

1201 North Chester Road
West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380
484-459-4078