There are many organizations that support and advocate for the interests of Maine’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning population. Here are a few of them, with a brief description of what they do.

The Health Equity Alliance: Provides direct health and counseling services, organizes pride events and advocates on behalf of Maine’s LGBTQ community, people living with HIV/AIDS, and people who use drugs. http://www.mainehealthequity.org

Equality Maine: Works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Maine through political action, community organizing, education and collaboration. equalitymaine.org.

Maine TransNet: Facilitates peer support groups for transgender people and allies, provides platforms for social networking and public dialogue, directs people to available resources and provides training and education opportunities. mainetransnet.org/.

SAGE-Maine: Improving quality of life for older LGBTQ adults living in Maine through advocacy, education and social support. sagemaine.org/.

PFLAG: Parents, families and friends united with LGBTQ people to move equality forward. pflagportlandmaine.org.

GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network is a national organization aimed at making schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. glsen.org/chapters/downeastme/ourchapter.

Maine School Civil Rights Team Project: The mission of the Civil Rights Team Project, administered through the Maine attorney general’s office, is to increase the safety of elementary, middle level and high school students by reducing bias-motivated behaviors and harassment in our schools. maine.gov/ag/civil_rights/.

At the national level:

The Human Rights Campaign: As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. hrc.org/.

The Welcoming Project: Created to encourage businesses, health care/service providers, organizations and churches to show their patrons that all are welcome. thewelcomingproject.org/.

LGBTQ Nation: An online news magazine, reporting on issues relevant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. lgbtqnation.com.

Meg Haskell

Meg Haskell is a curious second-career journalist with two grown sons, a background in health care and a penchant for new experiences. She lives in Stockton Springs. Email her at mhaskell@bangordailynews.com.