LGBTQ

The greatest need for LGBTQ people is positive and affirming support from the people around them. The goal of this page is to offer information, ideas, and support that transform every space in our communities into a SAFE space where everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, may simply BE...happy, whole, healthy, and loved.

Mental Illness and LGBTQ - What's the Connection?

There was a time in this country when homosexuality was mistakenly classified as a mental illness. Extensive empirical research came to show that this assumption was wrong. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and in 1973 it was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

There is, however, an unfortunate correlation between mental illness and LGBTQ people. Due to significant physical abuse, verbal harassment, and the disapproval or lack of support from family and friends, LGBTQ people are at a very high risk of mental health concerns and self-destructive behaviors.

Together, we can change the story for LGBTQ people.

Providers

If you provide mental health care, you probably have worked with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or question their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ). You have the responsibility to serve everyone in your care with competence and compassion. Here are a few ways to start.

  • Use intake forms that include questions about sexual orientation/gender identity.
  • Ask questions in a way that avoids implicit assumptions about sexual orientation or gender identity. (e.g., Ask if he or she is dating someone, rather than asking if she has a boyfriend.)
  • Know what to do when someone self-discloses his/her sexual or gender identity. (e.g., Offer support, engage in conversation, maintain privacy, and locate appropriate services.)
  • Call them by their preferred first name and pronoun in accordance with their gender identity or expression.
  • Most importantly, expand your knowledge of LGBTQ issues. Visiting this site is a great start!

Family

As a family member, you may move back and forth between acceptance and denial. But don't underestimate the importance of your support.

Show appreciation for the strength and courage it takes to come out. Use questions like these to help guide your conversation.

  • How long have you known?
  • Is there someone special?
  • Has it been hard for you carrying this secret?
  • Is there some way I can help?
  • Have I ever offended you unknowingly?

Expand your knowledge of LGBTQ issues. Visiting this site is a great start!

Understand the importance of your support. Ideal family responses to a family member who has come out include:

  • Supporting gender expression
  • Welcoming LGBTQ friends/partner
  • Believing in a happy future for them
  • Connecting them with LGBT role models
  • Become an ally and show your support for equality

Friends

When people "come out" or are questioning their sexuality, it can be a scary and lonely road. Being a supportive friend as they make this journey can make all the difference.

Show appreciation for the strength and courage it takes to come out. Offer support, assure confidentiality and listen, listen, listen! Use questions like these to help guide your conversation.

  • How long have you known?
  • Is there someone special?
  • Has it been hard for you carrying this secret?
  • Is there some way I can help?
  • Have I ever offended you unknowingly?

Expand your knowledge of LGBTQ issues. Visiting this site is a great start!

Become an ally. An ally is someone who actively supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) people and works side by side with them to achieve equality.

Respond to Anti-LGBT Bias - Name It, Claim It, and Stop It!

  • Name it: When you witness bias, call the offending party on it by saying, "That term is not cool," or "Using words like that is hurtful and offensive."
  • Claim it: Make it your issue. Say, "People I care about are gay, and I don't like to hear those words."
  • Stop it: Make a request for the behavior to stop by saying, "Please don't use those words," or "Cut it out, please."

Coming Out - The LGBTQ Community

Opening up to the possibility that you may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or even just questioning means opening up to the idea that you're on a path that's your own. No matter what, you have the right to be out, safe and respected.

Coming Out

There is no one right or wrong way to come out. It's a lifelong process of being ever more open and true with yourself and others — done in your own way and in your own time. The Human Right's Campaign developed a Coming Out Brochure (PDF) for planning your coming out conversations with yourself, family and friends. It also provides basic information and resources about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Reaching Out

No matter where you are in your journey, make sure you find a source of support. A friend, a teacher, a counselor, a family member—someone who will be there to provide a safe space for you to be open about your feelings and honest about who you are. If you don't know where to start, check out our list of local resources who can help you.

Know Your Rights

You deserve support and respect in your home, workplace and community. You are also entitled to receive nonjudgmental services from any and all professionals providing you care. You have the right to be heard, to feel supported and to be safe and free from harassment based on your sexual orientation or gender identity.

Hotlines

GLBT National Help Center

1-888-843-4564

Providing free and confidential telephone and internet peer-counseling, information and local resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning callers.

National Runaway Switchboard

1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929

Call the National Runaway Switchboard if you are a teenager who is thinking of running from home, if you have a friend who has run and is looking for help, or if you are a runaway ready to go home.

Trevor Helpline

1-866-4-U-Trevor or 1-866-488-7386

The Trevor Project operates the nations only 24/7 suicide & crisis prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth. If you or a friend are feeling lost or alone call The Trevor Helpline.

GLBT National Youth Talkline

1-800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743)

The GLBT National Youth Talkline provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.

Online Resources

Local

Prism Mental Health, LLC.

www.prismmentalhealth.com

Prism Mental Health LLC provides a warm and accepting therapeutic space for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them, where people of all sexes/genders, sexual orientations, and relationship structures have the freedom and safety to express all of their authentic selves.  Special areas of practice include bisexual issues, mixed orientation marriages, gender transition referrals, and internet-based therapy for people outside the Saint Cloud area.

SCSU LGBT Resource Center

www.stcloudstate.edu/lgbt

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center at St. Cloud State University is dedicated to providing an inclusive and educational environment for all SCSU students, staff, faculty, alumni, allies, and the community at large.

PFLAG

Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the United States.

Email the Local Chapter: pflagstcloud@gmail.com

Regional

OUTFRONT Minnesota

www.outfront.org

OutFront Minnesota's mission is to make our state a place where GLBT Minnesotans have the freedom, power, and confidence to make the best choices for their own lives.

National

Family Acceptance Project

familyproject.sfsu.edu

The Family Acceptance Project is a community research, intervention and education initiative to study the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

GLSEN

www.glsen.org

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Lambda Legal

www.lambdalegal.org

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Matthew Shepard Foundation

www.matthewshepard.org

The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.

The Trevor Project

www.thetrevorproject.org

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Trevor Project operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. If you or a friend are feeling lost or alone, call The Trevor Helpline. There is hope, there is help.

Definitions

Ally: Any non-GLBTQ person who supports and stands up for the rights of GLBTQ people.

Bisexual: A person who is attracted to both men and women.

Closeted/"In the Closet": Describes a person who keeps his/her sexual orientation or gender identity a secret from some or all people.

Coming Out: A life-long process of acknowledging one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity to one's self and/or other people.

Gay: A man whose physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction is to other men. Although this term is typically used to describe men, it can be used for either sex (e.g. gay man, gay woman, gay person).

Gender Expression: The manner in which a person outwardly expresses his/her gender.

Gender Identity: A person's inner sense of self as male, female, or somewhere in between. Most people develop a gender identity that corresponds to their biological sex, but many do not.

GSA: An acronym for Gay-Straight Alliance, which is a club for GLBTQ students and allies.

Homosexual: A clinical term for people who are attracted to members of the same sex.

Homophobia: Fear of lesbians and gay men.

Lesbian: A woman whose physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction is to other women.

LGBTQ: Acronym for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning."

Openly Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender: A person who publicly acknowledges his/her sexual orientation or gender identity.

PFLAG: An acronym for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, which is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the United States.

Queer: An umbrella term used by some LGBTQ youth to refer to themselves.

Questioning: A person who is unsure about his/her sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sexual Orientation: A person's attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex. Includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual.

Transgender: A person whose gender expression at least sometimes runs contrary to what is generally expected of his/her biological sex.

Calendar

25
Oct

CommUNITY Adult Mental Health Initiative Anti-Stigma Committee

CAMHI's Anti-stigma group's monthly meeting is held on the last Wednesday of the month at 1:00 pm ...View details

01
Nov

Training: A Conversation on the Life-Altering Impact of Schizophrenia

This hour presentation is, what the title suggests, a "conversation." Dale will facilitate a conversation and discussion with 3 panel members with lived experience of schizophrenia. The conversation will include questions from the audience. ...View details

02
Nov

CAMHI Joint Powers Board Meeting

CAMHI Joint Powers Board Meeting ...View details

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