Five resources to help you stay connected, supported and seen year-round in Berks County and beyond!
Pride season is like a meteor shower – bright, enticing, and seems to pass way too quickly!
Whether you attended your first Pride celebration this year (YAY!) or are a seasoned pride-veteran, it is likely that you are feeling the fallout of Pride season and the hype within and around our community.
Each year, we come together in solidarity to celebrate and support each other, surrounded by local and national organizations, non-profits and businesses. In the context of parks and cities decked out in rainbows and flags, community can feel more tangible, life a little easier and belonging within an arm’s reach. Why is it that so many of us feel so deeply disconnected from each other outside of Pride celebrations? Our identities and shared experiences do not cease once the final pride in our area has ended, but it can certainly feel like we are all alone.
The truth is, even after the last banner is taken down and the final booth has cleaned up, you are still surrounded by people just like you, living in your area and seeking connection within our community! In case you accidentally tossed the materials you picked up from the booths or weren’t able to attend Pride this year (we see you introverts!), we want to make sure you can connect with local support and community in our area!
Below is a short list of five very special places in Berks County where the love and spirit of Pride Season never stops! ENJOY!
This. Place. Rocks. Not only does the LGBTQ Center of Greater Reading curate the annual Reading Pride Celebration, they also host a variety of year-round offerings to enhance the lives and community of LGBTQ+ people throughout the Greater Reading region. Currently, they are running groups for the entire family, consisting of offerings for all age groups, identities and interests. Looking for a group that combines art and is also a safe space for LGBTQ+ people? Check! Looking for a group to discuss and connect at the intersection of spirituality and identity? Check! Don’t have a GSA at your school and looking for community your age? CHECK! AND IT’S ALL FREE! For more information and a complete list of their current group and community offerings, please visit their website < https://www.lgbtcenterofreading.com/ >.
“The LGBT Center of Greater Reading was established to create, administer and provide services, advocacy, and support to the Greater Reading community, including our allies, with the goal that all may live a life of fulfillment, inclusion, and celebration.”
To many that work at Sanctuary, this Center has been a personal source of comfort, support and community. Known for their annual Gender and Sexual Minorities Conference and sponsorship of the annual Spring Drag Show, the GLBTQ Resource Center hosts and sponsors annual events for all ages that are free and open to the public. In addition to diverse programming, the Center is a hub for resources with a mixed-media library of over 1,500 books, magazines, and DVD’s. All of the Center’s resources are updated annually and made by members of the LGBTQ+ community, for the community and beyond.. did we mention they are also all online?! The GLBTQ Resource Center is a great place to connect socially with our local community, get involved with local LGBTQ+ initiatives and activism and gain access to a wide variety of resources. For more information, please visit their website < https://www.kutztown.edu/about-ku/administrative-offices/glbtq-resource-center.html >.
“The Kutztown University Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Resource Center’s mission is to create a welcoming and inclusive campus for individuals of all genders and sexualities. The Center provides LGBTQ+ resources and support, educational workshops, programs that empower and promote diversity, and a safe space that embraces individuality, authenticity and equality.”
For over 13 years now, Planned Parenthood Keystone has been offering various LGBTQ+ Youth Support Groups throughout Pennsylvania. Berks County is currently home to The Spectrum, one of only three of these programs currently running across the state—aren’t we lucky!? While this group is united by their shared identification with the LGBTQ+ community, the group itself approaches all members from a holistic perspective, branching beyond identity to process and support other aspects of youth life and lifestyle. For more information on how to join, please visit < https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-keystone/education/lgbtq-youth-programs-copy >.
“Our LGBTQ+ youth programs provide a safe, supportive and empowering environment for LGBTQ+ youth. In our programs, youth can be themselves and experience the freedom of knowing they are accepted totally and without reservation. Our weekly meetings facilitated by trained Planned Parenthood educators feature a blend of education, recreation and advocacy.”
You bet we made our own list! Supporting the LGBTQ+ community through the nuances of life and love across the lifespan is something that we not only specialize in—we’ve been gender and sexuality nerds for over 12 years!
Having a therapist who understands sexual and gender identity is important – especially when you are looking for support and connection. We go beyond acceptance to offer informed and validating therapy to the LGBTQ+ community. Serving the LGBTQ+ community has been a cornerstone of our mission and remains a shared passion at our practice. We pride ourselves on the expertise that we bring to our work while recognizing that every story is unique and we can’t wait to hear yours! For more information or to schedule an appointment today, please visit < http://sanctuarycounseling.com/ >.
For many of us within the community, finding an LGBTQ+ healthcare provider has been a challenge. GLMA has created an online, searchable directory of healthcare providers that are knowledgeable allies to and members of our community! One search of my local Douglassville zip code and I found over 14 local healthcare professionals within 20 miles! Whether you are searching for a primary care physician, fertility specialist or specialized services—this is an excellent and accessible tool to begin your search! For more information, please visit < http://www.glma.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=939 >.
“GLMA is a national organization committed to ensuring health equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and all sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals, and equality for LGBTQ/SGM health professionals in their work and learning environments.”
You deserve the loving presence and belonging of Pride year-round and this is only the beginning of a long list of fantastic services, spaces and resources available to you in the Berks County area!
As always and in all ways, you are welcome here.