Our weekly peer support group is open to all youth ages 13-18 that identify as LGBTQ+ as well as their friends and allies. Adult facilitators who lead the support groups have undergone comprehensive training and background checks. We have topic-driven meetings focusing on education, support, friendship-building, skill-sharing, community involvement. Snacks and beverages are provided.


James Vertrees is excited to bring his creative, social work background to the Center. While he’s gainfully employed as a hair stylist by day, James has a Master’s degree in Social Work and enjoys working with adolescents and younger students as a mentor. Providing positive role models for our youth is just one of our center’s many missions and James will be taking the lead in this area by planning engaging and meaningful activities for kids of all ages. Volunteering at a center like ours is the fulfillment of a life goal for James who craved a supportive environment like this when he was growing up. “I promised myself that one day I would give back as soon as the opportunity presented itself,” James said. “I’m honored to be in this role and to be able to serve my community.”

Questions? Need more info? Send James an email: james@lgbtqcenterofbaycounty.org

Room 6 is a place to go and be comfortable with myself and others like me. I get to talk about my feelings and know that what I talk about stays in a safe and respectful environment. I feel understood and happy about who I am.” age 15

The Center offers a wide range of LGBTQ+ resources. As we expand we will focus on developing an after school drop-in center to augment our Youth Peer Support Group.  We work to end violence while advocating for the Human & Civil Rights of Sexual & Gender Minorities. Every year LGBTQ+ people are beaten, harassed and killed just for being themselves. Many cannot find safety at home or in their intimate relationships.  LGBTQ Center of Bay County is here to help!

Our Core Values Direct Our Mission:

Open minded
Our Mission is to achieve full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ+ people. We envision a world where diversity is embraced and equality is achieved by all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"I feel more self-confident and happy for my progress. It is wonderful to have a safe space to talk about my problems with people just like me. Everyone understands me here.  When I started attending the group meetings, I was overwhelmed with my problems. Now I am able to give to help other members. Thank you very much for helping me improve.” age 17

"Room 6 is like the world LGBTQ+ people dream of. A place where you are validated, you are loved, you are important, and you mean something to at least 1 person (but normally more). Group gives me the strength to go home and know I am worth something no matter what other people say. We help each other, and it feels really good." - age 14


The Center endeavors to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ youth by providing activities, programs and services that create a sense of community, empower community allies, provide essential resources, advocate for civil and human rights, and embrace, promote and support cultural diversity, including:

  • youth peer-peer support group every Monday 5-7pm

  • community events, parties, dinners, outings, etc.  

  • ongoing support and discussion groups  

  • workshops  

  • educational forums  

  • meeting space for local groups, providing opportunities for community growth & coalition building  

  • a safe space for everyone  


“Before I found this group I was cutting, I was suicidal. My counselor suggested I come to here for help. I was being bullied and had a lot of relationship problems with my sister, mom and dad. I voluntarily came to OMNI. Now I realize there are others like me who need help and support. I've made new friends who help me and support me. They helped me understand and build healthy relationships, and also avoid those people who tear me down."  age 18

"As a parent I need a place like The Center for my kid. As an LGBTQ person I need a place like this for myself. As a member of Bay County, we need places like this for the community. We all need to stand behind The Center because The Center stands for all of us." age 27


(850) 252-5145