Home Best of Guides Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community in North Jersey

Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community in North Jersey

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
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Essex County is home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in New Jersey. This community provides vibrancy, culture, and diversity to the area. Amplifying the voices of this community cannot be done without sharing the resources that are needed for LGBTQ persons to gain equality. Additionally, resources for those living with HIV/AIDS are necessary for this community and for allies alike. Read on to learn more about resources for the LGBTQ+ community in North Jersey.

lgbtq resources north jersey

Babs Siperstein PROUD Center | 128 Rehill Avenue, Somerville

Babs Siperstein PROUD Center is the LGBTQIA health service within the Somerset location of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The PROUD Center, which stands for Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding, and Dignity, has a goal of providing evidence-based and culturally competent health resources to this community.  Patients 18 years and older can schedule an appointment online to visit the center or participate in telehealth services. Learn more about the PROUD Center here.

Edge New Jersey | 3155 NJ State Route 10, Denville

“End discrimination. Gain equality” is the main tagline of Edge New Jersey and is there really anything more we can ask for? With a goal of always responding compassionately and responsibly to the HIV+ and LGBTQ+ community, Edge is working towards its overall mission of inclusion. Resources such as behavioral health counseling, housing, social services coordination, HIV and STI education, and prevention are available. Learn more about Edge New Jersey here.

GLAAD | Online

GLAAD is short for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, they have been at the forefront of accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community for over 30 years.  They are a  non-governmental dynamic media force that tackles tough matters. GLAAD helps form the narrative and ignite the conversation that is needed to reach cultural change. Learn more about GLAAD here.

GLSEN Northern New Jersey Chapter | Newark

School safety should be a given for all students. GLSEN works to ensure that is the case for students no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. By organizing around LGBTQ-affirming policy, teacher training, and events, GLSEN supports students, educators, allies, and parents alike. GLSEN has over 43 chapters nationwide. The northern New Jersey chapter hosts events and programs locally. Learn more about GLSEN here.

Read More: Pride Month Events in Essex County + Beyond 2021

HiTOPS | 21 Wiggins Street, Princeton

Inclusive and youth-informed sex education is crucial to all communities. A world in which all communities can safely explore their bodies, sexuality, and gender is one we all want to live in. HiTOPS has a mission to create just that. For over 30 years HiTOPS has gathered medical professionals to create a lasting and thriving relationship among the community when it comes to sex education. Programs include peer leadership workshops, education for schools and youth organizations, and professional development training. Learn more about HiTOPS here.

Hudson Pride Center | Jersey City

Jersey City is home to the largest LGBTQ+ community in New Jersey, making the Hudson Pride Center a great resource and place of acceptance locally. Hudson Pride Center opened its doors in the 1990s, a time when the neighborhood and world at large were not as accepting of this community. Since then, the center has not stopped fighting for equal rights, social justice causes, and access to necessary resources for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Services provided include career development, HIV treatment education, transgender support groups, special events, and more. Learn more about Hudson Pride Center here.

NYGayLife.com | Online 

Founded in 1997, NJ Gay Life has been gathering the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to celebrate the beauty of individuality and provide support. When founder Bonnie Kantor came out, the internet was not as developed as it is today. There were only two ways to find out about upcoming events in the community: asking a friend or reading about it in a newspaper. She created this site to promote upcoming events for the community and to celebrate each other. Calendars with events as far as three months away can be found for all social planning. Learn more about NY Gay Life here.

No Matter What Recovery | Online

No Matter What Recovery provides education on healthy boundaries and communication in our everyday lives, and also treats the physical body with its ailments holistically. The team works with clients to plan for the future including aftercare and introducing them to a sponsor or recovery coach, as well as keeping them involved in the “No Matter What” community. No Matter What Recovery and we recognizes that trauma within the LGBTQ community is a serious issue and needs to be more recognized so it’s created a resource page to educate families, schools, and communities on mental health issues they’re faced with and ways in which they can support them, which you can see here.

Out Montclair | Montclair

A non-profit organization that was made to increase awareness and provide support and unity for the LGBTQIA+ community of Montclair.  They offer educational, social, and leisure activities and events to help promote inclusivity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, and gender-fluid youth and adults. Learn about Out Montclair here.

PFLAG North Jersey | 74 Park Avenue, Glen Ridge

This national organization has a home right here in North Jersey. LGBTQ+ community, allies, parents, and loved ones can turn to PFLAG for confidential support, education, and advocacy. Since 1972 this organization has provided a sense of community, helped to change laws, and build connections in every area of the country. In addition to personal support, PFLAG provides education on business inclusion grants and school training. Learn more about PFLAG here.

The African American Office of Gay Concerns | 877 Broad Street, Newark

In 2001, founder Gary Paul Right opened the African American Office of Gay Concerns to ensure that men of color who identify as gay, bi-sexual, or men who have sex with other men have a voice in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through the promotion of leadership and education, the office works towards the prevention of HIV/AIDS in the LGBTQ+ community. Most necessary services in the prevention of HIV such as testing, condoms, sex education, support groups, and resources are free through the center. Learn more about The African American Office of Gay Concerns here.

The Pride Center of New Jersey | 85 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park

This is a  safe and welcoming place for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. The mission of the Center is to provide support, educational tools, resources, and social opportunities. This mission is accomplished through various programs such as youth drop-ins, after-school hangouts, book clubs, open mic nights, and a variety of health resources. Learn more about The Pride Center of New Jersey here.

Tyler Clementi Foundation | Harrison

Established in 2011, the Tyler Clementi Foundation was made out of the urgent need to address the bullying challenges that populations face. They carry the important message about about the suicide risk that many LGBTQ+ youth face. Their foundation encourages leadership to create safe spaces where individuals move from being bystanders to being Upstanders who embrace diversity. Learn more about the Tyler Clementi Foundation here.

HIV Resources

AIDS Memorial Quilt New Jersey Chapter | Paramus

Formerly known as the Names Project Foundation, the AIDS Memorial Quilt New Jersey has been raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in the state since 1997. The AIDS memorial quilt idea was birthed from the thoughts of loved ones who feared history would neglect the lives lost to HIV/AIDS. Now, memorial quilts are hosted in various locations, and virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic, to honor those who have passed on from this disease. The chapter has formed alliances with various other HIV/AIDS support groups in the community. Learn more about AIDS Memorial Quilt New Jersey Chapter here.

Beacon Light Fund | Annandale

Nearly one-third of patients diagnosed with AIDS or disabling HIV will exhaust their financial resources quickly. Beacon Light is a fund that offers financial support to those who are HIV+ and have progressed to AIDS status or have disabling HIV. Through the support of generous donors, funds are provided to support common needs such as rent, utility bills, medical equipment, home services, and other necessary areas of support. Learn more about Beacon Light Fund here.

Bergen Family Center | 44 Armory Street, Englewood

Support for HIV/AIDS goes beyond physical health resources. The Bergen Family Center provides a multitude of services including mental health, legal advocacy, personal counseling, and more. Learn more about the Bergen Family Center here.

Broadway House for Continuing Care | 298 Broadway, Newark

New Jersey has only one long-term care facility living with HIV/AIDS and it is Broadway House for Continuing Care. Since 1995 this center has housed a robust academic health center and a wide range of medical specialties. The most popular service is the HIV/AIDS program but there are services for patients recovering from accidents and suffering from illness with a holistic approach. Learn more about Broadway House for Continuing Care here.

Buddies of N. J. | 149 Hudson Street, Hackensack

Mental health support, substance abuse support, legal support, transportation, and community are all resources needed by those living with HIV/AIDS. Buddies of N.J. is an organization here to provide those support areas and more. In addition to these resources, the community can visit Buddies of N.J. for STI testing, HIV treatment education, and food services. Learn more about Buddies of N.J. here.

See More: LGBTQ-Owned Businesses to Support in Essex County

CAPCO Resource Center Inc. | 100 Hamilton Plaza, Paterson

The Coalition on AIDS in Passaic County (CAPCO) provides legal and financial support to patients living with HIV/AIDS in Bergen and Passaic counties. Discussions with professionals at CAPCO can include case management services, access to medical services, financial assistance, and wellness counseling. For the supporting community and loved ones of those living with HIV/AIDS, resources for awareness are available as well. Learn more about CAPCO Resource Center Inc. here.

Hyacinth | Multiple Locations

With locations around North Jersey including Plainfield, Jersey City,  Newark, and Paterson, Hyacinth gathers the community as we are stronger together when fighting HIV/AIDS. The mantra is “live, prevent, advocate”, encouraging both HIV+ persons and allies to come together and stop the spread of this illness. This November Hyacinth is hosting a gala to help support their initiatives. Learn more about Hyacinth here.

North Jersey Community Research Initiative | 393 Central Avenue, Newark

NJCRI has a 30-year history of providing resources, support, advocacy, and awareness in the HIV/AIDS space in North Jersey. Its mission from day one has been to “empower our clients by reducing social and health disparities in the greater Newark area”, a mission they are still carrying out to this day. Safe spaces are available for the LGBTQ+ community, STI and HIV testing services, community fellowship, financial assistance, and more. Learn more about NJCRI here

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