Our Mission

Mission Statement
Our mission is to advocate for equality and resources for the LGBTQ+ community in Bergen County, N.J., to celebrate our diversity, and to provide safe spaces that allow us to be our true selves.

How are we achieving our mission?

Assessing Bergen County LBGTQ+ Needs

We are continually assessing the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in Bergen County. We are a diverse population that includes groups who have historically been difficult to reach and therefore have often been unseen and chronically underserved – for example LGBTQ+ people of color, older single sex couples, transitioning transgender people, homeless LGBTQ+ youth, and LGBTQ+ individuals engaging in risky sex practices.

BCLA reaches out to the LGBTQ+ community to directly ask its members what they need. We have had video discussions with several hundred members of the community and these videos are creating a unique testimony of the rainbow of life and experience that is the current LGBTQ+ community in our county in the third decade of the 21st century. Our latest online survey had over 1,000 respondents, giving us valuable and direct information about LGBTQ+ needs, situations, challenges being faced, and hopes and wishes for future change. BCLA representatives and volunteers are also physically present at Pride events throughout the county, in conversation with attendees and also providing information about resources, and about our organization and its mission.

Through our engagement, we continue to gain deeper insights into LGBTQ+ needs, and collect more information about the demographics our community, using that information to inform our actions and responses, and to engage with town and county elected representatives.

Connecting the LGBTQ+ Community with Resources

Recognizing recent significant efforts made within Bergen County to address the needs of this complex community, we stay informed about planned initiatives that the county has in mind, and we track the resources the county makes available, such as Monkey Pox vaccinations or gender reassignment medical services provided by local hospitals. We also follow the services provided by private non-profit organizations such as NJ Buddies (serving those living with HIV and AIDS), PFLAG, and GLSEN, and we provide links to those resources through our website and social media, helping inform the community about what is available.

We continue to gather lists of local, publicly available services and make that information available through our website and in-person presence, to the local LGBTQ+ community. This simplifies access to these services for members of the community and helps counter the view that there are no local services in Bergen County, or that going to New York City or another state are the only viable options.

What next?
Beyond continuing our mission to connect the LGBTQ+ community with the resources it needs, we hope to help establish some form of LGBTQ+ community resource that will outlive this project, such as a physical, bricks and mortar Pride and Resource center here in Bergen County.