According to 2017 Gallup data, around 4.5% of Americans are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This means that around 2,400 people in the Patchogue-Medford district and around 67,000 people in Suffolk County are LGBT (using recent population estimates).
Read on for some lifesaving information and local resources supporting LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones.
Ally: A person who speaks out or takes action on behalf of someone else or for a group they are not a part of.
Asexual/Ace: A term that describes a person who lacks sexual attraction or desire for other people.
Birth Assignment (Sex Assigned at Birth): This is generally determined by external genitalia at birth––female, male or intersex.
Bisexual/Bi+: A term that describes a person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to people of more than one gender, sex, or gender identity.
Cisgender: A term that describes a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth.
Cis-Heteronormative: This term refers to the assumption that heterosexuality and being cisgender are the norm, which plays out in interpersonal interactions and society, and furthers the marginalization of queer and gender diverse people.
Dyadic: Not Intersex.
Gay: A term that describes a person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to some members of the same gender.
Gender Binary: The idea that there are two distinct and opposite genders––female and male. This model is limiting and doesn’t account for the full spectrum of gender identities and gender expressions.
Gender Dysphoria: Clinically significant distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one in which they identify. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the term – which replaces Gender Identity Disorder – “is intended to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults”.
Gender Expression: External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either feminine or masculine.
Gender Identity: An internal, deeply felt sense of being female, male, a blend of both or neither. Refers to how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. Can be the same as or different from their sex assigned at birth.
Gender Non-Conforming: A broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category.
Genderqueer: People who embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. Other terms you may hear under this umbrella are gender expansive, gender fluid, or gender creative.
Heteronormative: The assumption of heterosexuality as the given or default sexual orientation instead of one of many possibilities, and that the preferred or default relationship is between two people of “opposite” genders.
Intersex: An umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, these traits are visible at birth, and in others, they are not apparent until puberty.
Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically, and/or sexually attracted to women. This includes cis, trans and other people who are women.
LGBTQ+: An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people plus community members who use different language to describe identity
Non-Binary: An adjective describing a person who does not identify exclusively as a woman or a man. They may identify as both, somewhere in between, or outside the categories of a woman and a man.
Pansexual/Pan: Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way, or to the same degree.
QTPOC: Queer, Trans, People of Color.
Queer: A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with “LGBTQ+”.
Same-Gender Loving: A term coined and used by communities of color instead of lesbian, gay or bisexual to express attraction to and love of people of the same gender.
Sexual Orientation: An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.
SOGIE: Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression.
Transgender/Trans: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation.
Two Spirit: An umbrella term and identity within many first nations communities both historically and presently that describes people who live within a spectrum of genders, sexual identities, gender expressions and gender roles.
Source: Welcoming Schools – A Project of the Humans Rights Campaign Foundation, “LGBTQ Definitions for Adults”
LGBT National Hotline: (888) 843-4564
Monday-Friday 4pm-12am, Saturday 12-5pm ET
LGBT National Help Center’s free all-ages confidential hotline can help with coming out issues, gender and sexuality identities, relationship concerns, bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS, anxiety, safer sex information, suicide, and much more.
LGBT National Youth Talkline: (800) 246-7743
Monday-Friday 4pm-12am, Saturday 12-5pm ET
LGBT National Help Center’s free and confidential hotline for the LGBT+ and questioning community ages 25 and younger.
LGBT National Senior Hotline: (888) 234-7243
Monday-Friday 4pm-12am, Saturday 12-5pm ET
LGBT National Help Center’s free and confidential hotline for the LGBT+ and questioning community ages 50 and above.
Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860
A free and confidential phone service run by trans people for trans and questioning peers. Callers are welcome who need someone trans to talk to, even if you’re not in crisis or if you’re not sure you’re trans.
Youth & Young Adults:
Pride for Youth
A Long Island Crisis Center service for LGBT+ young people through age 30 with a mission to enhance the health, wellness, and cultural competency of young people through education, support services, and youth development.
PFLAG Long Island
Part of a national organization of parents, families, friends, and allies united with the LGBT+ community to move equality forward.
Safe Schools Initiative
An LGBT Network base of services and programs to help students and staff develop a school culture that fosters support, understanding, and respect for LGBT youth, families, and educators.
A national network of educators, students, and local chapters working to ensure that every student has a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education.
It Gets Better
A nonprofit organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect LGBT+ youth around the globe.
The Trevor Project
A leading national organization providing crisis intervention services to LGBT+ young people under 25.
LGBT National Help Center Youth Chat Room Lounge
Weekly virtual chat rooms for LGBT+ young people under 19; youth have the option to watch the chats if they are not ready to join.
An association of non-profit organizations working to serve the LGBT+ community of Long Island and Queens throughout the lifespan. Each organization works to end homophobia and transphobia, to provide a home and safe space for the LGBT+ community, and to advocate for equality.
A dynamic media force tackling tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.
Advocacy & Services for GLBT Elders; a national advocacy and services organization looking out for LGBT elders.
A bi-county non-profit dedicated to meeting the needs of the Long Island LGBT+ senior community.
National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
The country’s first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to LGBT+ older adults.
GLBT Near Me
The largest collection of LGBT+ resources online, topping 15,000 listings. Find the closest social and support resources, community centers, youth groups, and much more.
LGBT Network Business Directory
Provides an important platform for business owners to advertise their services to an LGBT and allied audience in Long Island and Queens, and helps members of the community find local businesses that are supportive of LGBT people. Additionally, employers seeking to recruit LGBT and allied workers have a quick, easy way to reach a more inclusive audience.
24/7 Crisis Resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
SAMHSA’s free and confidential support hotline for people in distress plus prevention and crisis resources for all.
TrevorLifeline: (866) 488-7386
The Trevor Project’s crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBT+ young people under 25.
Long Island Crisis Center Hotline: (516) 679-1111
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention counseling are available; counselors also provide information and referrals.
Response Crisis Center Hotline: (631) 751-7500
Telephone support to help explore options that can lead to thinking through next steps. Crisis counselors provide referrals for support groups, clinicians, mental health clinics, other hotlines, and a host of other community programs and services.
For more resources or to schedule an appointment with an LGBTQ+-aware social worker, contact us at (631) 654-4700 x224 or email us.
Social workers can give referrals to mental health and substance abuse resources, help locate free legal services, help to intervene in a crisis, and more.