There are many organizations in the Bay Area offering various types of support to LGBTQ clients. Selecting one of the categories immediately below will take you to more detailed links in each area.
GETTING HELP AND SUPPORT
The SF Bay Area has many agencies devoted to the physical and mental health of LGBTQ clients. The list below includes some of these.
Bay Area Open Minds
Castro ASCA (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse)
A supportive and safe group meeting for adult survivors of child abuse. LGBT-inclusive, all adult survivors of abuse are welcome to participate. The group is co-facilitated by peers. No observers, please. We gather every Tuesday, from 6:30 PM to about 8:30 PM (501 Castro Street - Castro Community Room [upstairs]). Newcomers: please arrive early.
Chrysalis Community Counseling Services
Since 1982, Chrysalis Community Counseling Services has provided high-quality, affordable feminist counseling to all members of our diverse community in Sonoma County. Founded on the feminist principle of inclusiveness, we welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender expressions. We are honored to be a catalyst for individual healing and empowerment, as well as social change. In addition, we provide training, consultation and supervision in feminist therapy to licensed therapists and advanced counseling interns.
Community United Against Violence (CUAV)
Provides a number of services to help combat hate-crimes and violence in the LGBTQ community including (a) support for survivors of violence or abuse, (b) trainings focusing on developing resources to support LGBTQ safety, and (c) community coalition-building and mobilization.
Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA)
CORA is the only agency in San Mateo County with the sole purpose of serving victims/survivors of domestic violence/abuse. It is a multicultural agency committed to serving victims/survivors, regardless of age, ethnicity/race, financial status, language, sexual orientation, immigration status, class, religion, gender, mental or physical ability. They offer free and confidential emergency, intervention and prevention services, including the county's only emergency shelter and transitional housing for victims/survivors and services in Spanish and English.
Dimensions Clinic at Castro-Mission Health Center
The mission of Dimensions' Mental Health team is to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning individuals lead healthy and connected lives, strengthening our diverse communities. By approaching health holistically and valuing the whole human experience, clients at Dimensions can have their mental health, as well as medical needs, supported all under one roof.
Gay & Lesbian Medical Association/Gay & Lesbian Physician Referral
GLMA works to maximize the quality of health and health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, to promote full civil rights, and to foster a professional climate in which our diverse members can achieve their full potential.
Lyon-Martin Health Services
Provides excellent healthcare to women, lesbians, and transgender people in a safe and compassionate environment, with sensitivity to sexual orientation and gender identity; services are regardless of their ability to pay. Serves women and transgender people (MTF and FTM) 18 and older, especially those who are low-income, people of color, lesbian or bisexual, HIV-positive, and/or older.
Oakland LGBTQ Community Center
Opened in September 2017, the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center is dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the well-being of Oakland’s LGBTQ+ individuals, families and allies. It provides social, educational, and health-related programs, services and activities.
Pacific Center for Human Growth, East Bay GBLT Community Center
Dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of our LGBTQ community, Pacific Center offers affordable, dependable, and effective counseling when you need a listening ear and caring support. Also provides peer support groups.
A nonprofit counseling agency providing quality, low-cost mental health and substance abuse services to the LGBTQQI community of the Bay Area. Individual, couples and group therapy available.
Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County
The Rainbow Community Center (RCC) is the only organization in Contra Costa County solely focused on serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. Their priorities are to build services for LGBT youth, seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS and to develop community building efforts that will diminish the sense of isolation and promote greater acceptance of all LGBTQ people.
Tom Waddell Urban Health Clinic
Offers comprehensive primary care to transgendered people while addressing the unique needs of the population.
Woodleaf Eating Disorder Center
The most individualized intensive outpatient setting for eating disorder treatment in San Francisco. Day and evening programs available for adolescents and adults; many years' experience working with LGBTQ clients, including specialization in male eating disorders. Insurance accepted.
Our Families: Both of Birth & of Choice
Many LGBT individuals need support in coming out to the birth families, or dealing with the reactions they get when they do. For the families we create by choice (partners, children, friends) we sometimes also need support. These organizations are a good place to begin.
Children of Lesbians & Gays Everywhere (COLAGE)
COLAGE unites people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer parents into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other to be leaders in our collective communities.
Our Family Coalition
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Committed to help change negative attitudes and to create an environment of understanding so that all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people can live with dignity and respect. Visit the PGLAG website to learn about the chapter closest to you.
SFSU Psychology Department Training Clinic
The SFSU Psychology Department Training Clinic is a low-fee clinic available to the public. The clinic is currently seeking child clients (especially in the 4-to-11-year-old age range), and people interested in relationship/couples therapy (including those in plural/non-traditional relationship configurations). The clinic offers free child and relationship/couples therapy services.
ALCOHOL / DRUG / SUBSTANCE USE
Alcoholics Anonymous - Intercounty Fellowship Serving San Francisco & Marin
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Those who feel that their alcohol consumption has become a problem can gain support here. Membership is based upon a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; it is non-profit and self-supporting through members' contributions.
Al-Anon and Alateen in Northern California
Al-Anon meetings are for anyone whose life has been affected by someone else's drinking. Al-Ateen is for anyone who is legally a minor who believes their life has been affected by someone else's drinking or drug use. Members share their experiences, strengths and hopes in order to solve the issues in their lives that have emerged from close relationships with someone who is a problematic drinker/alcoholic.
Foundations San Francisco
Foundations San Francisco's track for LGBTQ individuals focuses on LGBTQ-sensitive care that includes weekly breakout groups, psychoeducational groups and a 12-week curriculum.
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of those for whom drugs had become a major problem. In their own words "We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean." If you have a problem with drugs or have trouble staying clean, please call the NA hotline.
The PRIDE Institute is the nation's first and leading exclusively LGBTQ drug and alcohol treatment program.
Resources for LGBTQ treatment of addictions of all kinds.
Tweaker.org exists "because we know that gay guys use crystal meth. We're not here to promote meth or glorify meth use. We're not here to condemn or criticize meth use. Instead, we're here to provide information, support, and resources for guys who've decided that they need to manage, change or stop their use of meth."
These resources are for those who are HIV-negative and those who are HIV+. Some organizations provide support and services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Others are dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV in the LGBTQ community. Several focus on the particular needs of members of specific cultures/ethnicities.
UCSF Alliance Health Project (UCSF/AHP)
(Formerly the UCSF AIDS Health Project.) Provides peer support groups and therapy for HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals, and for couples.
AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP)
ALRP assists persons living with HIV or AIDS with legal matters. ALRP also does trainings for lawyers on specific issues facing persons living with HIV/AIDS. One day a week (Wednesdays), ALRP has office hours at the AIDS Project of the East Bay
Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Provides health and HIV/STD information targeting the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
This project uses a staff of paid and volunteer youth to help support HIV positive youth 26 and under.
Black Coalition on AIDS, Inc.
Provides services through education and advocacy to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in the black community.
Provides HIV/AIDS services primarily for the Latino community.
Native American AIDS Project
Offers services to the Native American community living with HIV/AIDS.
Positive Resource Center
Mission is to assist people affected by HIV/AIDS through culturally appropriate counseling, education and advocacy in making informed choices which maximize available benefits and employment opportunities.
Provides vital information on the diagnosis and treatment of HIV disease and Hepatitis C. Advocates for enlightened regulatory, research, and funding policies. Inspires people to make informed choices and to choose hope over despair.
Project Open Hand
Delivers meals and groceries to people living with HIV/AIDS, seniors and critically ill persons under 60 years old.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Provides various services for those living with HIV/AIDS.
The Shanti Project
Offers various resources and counseling to those living with life-threatening or chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS or breast cancer, and their caregivers. They developed an important model of peer support, which pervades both their philosophy as an organization and their trainings.
Stop AIDS Project
See SF AIDS Foundation's website. STOP AIDS began at the height of the AIDS epidemic, dedicated to preventing HIV transmission among all gay, bisexual & transgendered men in San Francisco through multi-cultural, community-based organizing. Their HIV prevention programs and services became part of SFAF in 2011.
RESOURCES FOR PROFESSIONALS
Looking for a professional resource, and want to work with someone who will understand your needs? These LGBT professional organizations are a great place to start, whether you are looking to find a provider, or wanting to network with others.
Bay Area Career Women (BACW)
BACW is a 501C 3 not-for-profit organization where women who love women come to network, to socialize and to give back to the community.
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
BALIF takes action on questions of law and justice that affect the LGBT community; strengthens professional and social ties among LGBT members of the legal profession; builds coalitions with other legal organizations to combat all forms of discrimination; promotes the appointment of LGBT attorneys to the judiciary, public agencies and commissions in the Bay Area; funds scholarships for LGBT laws students and fellowships for public interest lawyers working on LGBT issues, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information of concern to members of the LGBT legal community. Also submits amicus briefs in cases affecting the LGBT community, sponsors resolutions to the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations, provides LGBT-focused continuing legal education opportunities and endorses candidates for judicial offices and legal elected positions.
Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) - The Bar Association of San Francisco
Provide various legal services and helps to achieve equality in the legal profession for minorities, women, gay men and lesbians.
This website, operated as part of The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health in Boston, is a valuable resource for professionals to learn more about tobacco use and cessation programs specific to the LGBTQ communities. It includes reports, papers, guidance in running groups, and links to programs for those seeking to quit.
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Organization for Women (SF NOW)
Founded in 1966, NOW has grown into the largest women's rights organization in this country. SF NOW is one of the largest chapters in NOW.
San Francisco Women's Center, The Women's Building
The Women's Building is the only place in San Francisco that offers both the physical and emotional space for women, regardless of age, sexuality, race, or class, to build their own community.
WPATH is an international, multidisciplinary professional association whose mission is to promote evidence-based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy and respect in transgender health. Its guidelines for standards of health care for transgender people are utilized as basic guidelines by a broad spectrum of professionals. Professionals can join through the website, learn about organizational events, and about publications. Its website also offers the ability for the general public to search for a provider with expertise in transgender concerns, and a list of resources (including various organizations and service centers).
Within the LGBTQ family there are many distinct communities, made unique by culture, age, identity, or lifestyle. Some of these resources are listed here.
Gay Asian Pacific Alliance
An organization dedicated to furthering the interests of gay & bisexual Asian/Pacific Islanders by creating awareness, by developing a positive collective identity and by establishing a supportive community.
Gay Buddhist Sangha
A group of LGBTQI people and their allies who come together to support one another's practice of various Buddhist traditions, and support one another as they cultivate the practice of these teachings. Offers meditation and mindfulness practice, classes, retreats and other activities.
Gay Middle Eastern Men's Support Group
This peer-led group provides a safe, confidential setting for gay/queer men of direct Middle Eastern descent to discuss personal experiences and issues based being both gay and Middle Eastern. It is a place for belonging, healing, personal growth and friendship. Meets in San Francisco.
Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC)
LYRIC brings LGBTQQ youth togther to build a peer-based community that empowers them to end isoation; create a progressive queer youth voice; increase well-beng and self-esteem; and change the communities in which they live.
Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of San Francisco
Located in the heart of the Castro, MCCSF is a 35-year old community built on a foundation of being "A House of Prayer for All People". MCC defines itself as a progressive church, influenced by liberation, inclusive, feminist as well as traditional Christian theologies. We celebrate God's image as both feminine and masculine, and the embodied integration of sexuality and spirituality.
Founded in San Francisco in 1998, Openhouse is a community-based organization working to provide housing, services and community programs for LGBTQ seniors. They are (a) building housing welcoming to LGBTQ older adults; (b) providing housing and service clinics to provide LGBTQ seniors with resources and support to find affordable, stable housing & health and social services; (c) offering LGBTQ-affirming programs; and (d) providing weekly support/companionship to LGBTQ seniors through a volunteer program.
San Francisco Leather
Listings of events, bars, gatherings, photos of the SF Leather Community.
TransGender San Francisco
Offers services and support to the transgender community.
ADVOCACY AND SERVICES
These organizations either advocate for LGBTQ rights on local, state, and national issues; or work to provide information and services to the LGBTQ community. Each one has a specific focus, as indicated.
California Alliance for Pride and Equality (CAPE)
CAPE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure the dignity, safety, equality and civil rights of all LGBTQ Californians. They were on the forefront of the California marriage equality movement, and continue to do direct lobbying to the state government, educating the public about the communities' issues and concerns, and working with other communities to promote equality and understanding.
California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership
Funded by the California Dept. of Public Health/Tobacco Control Section, the LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership works to counteract, through education and advocacy, the impact tobacco use has had on the LGBTQ communities.
Equal Rights Advocates
Begun in 1994 to support, educate and advocate for the rights and lives of trans individuals and their significant others, friends, family and allies, it is now a national, federally-funded transgender anti-violence organization that provides services to trans, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary victims of sexual assault; training and technical assistance to providers; and a variety of available training materials.
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Dedicated to ensuring fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of the LGBTQ community in the media and to eliminate homophobia.
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Historical Society of Northern California
Preserves, collects and promotes an active knowledge of the arts, history, and culture of sexually diverse people.
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
National organization working to ensure that every member of the school community is respected no matter what their sexual orientation or identity. Provides advocacy, information, a national conference, online resources, etc.
Immigration Legal Resource Center
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) works with and educates immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Its website includes the above webpage, which has information about LGBT immigrant rights. Their Contact Us webpage also includes links to resources that provide direct legal services assistance.
Out And Equal Workplace Advocates
Goal is to provide services and programs that promote equality for all individuals, especially the LGBTQ community, families, and allies, in the workplace.
TGI Justice Project
The TGI (Transgender, Gender-Variant & Intersex) Justice Project is a group of transgender people -- inside and outside of prison -- working in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience in the fight against imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty and societal pressures. They serve low income transgender women of color and their families who are in prison, formerly incarcerated, or targeted by the police.
Transgender Law Center
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC connects transgender people and their families to technically sound and culturally competent legal services; increases acceptance and enforcement of laws and policies that support California's transgender communities; and works to change laws and systems that fail to incorporate the needs and experiences of transgender people.
Usually in response to local events, LGBTQ communities throughout the Bay Area have united at various times to create centers. These organizations provide meeting spaces, a broad referral network, and a sense of community. Call or visit your local one today to find out how it can help meet your needs.
Billy DeFrank Center, San Jose GLBT Community Center
Provides a broad array of opportunities and programs, a dedicated and caring staff, a corps of volunteers, and a spirit of community that celebrates the many facets of our broad-based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender constituency.
Pacific Center for Human Growth, East Bay GBLT Community Center
Rainbow Community Center – Contra Costa
The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County fosters a sense of community among LGBTQ persons and enhances their lives by providing social opportunities, health and wellness services, political and educational programs, and is guided by a commitment to acceptance and equality.
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
The Center provides San Francisco with a vast array of programs and services for LGBTQ people, their friends and families. Our programs are unique because The Center is unique! In addition to our own programs, we collaborate with many organizations serving youth, the elderly, parents and marginalized communities by providing legal, health, social, educational and cultural services that benefit the entire lifespan of LGBTQ people.
Spectrum, Marin GBLT Community Center
Founded in 1982, Spectrum's mission is to strengthen, mobilize, and serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people, and promote acceptance, understanding, and full inclusion in Marin County and the North Bay.
National Organizations can be helpful in addressing legal concerns and human rights situations. Many also have local offices. These are also excellent resources for remaining up-to-date on current issues affecting LGBTQ communities.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve protections and guarantees regarding your First Amendment rights, your right to equal protection under the law, your right to due process, and your right to privacy.
Deaf Queer Resource Center
A national nonprofit resource and information center for, by and about the Deaf Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex and Questioning communities (hereafter referred to as the "Deaf Queer community").
Human Rights Campaign
Work for lesbian and gay equal rights.
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
IGLHRC's mission is to protect and advance the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.
Intersex Society of North America
Devoted to systemic change to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anomaly of the reproductive system.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
The nation's oldest and largest legal organization dedicated to the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National legal resource center with a primary commitment to advancing the rights and safety of lesbians and their families.
National Gay Lesbian Task Force
A national progressive organization working for the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, with the vision and commitment to building a powerful political movement.
The NAMES Project Foundation: AIDS Memorial Quilt
There are several sources of LGBTQ information online. Community newspapers produce online as well as print versions; other news sites have LGBTQ-specific sections. Various websites cater to LGBTQ searches.
Queer Resources Directory (QRD)
An electronic library with hyperlinks to news clippings, political contact information, newsletters, essays, images, and every other kind of information resource of interest to the GLBQ community. Information is stored for the use of casual network users and serious researchers alike.
A website dedicated to uniting the LGBT community across America by sharing information and resources specific to the interests and needs of our community. The website is regularly updated with stories on news, politics, entertainment, and community events. It offers lists of LGBT resources nationally and by state.
Bay Area Reporter
Bay Area Reporter is San Francisco's oldest and largest local newspaper of record serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities
San Francisco Bay Times
The Bay Times has been a biweekly local publication for years, providing news and a calendar of upcoming events. Its online description states that it is the only LGBTQ newspaper in San Francisco that is fully funded and owned by LGBTQ individuals. In 1978, it became the first LGBTQ newspaper in Northern California to be jointly and equally owned by gay men and lesbians working together.
PROFESSIONAL AND REGULATORY
There are different kinds of licensed psychotherapy professionals: MFTs, LCSWs, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. Each have unique areas of specialization and all are trained in providing therapy. Each has its own professional organizations and regulatory boards. Check the links here to research each license type, verify licenses, and find out more.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
East Bay Chapter (510) 848-8400
San Francisco Chapter (415) 273-1954
Marin Chapter (415) 459-3484
Redwood Empire Chapter (707) 575-0596
Santa Clara Valley Chapter 408 235-0210
Sacramento Valley Chapter (916) 744-6112
Santa Cruz County Chapter (831) 429-7786
GLBT National Help Center
Providing free and confidential telephone and email peer counseling. Information, and local resources for GLBTQ callers throughout the U.S.
Nightline Suicide Prevention
The Trevor Project: 24/7 Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.