LGBTQ people and our families can benefit from professional counseling and support but we need providers who both validate our sexual orientation and gender identify and understand our particular issues. As a start, you might check these help lines, local counseling services, and nationally-based resources.
- If you or someone you know is at risk for self harm or suicide call 911 or immediately contact a 24-Hour Crisis helpline.
- For emergency housing and shelter, dial 211 to connect with Washington’s centralized resource for health and human services information and referrals. This is not 24-hour help line and hold times can be long. See Win211.org for details.
- For non-emergency support over the telephone, consult Non-Urgent Help Lines.
- For information on preventing youth suicide and finding help, consult Youth Suicide Prevention Program, which works to reduce youth suicide in Washington and has resources for LGBTQ youth and their parents.
Counseling and Support
For finding a specific LGBTQ-friendly therapist, the GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality is the world’s largest and oldest association of LGBTQ healthcare professionals and includes an extensive Provider Directory.
For counseling and support groups, you might start with the resources listed here (youth specific and general), which include some that are free or low cost.
Youth Specific Support
These groups provide specific services for youth and young adults. Some LGBTQ youth might also benefit from participating in groups that provide safe and fun spaces to meet and socialize with other queer youth and allies. Consult Safe Space Activities for details.
- Asian Counseling and Referral Service is a Seattle-based support service for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), where clients are served by professional staff who speak the same language and come from the same culture. They offer an array of of child and youth development services.
- Gender Diversity provides monthly support groups for youth, parents, and guardians, which meet at Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Polyclinic Madison Center, and a number of other locations throughout the greater Puget Sound area. In some cases, childcare is available.
- Lambert House is an LGBTQ youth center located in Seattle but also open to Eastside youth. It offers several support groups led by trained volunteers.
- Youthside Services (YES) in Bellevue is a lifeline for Eastside youth and families facing challenges. They offer a range of services for LGBTQ youth, including one-one-one counseling (with a sliding scale) and BGLAD, a free weekly drop-in support open to youth ages 13 to 19 who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as youth who may be questioning or exploring their gender or sexual identities. At BGLAD, youth can meet peers, discuss issues and get support in a safe and confidential environment run by trained professionals. BGLAD meets at YES in Bellevue on Thursdays from 5-7PM.
- Asian Counseling and Referral Service is a Seattle-based support service for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), where clients are served by professional staff who speak the same language and come from the same culture. They offer adult and youth mental health services.
- Gender Diversity is Seattle-based and offers a range services for gender-diverse people and their families, including their annual Gender Odyssey conference and youth and family groups.
- The Ingersoll Gender Center is a Seattle-based organization providing support and education for transgender, trans*, gender variant and genderqueer people, and the people who support them. Ingersoll. They provide a weekly support group and give one-on-one information on healthcare access.
These national organizations contain resources and support for LGBTQ people and their loves ones.
- COLAGE unites children, youth, and adults with one or more LGBTQ parents into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other.
- Gender Equity Resource Center is a community center located at the University of California at Berkeley that is committed to fostering a safe, equitable and inclusive experience for all. Its website provides an extensive glossary as well as FAQs and Brochures.
- Our Family Coalition advances equality and inclusion for LGBTQ families with children through support, education, and advocacy.
- Straight Spouse Network provides personal, confidential support and information to heterosexual spouses/partners, current or former, of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender mates and mixed-orientation or transgender/non-transgender couples for constructively resolving coming-out problems.
For a more complete list of LGBTQ organizations, consult LGBTQ Resources.