What We Do

What We Do

BCLA works to advocate for equality and to connect the Bergen County LGBTQ+ community with the resources it needs. We celebrate our community’s diversity and work to create safe spaces that allow us to be our true selves.

Programs for the LGBTQ+ Community

BCLA hosts and coordinates essential programs dedicated to the people who need them most in our community. In describing our work and its impacts, we want to give thanks for the many contributions of our local LGBTQ+ community and allies, who help all of this work possible.

Youth Services

  • Support homeless LGBTQ+ youth who find themselves without a permanent or stable home, providing therapy, safe spaces, and peer support.

  • Run an intern program to help local LBGTQ+ youth become community leaders and advocates.

  • Support our friends at Rainbow Cafe in Cresskill who host a monthly social event for LGBTQ+ kids in a safe and welcoming space.

  • Host our regular ThreadZ event in Cresskill, helping local kids (especially non-binary and transgender kids) find free clothing that better matches their self-image.

Seniors

We host monthly meetups for local LGBTQ+ seniors, both in-person and virtual events, helping isolated seniors get together with their peers to start forming a community together. We also hold regular outdoor and other social events throughout the year for this underserved group.

Transgender

We host a recurring meetup and safe space for our local transgender community through the Marsha P. Johnson Social in Paramus. This will soon be a twice-monthly event to help this underrepresented part of the LGBTQ+ community to find a voice for themselves and for seeking needed resources.

Women

  • We have established a new BCLA group for local LGBTQ+ women and female-identifying individuals to come together and identify the needs of that often-underrepresented part of our community, to support this group in identifying their needs and to grow a sense of community.

  • We also continue to promote and support long-time, lesbian women’s groups in the community: Lavender Trex and First Tuesday, both of which have been providing essential support to lesbian-identifying women for decades.

Mental Health Support

  • BCLA works to help connect people with critically needed mental health services from therapists who understand their unique situations and struggles. We provide a directory of LGBTQ+ focused therapists and support groups, with practices that focus on the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Promote LGBTQ+ Businesses

We list businesses and professional services that are either LGBTQ+ owned, or affirming and welcoming, including restaurants, cafes, clubs, attorneys, realtors, and more. We do this so our community can use the services of an increasing range of local businesses with confidence that their needs will be properly and respectfully dealt with.

Outreach & Advocacy

  • BCLA connects with the LGBTQ+ community in many ways. We host safe spaces for fun social events like Halloween and Friendsgiving, and we keep a strong virtual presence through our social media platforms and our website, where we provide links to important resources for health & wellness, career support, crisis help, and more. BCLA has regular office hours to allow members of our local community to seek assistance or just come by to talk.

  • We also know that our community is constantly changing, and so we keep assessing LGBTQ+ needs through attending Pride events and working with local Bergen town Pride groups all over the county and giving online surveys to collect feedback from our community. We also connect with elected local officials and committees, like Bergen County mayors, town councilpersons, and county leaders, to advocate for LGBTQ+ causes.