To spare you the tears (and the years of therapy), let's just say that my "coming out" experience was nothing like I had expected. Though some of my friends and family tried to be there for me, no one really had the tools to make me feel safe and validated. So, no matter where you're at in your queer journey, if you don't feel supported after coming out, I get it. I, like, really get it. Luckily, you can turn to invaluable resources after coming out.
Let's get one thing straight: Though "coming out" can feel super lonely for some,you are a flawless angel, and you are not alone. From law centers and social justice non-profits to internet communities, there are tons of queer organizations and communities out there for you; you just need to know where to look. The queer community is as versatile as it is powerful. Maybe you need help changing your name or feeling safe in your workspace. Perhaps you're looking for educational pamphlets to give your friends and family. Whatever the case, queer resources span from political advocacy to religious centers to straight-up social gatherings.
And if you're looking to connect with more queer people or you'd like to read some literature about coming out, check out these 17 queer communities and organizations.
The Trevor Project is an amazing queer org that specializes in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for queer people under 25. In addition to their incredible activism (including their new coming out handbook!), they have a number of resources for younger queer people, including TrevorSpace, an affirming international community queer people ages 13 to 24. Just like Facebook, you can join different groups, "friend" and follow others, create "events," and post your own statuses. You can even set a profile picture and cover photo. Mine is Kyle Richards and Chandler Bing taking a Cosmo quiz!
Described on its website as, "A lo-fi, text-based dating and social app for LGBTQ, based on old-school newspaper personals" PERSONALS is an Instagram-based community for LGBTQ people, gender-nonconforming and non-binary babes, and lesbians. If you've always been considered an "old soul," but you still kind of love Instagram (@ me), PERSONALS may be just what you're looking for. Though many of the posts are romantic, tons are from people looking to find queer friends and community near them, too.
3. It Gets Better Project
The queer glow-up is real y'all. If you're looking for community or encouragement, the It Gets Better Project, is a non-profit queer org dedicated to uplifting, empowering, and connecting queer youth. Once solely a social media campaign (#itgetsbetter), the project is now a huge multi-media platform with online and IRL programming, a network of international affiliates, and links to tons of community-based service providers.
4. Free Mom Hugs
I'm not crying — you're crying! (I am very much crying.) Free Mom Hugs is a non-profit organization run by queer-affirming parents and allies so that all queer people can feel loved and accepted by parental figures. If you've been kicked out of your home, are looking for financial assistance, clothing, help changing your name, or just need a hug from a mom, consider Free Mom Hugs extra parents who want to help you along the way.
5. I’m Here, I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?
Lee Wind on YouTube
Though there's no shortage of amazing queer support resources on the internet, queer literature is kind of the OG. I’m Here, I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? is a super detailed and lengthy blog of reading lists and queer literature recommendations by queer author Lee Wind. You can sign up for their monthly newsletters and subscribe to the blog to get updates.
6. Transgender Law Center (TLC)
Sure, TLC is home to some of the best shows on television (Sister Wives, ILY). But I'm not talking about the TV channel. Did you know that TLC also stands for the Transgender Law Center, the largest trans-led organization in the U.S.? TLC is there to help you at any stage of coming out as a trans or gender-nonconforming person, from helping you secure housing to keeping your safe at school or work or assisting you with name changes or other identity documents.
7. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)
IMHNBO (in my humble, non-binary opinion) trans women of color are why we all have modern LGBTQ rights movements and organizations. If you're not familiar with the work of absolute icon Sylvia Rivera, here's the 411: Rivera was a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and remains one of the most influential queer rights activists of all time. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to increase the visibility and safety of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. With legal services, training resources, and events, the SRLP is there to help you feel supported and empowered.
8. Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI)
A friend of Sylvia Rivera and an icon in her own right, Marsha P. Johnson's legacy has also shaped every modern queer-rights movement and organization. Known to many as "Saint Marsha," Johnson was a veteran in stonewall riots and an incredibly influential activist. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) is a community and advocacy organization working to protect and defend black trans people. The MPJI hosts events and trainings as well as artist fellowships and various community collations.
Based in Philadelphia, Galaei is a "social justice organization for queer Latin@ people." With a number of youth programs, HIV education and prevention, peer-based support for trans people, and cultural literacy trainings, they are dedicated to supporting and uplifting queer Latinx people.
10. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a social justice org focusing on Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander LGBTQ rights. They're a hub for trainings, meetings, and have annual conferences and summits.
11. The Religious Institute
The Religious Institute is a multi-faith org that advocates for queer liberation and reproductive justice in various faith and religious communities. They're a great resource for various ally trainings and workshops and can connect you with a ton of queer people and allies.
12. Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity
Started in 2013, the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) is an organization for supporting, empowering, and connecting LGBTQ Muslim people. As the mission statement reads, "We aim to increase the acceptance of gender and sexual diversity within Muslim communities and to promote a progressive understanding of Islam that is centered on inclusion, justice, and equality." They have a Facebook group, a Twitter, a list of resources, and host an annual retreat for queer Muslim people.
13. The "Not All Like That” (NALT) Christians Project
She kissed a girl. And she liked it. From the founder of the NALT Christians Project. http://fb.me/61IyRyZyg
The “Not All Like That” (NALT) Christians Project is a community of queer-identifying and queer-affirming Christians who share videos of themselves talking about why they support queer rights and their own experiences being queer and Christian. They have a Facebook group and resources to host a "NALT" event at your own church or faith community.
Started in 1996, Keshet is a national organization working for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in all parts of Jewish life, from synagogues, and Hebrew schools to other communities. Leading a number of queer-rights campaigns and hosting all sorts of queer-friendly events (from text studies and holiday celebrations to fun outings), Keshet works to empower and connect LGBTQ Jewish people and their friends and family.
15. Vine & Fig
I’m Catholic and Trans.
New video by @MeredithKuzma explores what it is like the be a queer Catholic and how allies can help!
My hippie aunt Cathy told me about Vine & Fig (we email weekly about queer Catholic stuff), and I literally talk about it all the time. It's an online space for queer Catholics to connect, affirm, and learn from each other's experiences. You can join the "community" (there's a Slack channel and different online groups), and you check out their blogs, podcasts, and tons of resources on their website.
16. Parents, Families/Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Parents, Families/Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) was one of the first organizations in the U.S. for queer people and their families and allies. As their website reads, "PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated, and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed." With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members, PFLAG spans urban centers, rural areas, and all other places across the country. You can find a chapter near you or even apply to start your own. FYI, their website is literally like gay Google, and you can find all sorts of resources, local services, and international connections.
17. The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the biggest LGBTQ advocacy group in the U.S. In addition to their political activism, they have a ton of resources about coming out and connecting with other queer folks. If you're looking to get more involved or to meet more queer people IRL, the HRC has a lot of volunteering opportunities for queer people as well as 30 steering committees across the country. (You can find one near you here!)
No matter who you've expressed your identity to or how you're navigating your "coming out" process, you and your identity are valid and beautiful. From legal councils to online communities, there are tons of amazing resources for queer people. Though coming out isn't always an easy journey, you never need to feel like you're doing it alone.