PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE MICHAEL
Hurricane Michael packed a huge punch! Michael devastated our “safe space” - Room 6. We are in the process of relocating some of our support meetings and should have a list of temporary meeting spaces by November 21st. We are taking this opportunity to reach out and educate the folks of Bay County about our community’s particular needs. We are often asked:
Why are culturally competent, allocated resources for the LGBTQ community necessary?
LGBTQ youth experience high rates of homelessness, making it more difficult to reach them during an emergency.
High rates of isolation for LGBTQ seniors means they are more likely to be alone, and less likely to have familial resources that can support receiving emergency messages and accessing resources.
Access to HIV medication or hormones can be limited or nonexistent as providers are unavailable or undervalue the importance of maintaining these regimens and shelter accommodations are often not compliant with appropriately affirming gender identity.
The LGBTQ population has a significant lack of trust with emergency responders and health care systems that have discriminated against them before.
Nontraditional structures of families are frequently disrespected by emergency or recovery services resulting in families that become separated or are unable to access appropriate resources.
That’s where the LGBTQ Center of Bay County steps in! With your help, as we rebuild we will be providing services to those that are traditionally overlooked and have unique needs. Equality Florida has agreed to help us raise the funds necessary to rebuild our Center. Equality Florida is a trusted community institution that understands the needs of the LGBTQ population,
All monies raised will be used to rebuild the Center and used to help individuals and families begin to rebuild their lives. With the help of our generous community we hope to provide direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing assistance and more. The Center’s community partners will coordinate support for homeless youth, seniors, people living with HIV, hate crime survivors, Center volunteers, and those devastated by the storm.
YOU CAN HELP!
The LGBTQ Center of Bay County Inc. currently operates the only dedicated all-inclusive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight-allied (LGBTQ+) youth program in the Panhandle of Florida.
The mission of LGBTQ Center of Bay County is to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning population of Bay County by providing activities, programs and services that create community; empower community members; provide essential resources; advocate for civil and human rights; and embrace, promote and support LGBTQ cultural diversity.
Spectrum Youth Group
Every Monday 5:00pm to 7:00pm
A peer-led LGBTQ support & discussion group. Topics covered often include coming out, relationships, bullying, peer pressure, depression and self-esteem; express your thoughts and feelings without fear in a safe and supportive environment (For youth ages 13 – 18).
18+ Young Adults
First Wednesday Every Month
A safe and social support group for LGBTQ+ young adults ages 18+. This group meets monthly. Check the calendar for dates. Young adult allies are absolutely welcome to attend! Kick back, socialize, peer support, activities.
PFLAG Panama City
Second Tuesday Every Month
Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.
Trans* Support Group
Third Thursday Every Month
This is a support group for people who do not fit a traditional cisgender identity. The Trans* Support Group is open to all gender minorities: transgender, trans-masculine or trans-feminine, gender queer, gender non-conforming, questioning, etc.
40+ Older Wiser Lesbians (OWLS) This group is for women ages 40 and over who enjoy engaging in social, educational, recreational and service activities. We offer our members community building opportunities through exceptional events, lively discussions, monthly dinners, hikes, game nights, theater trips, as well as holiday celebrations and so much more! If you are looking for a community of welcoming supportive women then this is the organization for you.
"The only way to get to the other side is to
go through the door.” Helen Keller
Join us as we support each other and discuss some of the ways the loss of someone significant can affect our lives. The purpose of this group is to provide information about the grief process; to share experiences; and to alleviate the feeling of isolation.
A Call to Young Artists 13-18
Panama City Center for the Arts
CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANE
Please check back for more details
Eat n' Greet Dinner Group
See old friends and make new friends! Support local gay friendly businesses while we we foster friendship, understanding, and community with friends, families allies and each other.
RESOURCE & REFERRAL
The Center has developed partnerships with organizations that deliver many community services. We use our expertise to help these partners develop their cultural competency to serve the LGBTQ+ population and then work alongside them to deliver services to community members.
LGBTQ Center of Bay County is committed to the ongoing process of compiling and updating an extensive resource directory listing supportive and friendly businesses, organizations, health professionals, legal services, housing and other resources.
In light of the unique challenges LGBTQ+ individuals face when seeking competent and affirming services, The Center maintains a comprehensive list of medical resources. Referrals will be made to agencies that are knowledgeable about topics relating to the LGBTQ+ community and have clear nondiscrimination policies.
Suicide Prevention & Awareness
Suicide is the leading cause of death for LGBTQ children ages 13-18 and the second leading cause of death for all teens. Suicide occurs across all economic, social, and ethnic groups. This is why we feel it is imperative to offer suicide prevention training, free of charge, to anyone who is interested.
Community stakeholders will be certified and trained as QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer) gatekeepers. The 90-minute QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program teaches people how to recognize suicide-warning signs, ask about suicide, and persuade people to accept professional help. As a universal intervention for troubled youth and others, QPR has been taught to more than two million people worldwide.
Heart To Art
Our collaborative art projects can inspire, heal and bind communities. Art experiences are an integral part of building community spirit, and an awareness to specific causes in the LGBTQ community.
Q and A
A series of lectures addressing the historical, political and societal issues that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families & friends encounter. The goal of this series is to initiate an authentic dialogue about the personal and historical journeys of the LGBT community, and provide a non-judgmental environment for straight individuals to learn about these experiences while supporting their LGBT friends and family members as allies.