Ryleigh shares the importance of mental health and affirming spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386. The trained counselors of The Trevor Project are there to support you 24/7.
Being true to yourself can be a very lonely experience if you don't have a supportive, affirming community to share it with. Below are a few community groups that offer support groups or community-building spaces. Please look into their current COVID policies.
- MOZAIC: Mozaic is a wellness program and community space for transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people.
- Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC): This intentional, expressive community is youth-led. Meaning everything you'll find at Kaleidoscope is designed for, and by young people like you. Their diverse, experienced staff work alongside queer youth to create free programming, housing, and support services here in Columbus, and all over the state of Ohio.
- QPOC is an affinity space for queer and trans youth of color, ages 12-20. Message @KYCohio on Instagram for a Zoom link or sign-up filling out the form.
- Genderscope: If you're trans, non-binary, gender variant, genderqueer, gender questioning, or any other non-cis identity, this space is just for you! Build new friendships as you share in experience and discuss topics related to gender identity and expression. For ages 12-20. Message @KYCohio on Instagram for a Zoom link or sign-up by filling out the form.
- KYC Discord Server: general chat space for LGBTQ+ youth 12-20. Sign-up by filling out the form or messaging their Instagram @KYCohio
- Check out Kaleidoscope's Speaking Queerly podcast which examines pop culture, news, politics, and other topics that affect the LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.
- OCTOPUS LLC: Nonbinary Peer Support Groups (event pages via Facebook)
Check out our LGBTQ community page to hear other messages of solitary and to share your own experience.
Read others' stories and share your own on Coming Out.
Coming out is a very personal, unique experience. No two stories are the same. It's important to come out on your own terms and take care of yourself in the process. We highly encourage you to check out the resources below to help you prepare.
- GLSEN Coming Out Resources
- Coming Out: A Handbook for Young People by The Trevor Project
- Read others' stories and share your own on Coming Out
If you've experienced verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, we encourage you to reach out to our friends at BRAVO for support.
If you are experiencing homelessness and between the ages of 14-24, contact our friends at Star House to learn about their drop-in center for youth.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 24, Kaleidoscope Youth Center's housing programs provide supportive housing for young people experiencing homelessness or unsafe housing.
Mental health affects everyone, across all walks of life, but due to discrimination, mental health challenges are more likely to affect LGBTQ individuals. This can show up in many ways like depression, anxiety or suicidal ideation. Finding a supportive, affirming adult in your life can be a key factor in leading a healthy, fulfilling life. This person can be anyone from a friend or family member, to a neighbor or teacher. They can help you find the support you need, mental health or otherwise. If you do not have a supportive adult, below are some helpful resources to find support.
- What are my rights at school?
- Start a GSA or Register an Existing GSA with the Ohio GSA Network: These student-led clubs are leading the way to make schools inclusive and safe for all students. Bullying should always be taken seriously. It can have much more serious consequences for LGBTQ youth. It's important to talk to any supportive adults in your life.
- Make your GSA more inclusive for Trans and GNC peers
Also see our Spiritual and Religious Trauma resources below.
Inclusive sexual education is unfortunately lacking in many school systems. It's important to have an affirming space to ask questions relevant to your identity and experience to stay healthy and safe. If you have questions, we encourage you to check out some of the Health Resources below and, if you feel safe doing so, reach out to a supportive adult in your life.
Trans Youth Resources
- Building an Affirming Community
- Genderscope: If you're trans, non-binary, gender variant, genderqueer, gender questioning, or any other non-cis identity, this space is just for you! Build new friendships as you share in experience and discuss topics related to gender identity and expression. For ages 12-20. Message @KYCohio on Instagram for a Zoom link.
- COLAGE unites people with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and/or asexual parent into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other to be skilled, self-confident, and just leaders in our collective communities.
- OCTOPUS LLC
- Trans Peer Support Group for POC (event pages via Facebook)
- Transgender Peer Support Groups (event pages via Facebook)
- In Transition? Join the Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Peer Support Group for folks in gender affirming medical and/or social transition or thinking about transition, Tuesdays, 4-5pm (password: care4all). For more info, email email@example.com. New to GoToMeet? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts.
- Follow TransOhio on Facebook for updates on the Trans community
- Trans Legal Resources
- Know Your Rights: A Guide for Transgender and GNC Students (ACLU & GLSEN)
- Trans Know Your Rights (Equality Ohio Legal Clinic)
- Protesting while Trans: Know Your Rights
- Other Resources
- OCTOPUS LLC
- Transform (Cincinnati): Trans and Gender Non-Conforming wardrobe support
Spiritual and Religious Resources
- Believe Out Loud | Welcoming Church Map
- Q Christian
- National LGBTQ Task Force – Institute for Welcoming Resources
- Q Christian Fellowship: Online/in person community for LGBTQ+ Christians
- Check out Church Clarity to learn where specific churches stand on different issues.
- Imaan: LGBTQI Muslim Support Group
- Al-Fitrah Foundation: A faith-based organization that uses spiritual tools to provide acceptance and healing to the queer Muslim community
- Muslims for Progressive Values
- Queer Jihad
- Other Religious Resources
- Ending and Reporting Conversion Therapy: The goal of this practice is to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and is particularly harmful to youth and has often led to suicide.
- HRC – Religion and Faith
- PFLAG – Faith in Our Families
- Transfaith: a national non-profit that is led by transgender people. We are a multi-tradition, multi-racial, multi-gender organization working to support transgender spiritual/cultural workers and their leadership in community.
- Religious Institute – LGBTQ Equality
- For the Bible Tells Me So: follows the story of a family who lost a gay child to suicide and offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.
- Fish Out of Water: is a 2009 documentary film by director Ky Dickens. The film showcases the seven Bible verses that are most often used to condemn homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Dickens spoke with ministers on both sides of the debate surrounding homosexuality and the Bible for the film.
- Equitas Health LGBTQ+ Affirming Provider Guide
- Patient Empowerment Materials: Know how to support yourself when looking for care
- Intimate Partner Violence and Survivor Support
- The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) provides comprehensive individual and community programs for survivor advocacy and support to LGBTQI survivors of hate and bias violence, discrimination, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault.
If you or someone you know has experienced violence, threats, or intimidation BRAVO can work with you to help ensure your safety and provide the support you need.
- Sexual Health
- HIV/STI Support and Resources (Please note: HIV prevention materials & information may not be appropriate for all ages.)
- HIV Supportive Services at Equitas Health
- HIV/STI Testing & Prevention at Equitas Health
- HIV Testing at Mozaic
- PrEP Education and Referrals at Mozaic
- If you are still on the fence about getting tested, look at what other community members have written about taking charge of their health. PROMISE is a series of stories created by Mozaic where members of the community can share their hardships and triumphs. You can read PROMISE stories here.
- Ohio HIV Law Pocket Guide
- Equality Ohio Legal Clinic
- Name and Gender Change Legal Clinic
- Ohio Name and Gender Change Documents (adult & minors)
- Lambda Legal
- Ohio Health Modernization Movement: HIV Criminalization Educational Resources