Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ+ Youth: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth is crucial for their well-being, mental health, and overall development. These spaces provide a supportive environment where they can freely express themselves, find acceptance, and connect with others who share similar experiences. This guide aims to provide a step-by-step approach to establishing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, whether it be in schools, community centers, or online platforms.

1. Educate Yourself:
Before creating a safe space, it is essential to educate yourself about LGBTQ+ identities, terminology, and the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth. This knowledge will help you better understand their needs and create an inclusive environment.

2. Establish Guidelines:
Develop clear guidelines that promote respect, inclusivity, and confidentiality within the safe space. These guidelines should address appropriate behavior, language, and the consequences of any violations. Ensure that everyone involved understands and agrees to abide by these guidelines.

3. Find a Suitable Location:
Identify a physical location that is accessible, private, and comfortable for LGBTQ+ youth. Consider spaces within schools, community centers, or local organizations that are supportive of LGBTQ+ rights. If a physical space is not feasible, consider creating an online platform or virtual community.

4. Seek Supportive Allies:
Recruit supportive allies, such as teachers, counselors, or community leaders, who can help facilitate the safe space. Allies should be knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ issues and committed to creating an inclusive environment. Their presence will provide additional support and guidance for LGBTQ+ youth.

5. Promote Awareness and Outreach:
Spread the word about the safe space through various channels, such as school announcements, social media, or LGBTQ+ organizations. Ensure that LGBTQ+ youth are aware of the safe space and feel encouraged to participate. Consider organizing events, workshops, or guest speakers to raise awareness and engage the community.

6. Foster Inclusivity:
Create an environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. Decorate the space with LGBTQ+ flags, posters, and artwork to make it visually welcoming. Incorporate LGBTQ+ literature, resources, and materials that can help educate and empower youth.

7. Provide Resources and Support:
Offer resources and support materials that address LGBTQ+ issues, mental health, coming out, and other relevant topics. These resources can include books, brochures, pamphlets, or online platforms that provide information, guidance, and support for LGBTQ+ youth.

8. Encourage Peer Support:
Facilitate opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth to connect with one another and share their experiences. Encourage the formation of support groups, discussion circles, or mentorship programs where they can find comfort, understanding, and guidance from peers who have faced similar challenges.

9. Training and Workshops:
Organize training sessions and workshops for both LGBTQ+ youth and allies. These sessions can cover topics such as LGBTQ+ history, gender identity, pronoun usage, and creating inclusive spaces. Training will help foster empathy, understanding, and a sense of community among participants.

10. Continuous Evaluation and Improvement:
Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the safe space by seeking feedback from LGBTQ+ youth and allies. Make necessary adjustments to ensure the space remains relevant, supportive, and inclusive. Encourage open communication and adapt to the evolving needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth is a powerful way to support their well-being and foster a sense of belonging. By following these steps, you can establish an environment where LGBTQ+ youth feel safe, accepted, and empowered to be their authentic selves. Remember, the journey towards inclusivity is ongoing, and it requires continuous effort and dedication to ensure that LGBTQ+ youth have the support they need

Organizations & Helpful Guide

LGBTQ hate crimes and incidents of homophobia are unfortunately still prevalent in many societies. It is crucial to address and report such incidents to ensure the safety and well-being of the LGBTQ community.

Local Law Enforcement: Contact your local police department or law enforcement agency to report any hate crimes or incidents of homophobia. They are responsible for investigating and taking appropriate action against perpetrators.

Remember, reporting incidents of LGBTQ hate crimes and homophobia is essential to ensure justice, raise awareness, and prevent future incidents. It is important to document as much information as possible, including dates, times, locations, descriptions of the incident, and any evidence

Click here to download the guide.

Organization Contact Sources

1. Human Rights Campaign (HRC):
- Website:
- Phone: 1-800-772-9100

2. National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP):
- Website:
- Hotline: 1-212-714-1141

3. Stop Hate UK:
- Website:
- Helpline: 0800 138 1625

- Website:
- Contact Form:

5. Trevor Project:
- Website:
- Helpline: 1-866-488-7386
- Online Chat:

Direct Online and Phone Support Services for LGBTQ Youth

  • The Trevor Project has several direct online resources specifically for LGBTQ youth:
    • Trevor Lifeline is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.
    • TrevorChat is a confidential online instant messaging with a Trevor Counselor, available 24/7, at
    • TrevorText is a confidential text messaging with a Trevor Counselor, available 24/7/365, by texting START to 678678.
    • TrevorSpace is an affirming international community for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24 available at
  • Trans Lifeline Hotline is a peer support service run by trans people located all over the US and Candada, for trans and questioning callers.
  • Q Chat Space is a bully-free online community of LGBTQ+ teens that can chat with other LGBTQ+ teens and vetted/trained staff from LGBTQ+ community centers around the country. The community is managed by CenterLink.
  • National Runaway Safeline is a federally designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth, available 24/7/365, providing access to resources and listening professionals.
  • The LGBT National Help Center offers a talkline and weekly chatrooms for youth under 19, providing confidential peer-support, information, local resources and community
  • Many PFLAG chapters are meeting virtually or providing 1:1 virtual support as requested for parents/guardians or LGBTQ youth.
    • Go to to look up the PFLAG chapter in your area and reach out by phone, email or on social media to learn more about their virtual support options.


The following resources are also available for youth, families, and providers.

For Youth


Resources for Coming Out (Human Rights Campaign):
Survival Guide for Independent LGBTQ Youth (Human Rights Campaign):


    LGBT Centers:
    Gay Straight Alliance Network:
    It Gets Better Project:
    The Trevor Project:
    National Youth Forum on Homelessness:

      For Families


      Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Facts for Teens and Their Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics):

      Gender Identity Development (American Academy of Pediatrics):

      Family Acceptance Project – Family Booklet (also available in Spanish and Chinese):


      Family Acceptance Project – Family Videos:

      Parenting Resources (Human Rights Campaign):


      Trans Youth Family Allies:

      For Providers


      A Practitioner’s Resource Guide for Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children (Family Acceptance Project):
        Best Practice Guidelines for Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care (Family Acceptance Project):
        Resources for Supporting LGBTQ Youth (Human Rights Campaign):
        Trainings for Youth-Serving Professionals (The Trevor Project):
          National Child Traumatic Stress Network LGBTQ Resources:

          LGBT Youth Homelessness Report (True Colors Fund):


            The 40 to None Network:

            GLSEN (previously an acronym for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network):

              Other helpful pages on

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