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Even in a city as diverse as New Orleans, it can be hard for members of the LGBT+ community to find a place where they can truly be themselves. Blossoming and accepting queer communities can, however, be found right around the corner. From activist organizations to health centers, the Crescent City has a lot to offer LGBT+ youth.

UNITY UNO

Earl K. Long Library, Room 201; unity@uno.edu

The University of New Orleans’ own LGBT+ organization meets Mondays at 3 p.m. in the Math Building, Room 102. This organization was designed to create an accepting and comfortable environment on campus for LGBT+ students and their allies. This organization also encourages open discussion and educates the University about queer advocacy. UNITY works in conjunction with other UNO organizations to create an overlapping safe space where LGBT+ students can feel welcome and free to be themselves. Follow UNITY on Facebook to stay updated about meeting times and upcoming events.

Executive board members of UNITY: Mike Hoffshire, Steven Scott, Brooke Bolden, Ally Daily, Moe Labbe and Anna Gowin. (photo courtesy of Mike Hoffshire)

Executive board members of UNITY: Mike Hoffshire, Steven Scott, Brooke Bolden, Ally Daily, Moe Labbe and Anna Gowin. (photo courtesy of Mike Hoffshire)

LGBT Community Center of New Orleans

1001 S Broad St.; lgbtccneworleans.org

While currently in a space where they cannot maintain open hours, the LGBTCC is a large community based upon the ideas of creating awareness and education about gender and sexual minorities. This community also generates a lot of volunteer work for LGBT+ causes in the Greater New Orleans area. Appointment needed.

PFLAG New Orleans

1333 S Carrollton Ave., 504-862-5912; plagno.org

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians And Gays (PFLAG) is a group that promotes the well-being and education of members of the LGBT+ community as well as their families. They work to provide a safe and supportive space where members can speak openly and learn about relevant LGBT+ issues like HIV awareness and gender identity. Meets every second Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

NO/AIDS Task Force

2601 Tulane Ave. Suite 500, 504-821-2601; noaidstaskforce.org

NO/AIDS offers STI/HIV testing in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. Services for the community such as housing, mental health counseling, and LGBT+ friendly sex education are also offered. Appointments recommended, but walk-in are welcomed.

Forum for Equality

336 Lafayette St. Suite 200, 504-569-9156; forumforequality.org

This organization is devoted to community outreach and activism and is focused mainly on political action. They seek to provide LGBT+ youth with a platform for leadership and change and are always looking for  empowered people to join the cause. Contact Sarah Jane Brady at sarahjane@forumforequality.org for more information about how to get involved.

Louisiana Trans Advocates

4721 Loveland Ave., Metairie, 255-366-7582; latransadvocates.org

This group works across the state to empower and educate the Louisiana Trans* community and its allies. Louisiana Trans Advocates has a wealth of resources for Trans* youth, from counseling to medical services, and opens its arms to anyone interested in becoming a member. Support group meets the third Sunday of every month, contact neworleans@latransadvocates.org for more information.

Freedom Fellowship Ministries

611 N Rampart St., 504-858-4673

Freedom Fellowship Ministries is a church devoted to those who have often felt marginalized or ostracized because of who they are. This church offers a place of refuge and is open and accepting of all members of the ministry who might not feel welcome in other religious settings. Services Sunday from 10 a.m.-1p.m. and Thursday from 7 p.m.-8 p.m.

Planned Parenthood

4018 Magazine St., 504-897-9200; plannedparenthood.org

Planned Parenthood offers affordable STI testing, sex education tools, and referrals to health and counseling services and also accepts most health insurances. Planned Parenthood is an underrated resource in the city for LGBT+ youth even though it provides an understanding atmosphere when it comes to addressing queer health issues. Appointment needed.

Various events around the city are also great places to experience and celebrate the LGBT+ community. Southern Decadence, which occurs during Labor Day weekend, is one of the South’s biggest LGBT+ Pride festivals.

New Orleans Pride Weekend, a similar event that includes a Kick-Off Party, Masquerade Ball, and Pageant, takes place June 19-21. Both feature city-wide events and host large numbers of LGBT+ community members.

Start Talking, Stop HIV, a new foundation dedicated to generating conversations about HIV among LGBT+ couples, hosted an event September 5, 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Bar.

In the true spirit of New Orleans, both the Pride Parade and Gay Easter Parade focus on New Orleans’ LGBT+ community.

Musical duo Frank and George entertained at UNO  UNITY's talent show. (photo courtesy Mike Hoffshire)

Musical duo Frank and George entertained at UNO UNITY’s talent show. (photo courtesy Mike Hoffshire)

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