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State & Regional Resources

This list includes LGBT-related resources that are available within Illinois or in the surrounding region. If you have a suggestion for a topic or a resource to be added, or find a broken link, please contact the LGBT Resource Center.

Resources are listed alphabetically by the following topic headings. Click on a heading to jump to that section of the page. You may also simply scroll down the page to see all of the topics.

Addiction Resources

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Ally Resources

  • PFLAG Northern Illinois: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

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Counseling/Therapy Resources

  • Center on Halsted: The Center on Halsted Mental Health Services staff has been meeting the psychosocial needs of Chicago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for more than 25 years. Mental health services are provided on a sliding scale basis. Insurance may be accepted. Counseling may be free of charge to individuals living with HIV or experiencing relationship violence.
  • Howard Brown Health Center: Howard Brown is the Midwest’s premier lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health care organization, and leads the region in addressing the comprehensive health care needs of people in the LGBT community. Howard Brown provides mental health services specifically tailored for the LGBT community.

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Discrimination and Harassment Resources

  • State of Illinois:  Offensive, discriminatory, or harassing behavior based upon an individual’s sexual orientation is prohibited by the Illinois Human Rights Act.

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Family Resources

  • Rainbow Families of Illinois:  A non-profit, community-based organization that includes lesbian and gay parents and their children and those considering parenthood: "We are committed to protecting the right of LGBT people to raise children with love and integrity in a culture of justice, respect and belonging. In promoting the well-being of all of our families, we sponsor social, educational and advocacy programs for adults and kids of all ages."
  • PFLAG Northern Illinois: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

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Hate Crimes and Violence

  • Illinois' Hate Crimes Law includes sexual orientation. If you think you have been a victim of a hate crime based on sexual orientation, you can report the incident to a law enforcement agency.

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Health Resources

  • Howard Brown Health Center: Howard Brown is the Midwest’s premier lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health care organization, and leads the region in addressing the comprehensive health care needs of people in the LGBT community. The mission of Howard Brown is to promote the well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons through the provision of health care and wellness programs, including clinical, educational, social service and research activities.

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Hotlines

  • LGBT Info Line: 773-929-HELP, 8 am to 10 pm every day. A service of the Center on Halsted in Chicago, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Info Line is available most days of the year.
  • LGBT Crisis Hotline: 773-871-CARE, 24-Hours every day. A service of the Center on Halsted in Chicago. Staff and volunteers with over 45 hours of training provide callers with crisis intervention, emotional support, education, and referrals concerning hate crimes, domestic violence, police misconduct, sexual assault, and discrimination. Crisis Hotline counselors maintain the client's privacy and adhere to a strict confidentiality policy. Counselors will not leave messages on answering machines or with someone other than the caller.
  • State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline: 1-800-243-2437 (TTY), 8 am to 10 pm every day. The free and anonymous AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline provides callers with the most up-to-date, medically-accurate information on AIDS/HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), emotional support, and state-wide referrals for healthcare and social services related to AIDS/HIV and STDs. The AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline, funded by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health, is run entirely by trained professionals who have undergone a comprehensive AIDS/HIV and STD instructional program. Spanish-speaking resource counselors are available during most day and evening shifts.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender National Hotline: 888-THE-GLNH, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Central Time, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Time. Provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.
  • GLBT National Youth Talkline: 800-246-PRIDE, Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Central Time. Provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States. Telephone volunteers in their teens and early twenties speak with teens and young adults up to age 25 about coming-out issues, relationship concerns, parent issues, school problems, HIV/AIDS anxiety and safer-sex information, and lots more!
  • The Trevor Helpline: 866-4-U-TREVOR, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Trevor Project operates the nations only 24/7 suicide & crisis prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth.

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  • Equality Illinois: Equality Illinois' mission is to secure, protect and defend the basic civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the state of Illinois.
  • Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois: TJLP is a collective of radical lawyers, social workers, activists, and community organizers who are deeply committed to prison abolition, transformative justice, and gender self-determination. Specifically, resources for name and gender marker change for Chicago/Cook County residents may be helpful.
  • ACLU of Illinois LGBT & AIDS Project: The ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project works to fight all forms of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender persons, and individuals affected by AIDS. Our efforts include litigation in state and federal courts on behalf of individuals and classes of clients, direct and grassroots outreach to legislators in the Illinois General Assembly and in Congress, and organizing campaigns to move public opinion to support equality for all persons in Illinois and across the nation.

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LGBT Organizations

  • Spectrum of Rockford: Spectrum of Rockford’s mission is to provide a safe place for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allies. Individuals who reside in or near the Rockford Illinois area such Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Belvidere, Rockton, Roscoe as well as surrounding Wisconsin cities such as Beloit, WI and Janesville, WI are served by Spectrum of Rockford. Social and supportive activities in an alcohol free and smoke free environment are provided and those age 13 and older are welcome. Spectrum of Rockford is led by LGBTQ professionals. For more information on services provided, including mental health and therapy groups, call 815-639-0312 or visit the website.
  • Center on Halsted: Chicago's LGBT Community Center, including an entertainment venue, an organic grocery store, a café, a technology center, a gymnasium, a theater and a number of other unique gathering spaces. The Center on Halsted also houses a number of organizations serving Chicago's LGBT community. Current services include support groups for youth and seniors; psychotherapy services; an info line for LGBT individuals and a hotline for HIV and STD concerns; prevention, treatment, and advocacy related to domestic violence; and a range of life-enrichment programs.
  • Chicago Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce: A not-for-profit corporation established to promote the development and growth of successful business enterprises by persons who self identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or transgender persons.
  • Quad Citians Affirming Diversity: QCAD brings gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight people together to build an inclusive community through support, education and advocacy.

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News/Media

  • Gay Chicago: a weekly online and print GLBT news and entertainment publication that can be found throughout the Chicagoland area.
  • Windy City Media Group: Windy City Media Group in Chicago publishes the Windy City Times, Queer Cast (podcasts), and Identity Magazine, focusing on Black and Latino LGBT communities.

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Support Groups

  • "Pride, Resources, Inspiration, Support, Motivation" for suburban sexual minorities (LGBTQI) with mood disorders in the Western Chicago Suburbs group for individuals as well as family, not therapy based but led by a trained facilitator.
  • PFLAG Northern Illinois: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

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Transgender Resources

  • Howard Brown Health Center Services for Transgender Individuals: Howard Brown offers medical and counseling services for transgender individuals. Check their website for more information if their services are right for you.
  • Chicago Gender Society: Providing education, support, social opportunities and out-reach to the Transgender and Transsexual Community. The goal of CGS is to provide educational activities for its members, the transgendered community and its supporters and the general public. It seeks to promote a positive self-image for transgendered individuals in the business community, in the media, and general public.
  • Chi-Chapter Tri Ess: Chi-Chapter is the Chicagoland chapter of Tri-Ess, an international support and social organization for heterosexual crossdressers, their spouses, partners, children and friends. Holds meetings and social gatherings which allow members to crossdress in the company of others, organizes educational and self-development programs, and sponsors a support group for spouses and signicant others of cross dressers.
  • FORGE (For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression):  A national education, advocacy and support umbrella organization supporting FTM+s(1) (female-to-male transsexuals and transgenderists, and others who were assigned female at birth but who have some level of masculine identification) and SOFFAs (Significant Others, Family, Friends and Allies). Services include a social support group, meeting monthly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for trans-masculine individuals and SOFFAs.
  • Illinois Gender Advocates: Advocates for gender variant people, including but not limited to transgendered people, by means of educating the general public and acting as an advocate for the rights of the gender variant in public and private forums. Two areas of focus: Legal and legislative advocacy, and advocacy for the rights of transgender and gender variant youth.

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Youth Resources

  • Illinois Safe Schools Alliance: Dedicated to promoting the safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research.
  • Youth Outlook: Formerly the Questioning Youth Center (QYC), Youth Outlook is a meeting place, discussion group, and drop-in center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Youth Outlook operates drop-in centers for youth ages 14 to 18 in the greater suburban area outside of Chicago. Activities include discussion groups, guest speakers, games, pizza and video nights, and more. Youth Outlook is open in DeKalb on Monday nights. For more information, contact Youth Outlook at (630) 415-2053.

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