A guide to celebrations and resources centering mental wellness in the LGBTQ community in the Bay
By Leah Harris
Happy Pride Month! This Pride season, here’s a roundup of local and national resources that support and promote the mental wellness and social connection of LGBTQ+ folks. Please feel free to share these resources widely.
Black Liberation Event on Juneteenth – Friday, June 18: While not in Alameda, we thought to recommend this event at the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) which will “demonstrate the connection between the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and the struggle for racial justice.” Check back here for more information coming soon!
Oakland Black Pride 2021, June 24 – 27: “Inside/OUT! is the theme of this year’s annual PRIDE event and will take place for the first time during Pride Month. In lieu of a large, centralized event in the Town, Oakland Black Pride will host several smaller events and online panels over the span of four days that celebrate and uplift people who identify as Black and queer.”
Community care across the lifespan
Oakland LGBTQ Center is “dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, our families, and allies, by providing educational, social, and health-related activities, programs and services.” You can access their support groups here.
Our Space is a “vibrant safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 13-24 in Alameda County. As the only LGBTQIA+ provider in South Alameda County, Our Space serves over 400 queer and trans youth each year, with a focus on disconnected LGBTQIA+ youth in the foster system that are at high risk of further isolation and possible homelessness because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression (SOGIE). Approximately 75% of Our Space members are youth of color.”
Peer support groups at the Pacific Center for Human Growth the oldest LGBTQIA+ center in the Bay Area, the third oldest in the nation, and operates the only sliding-scale mental health clinic for LGBTQIA+ and QTBIPOC people and their families in Alameda County.
Elderqueer is an online “gathering space for 40+ queers to connect and build community through conversations about aging in the body, relationships, emotions, transitions, trust, future planning, and cultural relevance.”
Crisis support and suicide prevention
Trans Lifeline (877) 565-8860) is a “peer support and crisis hotline 501 non-profit organization serving transgender people by offering phone support and microgrants. It is the first transgender crisis hotline to exist in the United States as well as Canada. It is also the only suicide hotline whose operators are all transgender.”
The Trevor Project is “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.” 1-866-488-7386 Text Chat
Prevent LGBTQ+ suicide by affirming people’s pronouns. According to the Trevor Project, research indicates a “50% reduction in suicide risk for transgender and nonbinary youth whose community affirms their pronouns.”
Resources for further exploration
- Talking About Your Pronouns Is One Easy Way To Be A Transgender Ally (Forbes)
- Research Brief: Pronouns Usage Among LGBTQ Youth (The Trevor Project)
- National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2021 (The Trevor Project)
- A beginner’s guide on being an ally to trans people (GLAAD)
We hope you enjoyed this roundup of resources to support the well-being of LGBTQ+ people, this Pride season and all year round! Wishing you a safe and joyful Pride Month.
Leah Harris is a non-binary, queer, neurodivergent, disabled Jewish writer, facilitator, and organizer working in the service of truth-telling, justice-doing, and liberation. They’ve had work published in the New York Times, CNN, and Pacific Standard. You can learn more about their work at their website and follow them on Instagram.