Resources for LGBTQIA+ Youth

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (one’s sexual or gender identity), intersex, and asexual/aromantic/agender.

The plus sign (+) indicates bridging the gap to include the many ways people think of their identity — the intentional and inclusive way of representing different identities and/or orientations, acceptance for all experiences, and the social movement for equality.  A comprehensive list of common LGBTQIA+ terminology and their widely accepted definitions is also available.

Coming out to yourself or someone else is an incredibly personal decision. There is no one right way to do it. For many LGBTQIA+ youth, this usually involves sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Exploring yourself can bring up a lot of feelings and unanswered questions. This page will provide you with supports to help you navigate those feelings.

It is important to note that you know yourself best and what works for you! Discovering and determining your gender identity and/or sexual orientation is your right, and everyone deserves the respect to share their lives and beings when and as they choose.

No one is entitled to your information around your personal identity(-ies), and this does not make you any less valid than those who share openly and willingly. You deserve support regardless of your coming out status, and this site will provide you with the resources to help you explore what is right for you.

If you need any immediate assistance, the NJ Children’s System of Care (CSOC) and PerformCare are here for you, and will support you while helping to make your voice heard. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-877-652-7624.

You can also contact the resources below directly.

If you are thinking about harming yourself, immediate support is here for you. Connect to one of the crisis counselors, listed below, who are available 24/7, 365 days a year regardless of your location.

2NDFLOOR – New Jersey’s youth helpline1-888-222-2228

The New Jersey statewide youth helpline, 2NDFLOOR, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to youth and young adults ages 10 – 24 to help find solutions to the problems they face at home, school, or play.

The helpline is supervised at all times by a mental health professional. Youth are provided with relevant and appropriate links to information and services to address their social, emotional, and physical needs. Calls to the 2NDFLOOR youth helpline are anonymous and confidential, except in life-threatening situations.

The Trevor Project1-866-488-7386

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13 – 24.

New Jersey Hopeline1-855-654-6735

The Hopeline is New Jersey’s 24/7 peer support and suicide prevention hotline. The specialists at the NJ Hopeline are available to provide confidential phone counseling, support, and referrals to local resources to help youth and families get through difficult times.

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline988

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention.

LGBT National Youth Talkline1-800-246-7743

The LGBT National Youth Talkline provides youth with a safe space that is anonymous and confidential. Callers can speak on many different issues and concerns including, but not limited to, coming out issues, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression issues, relationship concerns, bullying, school issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety, safer sex information, and suicide.

The Anti-Violence Project (NYC based)1-212-714-1141

The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) uses community organizing, education, research, and public advocacy to work toward shifting policy, building the power of community members, and responding to incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence to create systemic change in people’s lives. The AVP hotline is available 24/7 in English or Spanish as a resource to those who have experienced or witnessed violence or are worried about someone who has.

Trans Lifeline 1-877-565-8860

The Trans Lifeline is a peer support phone service run by trans people for trans and questioning peers. Callers can reach out if they need someone trans to talk to, even if they are not in a crisis or are unsure if they are trans.


HiTOPS is a nonprofit organization that provides inclusive and youth-informed LGBTQ support for young people throughout New Jersey.  Health services and group support resources are available for people ages 13 – 26. HiTOPS developed two support groups called First & Third and PFLAG for LGBTQ youth and their loved ones.

Q Chat Space1-954-765-6024

Q Chat Space is a community for LGBTQ+ teens. You can find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests, and get information. Chat with like-minded peers in live chats designed for you and by you, facilitated by people who care. Please note that Q Chat Space does not provide crisis counseling.

Adolescent Housing HubIndependent housing resources through CSOC – 1-877-652-7624

The Adolescent Housing Hub is a program managed by the Office of Adolescent Services under the Department of Children and Families. The program is a real-time database designed to assist youth with placement in a transitional or permanent housing program. If you are homeless and between ages 18 – 21, call to find out more about housing and related support services.

The Ali Forney Center1-212-222-3427

The Ali Forney Center's mission is to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.

EDGE New Jersey1-973-285-0006

The mission of EDGE New Jersey is to respond compassionately and responsibly to those who are at risk for or living with HIV, and to the LGBTQ+ communities, by providing supportive services, housing opportunities, prevention strategies, and education to enhance the communities they serve. Their vision is to empower those they serve to achieve a healthy, safe, and self-sufficient life by providing the resources to influence their community positively.

LGBT Rain Foundation (Essex County)1-973-675-6780

The mission of LGBT Rain Foundation (Essex County) is to help adolescents by providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing services to address the emergent need of LGBT individuals experiencing crises leading to homelessness. Through integrated solutions and partnerships, they offer a safe haven that consists of case management, educational and financial responsibility resources, as well as wrap-around services in substance use and mental health counseling, and drug screening. They are dedicated to bringing opportunities to troubled individuals in the greater Newark and surrounding communities.

Advocates for Youth1-202-419-3420

Advocates for Youth works alongside thousands of young people in the United States and around the world as they fight for sexual health, rights, and justice.

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)1-212-727-0135

The GLSEN ensures school students are treated with respect without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity and/or expression. It strives to create school settings that value differences for a powerful and diverse community.

STOMP Out Bullying1-877-602-8559

STOMP Out Bullying is the leading national nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture for all students. It works to reduce and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, and other digital abuse; educates against homophobia, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, racism, and hatred; and deters violence in schools, online, and in communities across the country.

STOMP Out Bullying promotes civility, diversity, inclusion, equity, and equality. It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying and educates kids and teens in school and online. It provides help for those in need and at risk of suicide and raises awareness through peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns.

Garden State Equality1-973-509-5428

Garden State Equality lifts up the diverse voices of LGBTQ+ communities through education and advocacy to advance the movement for equality in New Jersey and nationally. Garden State Equality is the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members. Services include advocacy, policy work, and trainings. Garden State Equality works to address safe environments for youth, improvement of health services that meet LGBTQ+ community needs, and respectful treatment of seniors.

EDGE New Jersey1-973-285-0006

The mission of EDGE New Jersey is to respond compassionately and responsibly to those who are at risk for or living with HIV, and to the LGBTQ+ communities, by providing supportive services, housing opportunities, prevention strategies, and education to enhance the communities they serve. Their vision is to empower those they serve to achieve a healthy, safe, and self-sufficient life by providing the resources to influence their community positively.

Human Rights Campaign1-800-777-4723

The Human Rights Campaign advocates for LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots action, and educates the public about LGBT issues.

National Center for Transgender Equality1-202-642-4542

The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.

* Please note: PerformCare posts these links for informational purposes only. These external websites are maintained by organizations over which PerformCare and the New Jersey Children's System of Care exercise no control. PerformCare and the NJ Children's System of Care expressly disclaim any responsibility or endorsement for the content, the accuracy of the information and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised by these third-party websites. PerformCare and the NJ Children's System of Care do not control, endorse, promote, or have any affiliation with any website listed unless expressly stated herein.