Map and Expand: LGBTQ Affirming Healthcare

Garden State Equality and community partners are taking on one of the greatest civil rights challenges of our time: making sure health services actually meet the needs of LGBTQ people.

LGBTQ people need doctors, therapists, and other direct services like anybody else. Our health needs are an everyday part of our lives—and we’re not equal until we can be sure that when we go to a provider, that professional is sure to say the right things to us, ask the right questions, and provide us the comfort and care we need. LGBTQ organizations are forever putting together lists of LGBTQ sensitive providers—but we shouldn’t need to find our doctors on special lists.

Map & Expand Partnership with Rutgers School of Public Health

Garden State Equality is partnering with the Rutgers School of Public Health to map and expand LGBTQ-affirming healthcare providers across New Jersey, and we are building a website portal where you can find easily find them.

With our Map and Expand project, we’re going to find the health service providers who treat us with the most respect, and literally map out where they are in the state. We’re going to get in touch with all of them, and—doctors, therapists, other direct service providers, and activists working together—figure out what policy changes and advocacy efforts we need to make sure all health service providers treat us with respect.

Before we can build that website, we are conducting a statewide research survey to learn where those affirming providers are and assure they are professionally and culturally competent.

If you’re a healthcare provider: click here to add your name as an LGBTQ-affirming provider—and we’ll send you more information about our research survey.

If you’re an LGBTQ patient or parent: forward this email to your provider and urge them to sign—and then click here to add your provider’s contact information so we can reach out to them as well.

LGBTQ people have specific health needs and challenges—ranging from family planning, transition-related care, mental health, sexual health, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and more—but many in our community find themselves traveling out of state... or simply not getting the care they need at all.

To change that, we already provide professional development trainings around New Jersey. And our patient web portal is a critical next step to ensuring that you can easily find those affirming providers—whether you’re in Cape May, Clifton, or Camden.

If you have follow-up questions about this partnership or project, please email

Asbury Park Community Patient Empowerment Project

GSE has received a grant from Provident Bank Foundation that has allowed us to focus on the low-income LGBTQ community of Asbury Park. To learn more, click here!

Workshops and Presentations for the LGBTQ Community 

The Sex-Ed You've Never Had
(LGBTQ Community)
This workshop helps the LGBTQ community understand gender identity/expression and sexual orientation with age-appropriate and medically accurate information; discusses healthy romantic relationships and families; and emphasizes the need for protection during sex for people of all identities. 

Community Flick: How to Survive a Plague + Discussion on HIV/AIDS
(LGBTQ Community)

Garden State Equality has the rights to the critically acclaimed film, How to Survive a Plague. The film is the story of the brave young men and women who successfully reversed the tide of an epidemic, demanded the attention of a fearful nation and stopped AIDS from becoming a death sentence. Following this film, a discussion about HIV/AIDS and it's impact from the crisis in the 80s and it's stigma today. 

Resiliency + Self-Care: How to Create a Safe Space for Yourself
(LGBTQ Community)

Being LGBTQ can be both freeing and exhaustive in today's world. When's the last time you took care of your needs? In this workshop, we'll travel the road to resiliency and practice self-care to create affirming safe spaces. Participants will discuss being LGBTQ, and its effects on mental health. This activity is open to all participants within the LGBTQ spectrum regardless of age. 

Workshops and Presentations for Service Providers

Intro to LGBTQ Health
(Administrators/Healthcare Professionals)
This workshop helps healthcare professionals understand basic LGBTQ terminology, the impact of historical and current discrimination of the LGBTQ community, identifies LGBTQ specific healthcare disparities, and establishes effective practices for incorporating LGBTQ health. 

Intro to LGBTQ Mental Health
(Administrators/Healthcare Professionals)
This workshop helps healthcare professionals understand basic LGBTQ terminology, the impact of historical and current discrimination of the LGBTQ community and it's impact on mental health, identifies LGBTQ specific mental health disparities, and establishes effective practices for incorporating LGBTQ mental health.

Sexual Violence in the LGBTQ Community
(Administrators/Healthcare Professionals)
This workshop helps healthcare professionals understand basic LGBTQ terminology, the exploration of sexual violence in the LGBTQ community including debunking myths, and establishes effective practices for incorporating LGBTQ health in sexual violence spaces. 

Working with Transgender Patients 
(Administrators/Healthcare Professionals)
This workshop covers the basics of gender identity and gender expression; legal, social, and medical aspects of gender transition; and effective practices and policies in working with transgender patients.

Additional Trainings 
In addition to the trainings offered through our Map + Expand Program, we offer school trainings through our Teach + Affirm program; older adult provider trainings through our Pledge + Protect Program. We also offer workplace diversity trainings: trainings addressing homelessness to CoCs and other shelter providers; and trainings for lawyers, legal professionals, and the judiciary on LGBTQ legal rights and advocacy.