Where to Find LGBTQIA+ Support When You Can’t Find Therapy
By Amber Leventry
We seek connection with others so we can share good news, ask for advice, and give voice to scary thoughts and feelings. Everyone needs someone to talk to—whether it’s a friend, teacher, family member, or therapist—especially if you know or are questioning your identity in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Everyone can benefit from therapy at any time in their life and for any reason. Being queer—not straight or cisgender—isn’t a reason to need therapy, but being queer means you may not always be as accepted and understood as you deserve to be. There may be times when you need an unbiased listener or trained medical professional to help you make a safety plan or feel supported.
If you’re actively looking for in-person or online therapy but you can’t find a therapist or start therapy because of unsupportive parents, there are ways to get the affirming support you need. Community, safe spaces, and peer groups are great additions to therapy, and they can be alternatives when necessary.
LGBTQIA+ Peer Support and Online Resources
Check out these options if you are looking for people with similar lived experiences or groups led by trained facilitators, or you just need guidance as you learn more about yourself.
CenterLink is the Community of LGBTQ Centers. Its goal is to strengthen connections among queer people in both in-person and online settings. CenterLink can help you connect with other LGBTQIA+ individuals locally through its Find a Center link, and you can try online chat options if a location is not close enough to where you live.
TrevorSpace is an online community for LGBTQIA+ folks ages 13 to 24.
Q Chat Space is an online community where LGBTQIA+ teens can have safe and fun conversations with other queer teens. Groups and conversations are monitored by trained facilitators.
BlackLine offers a hotline (800-604-5841) to talk to trained volunteers who can provide emotional support to BIPOC LGBTQIA+ folks. They can also offer guidance on handling mistreatment based on your gender identity or sexuality.
The IMI guide offers online peer support with other LGBTQIA+ youth. You can talk about stress, queerness, stigma, gender, and so much more. You can also text IMI to 70764 for mental health boosts.
This helpline offers free and culturally sensitive peer support and resources for LGBTQIA+ South Asian folks and their families. Call the hotline during specific hours (908-367-3374) or send a contact form.
LGBTQIA+ Crisis Resources and Hotlines
If you’re in crisis and need immediate help, please call or text the crisis numbers below.
Trevor LifeLine (866-488-7386) or TrevorText (text START to 678-678) has people specifically trained to help LGBTQIA+ youth. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Crisis Text Line
When you text HOME to 741-741, the Crisis Text Line will connect you to a counselor within a few minutes 24/7. It’s also available on WhatsApp and online chat through the website.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 988
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or 988, is a free 24/7 crisis line that connects you with a trained counselor who can help you navigate suicidal thoughts or behaviors. You don’t need to have suicidal thoughts to reach out, however. The lifeline offers assistance for all types of mental health issues and guidance on how to connect with local services. Call, text, or chat with someone online.
The Trans Lifeline Hotline (877-565-8860) is available 24/7, and it guarantees a transgender or nonbinary person will answer. When call volume is high, however, you may not get through. The site recommends you keep trying or call another crisis line if you need immediate assistance.
It’s not available 24/7, but the LGBT National Youth Hotline (800-246-7734) offers free, confidential services and can help you find resources for mental health near you. It also offers a Coming Out Talkline (888-OUT-LGBT) that can help when you’re ready—or trying to figure out what “ready” means—to come out to your family and friends.
The National Runaway Safeline offers 24/7 crisis support through its hotline (800-RUNAWAY) and online chat feature. A counselor will help you get the resources you need to find a safe place.
Love is Respect has resources for teens and youth ages 13 to 26 that focus on healthy relationships and how to spot dating violence. There is a section specific to LGBTQIA+ teens. Counselors are available to offer advice and education. Call 866-331-9474 or text LOVEIS to 22522. You can also chat with someone online. Help is available 24/7.
Whether you need immediate help, new friends, or a mentor to talk to, there are a lot of people who are ready to offer trusted and confidential support. Even if you are in therapy, there’s nothing wrong with exploring other outlets too. But if you aren’t able to find a therapist or seek therapy, there are other options.