Find Supportive LGBTQIA+ Resources in Michigan
Many great strides have been made toward equality and inclusion for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
However, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, people in the community are almost three times more likely to experience major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. “This fear of coming out and being discriminated against for sexual orientation and gender identities, can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse.”
Being part of a positive and supportive community can help. There are excellent resources across Michigan for those in need of community and assistance for everyday life. By making local connections, it can help you lead a healthier and connected life as an LGBTQIA+ individual. Below is a list of just some of the community resources across Michigan:
- Affirmations: This non-profit organization serves individuals of all sexual and gender identities in the heart of Ferndale. With a broad array of activities, discussion and support groups open for everyone, Affirmations aims for a full-community reach.
- Lansing Association for Human Rights: Also known as LAHR, the organization is known as one of the oldest LGBTQIA+ associations in Michigan. Primarily educators, LAHR focuses on educating individuals about the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition, LAHR is involved in advocacy work.
- Grand Rapids Pride Center : The goal behind the Grand Rapids Pride Center is to help increase the knowledge and activism of those in the Grand Rapids area. With social and support groups available, the center has also been able to run education outreach initiatives with students, teachers, mental health professionals and more.
- Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride : Based in Marquette, this group helped organize the first Upper Peninsula Pride Fest in the summer of 2014. Now, the organization helps to provide resources for the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as hosting community activities and events to increase awareness and inclusion in the U.P.
- Keweenaw Pride: This Houghton-based Michigan Tech student-run group is an excellent resource for those in need of a safe place for support. With various events hosted throughout the year, there are excellent opportunities to become leaders within the organization.
- Perceptions: Located in Midland and serving the Great Lakes Bay region, Perceptions focuses on the promotion of acceptance. Working closely with Equality Michigan, Perceptions offers many opportunities to become involved, whether you are part of the LBGTQIA+ community or an ally. With discussion groups, speaker events and charitable work, the group constantly works to make continuous strides.
- OutFront Kalamazoo: A staple LGBTQIA+ resource center for the community, OutFront Kalamazoo provides a range of opportunities for all ages and sexual/gender individuals who seek a community of acceptance. In addition, OutFront has a variety of partnerships for workshops that can help those who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence or other issues.
- Jim Toy Community Center: Serving the members of Washtenaw County for over 25 years, the Jim Toy Community Center is an informational resource center and provides education and social events for both the LGBTQIA+ community and allies. Some of the many groups and programs involved with the Ann Arbor-based community center include the Rainbow Book Club, Gay Business Networking, LGBTQ Know Your Rights (KYR) Project and more.
- LGBT Detroit: This non-profit group’s mission is to increase awareness and support for the city’s dynamic LGBTQIA+ culture. One of the most important aspects of the organization is how they continually use education programs to inform Detroit about the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.
For more information about local LGBTQIA+ centers and to find one near you, go to equalitymi.org/resources.
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Photo credit: Elvert Barnes