- WNC Gay Straight Alliances
- Safe School Resources
- Faith Institutions
- National Helplines
- WNC Youth Services
WNC Gay Straight Alliances
If you are looking for information about allying LGBTQ students or starting a gay/straight alliance, check out these valuable resources (bullet point each in list)
- Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
Research and resources about how to create inclusive school environments
- GSA Network
Resources for empowering youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia
- Safe Schools Coalition
Tools for building safe schools for LGBTQ youth
The following WNC high schools have gay/straight alliances (GSA) or diversity clubs.
- A.C. Reynolds High School (STRIDE), Asheville High School, North Buncombe (The Diversity Club), T.C. Roberson High School, Owen High School, and Erwin High School (Ally Club).
- Carolina Day School and Evergreen Community Charter School have supportive, progressive policies and practices regarding LGBTQ students.
- East Henderson High School (SEAT–currently inactive)
- Hendersonville High School (Pride Club)
- North Henderson High School (Alliance)
- West Henderson High School (Falcon Alliance)
- Brevard High School
- Smokey Mountain High School
Other schools may feature diversity clubs or organizations with inclusive missions and are welcoming to LGBTQ students. If you know of a local GSA in the WNC region, please contact us.
If you are interested in knowing about the climate for local LGBTQ college students, check out the Youth Outright Resource Guide for WNC Colleges and Universities.
- Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
Safe School Resources
In 2009, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed the School Violence Prevention Act (SVPA) (http://youthoutright.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/senate-bill.pdf), which protects students from bullying or harrassment based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Each local school board was required to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior. The SVPA also required that school bullying and harassment policies provide a procedure for anonymous reporting. Through the efforts of the ACLU of North Carolina and Youth Outright, all 18 WNC counties now have these protected categories cited in their school board policies. If a student is being bullied at school or on school sanctioned field trips for being LGBTQ or because they are perceived to be LGBTQ, Youth Outright is your ally! Don’t hesitate to contact us. A recommended practice for students, parents, or guardians for reporting bullying and harassing behavior is to first approach a trusted teacher, counselor, or other staff at the school. You should document this and request follow up from that adult. You should also document any anonymous reporting. Another option available to you is to contact the appropriate Safe School contact. Please note that these persons are county contacts for the NC Department of Public Instruction to convey safety and discipline policies and procedures to the districts; they are not necessarily trained as as contacts for reporting bullying and harassment.
Asheville City Schools
- Contact: Michele Lemell, Safe Schools/Healthy Living Coordinator | 828-350-6150 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact: Ellis Ayers, Parent Concerns Coordinator | 828-733-6006 ext. 1513
- Contact: If you are a student in the Buncombe County School system and you have experienced bullying or harassment at school or a school event or on a bus, you can make an anonymous report at 828-225-5292.
- David Thompson, Director of Student Services | 828-255-5918 | email@example.com
- Debbie Bryant, Helpful Living Specialist | 828-255-5960 | Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact: Karen Holton, Lead Counselor | 770-479-4112 | Karen.email@example.com
- Kim Gibson, Student Services Coordinator | 828-837-2722 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lyle Bandy, Director Student Services | 904-284-6511 | email@example.com
- Angela Knight, Superintendent | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark Sheppard, Safe Schools Coordinator | 828-456-2400 ext. 2104
- Matt Gruebmeyer, HELP Services | 828-697-4733
- Cindy Simmons, Safe Schools Coordinator | 828-586-2311 ex. 1923
- Terry Bell | 828-524-3314 ex. 329
- Will Hoffman, Curriculum Director | 828-649-9276 ex. 234 | email@example.com
- Contact principal or trusted professional first.
- Brian Oliver, Executive Director of Academics | 828-652-4535 ext 123
- Morgan Duchard | 828-766-2220 ext 2232
- Erin Green, Director of Instruction and curriculum | 828-894-3051 ext 1120
- Renee Collins, Director of Secondary Education/Lead counselor | 828-894-3051 ext 171
- Susan Blankenship, Swain County High School | 828-488-2152 ext 5221
- Contact Principal first.
- Arleca Chapman, Student Services Director | 828-884-6173
- Dr. Paul Hogan | 828-264-7190 ext 20201 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kristin Buchanan, Director of Olweus Bullying Prevention Program*** | 828-682-6101 | email@example.com
- Suzanne Gavenus, Senior Counselor at Mountain Heritage High School |828-682-6103 | firstname.lastname@example.org
***An excellent source of information for anyone wishing to set goals and establish anti-bullying program in school. Revised February 2015, this list is subject to change.
These LGBTQ Welcoming & Supportive Faith Based Institutions in WNC welcome you!
- Abiding Savior Lutheran Church (ELCA)
- Cathedral of All Souls (Episcopal)
- Circle of Mercy Congregation
- United Church of Christ
- First Congregational United Church of Christ
- First Presbyterian Church
- Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
- Jubilee! (non-denominational)
- Kenilworth Presbyterian
- Land of the Sky United Church of Christ
- New Hope Presbyterian Church
- St. Joan of Arc (Congregational Catholic)
- St. John’s Episcopal Church Asheville
- St. Mary’s Church (Episcopal)
- St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church
- Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville
- Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church & College Chapel
- Westminster Presbyterian
- Montreat Presbyterian Church
- Congregation Beth HaTephila (Reform)
- Congregation Beth Israel (Conservative)
- Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley
- Jewish Community Center
- Haywood Street Congregation (United Methodist)
- Mother Grove Goddess Temple
- Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting (Quaker)
- The Reconciling Ministry Group at Central United Methodist Church
- Jesus People of Asheville
- MCC Sacred Journey (Metropolitan Community Church)
- First Congregational Church of Hendersonville
- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville
- Agudas Israel Synagogue (Reform)
- Unity Center of Hendersonville
- People Being Jesus (PB&J)
- Grace Lutheran Church (ELCA)
- Boone Friends Meeting
- High Country United Church of Christ
- Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
- St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Are you looking for additional LGBTQ affirming information about religion or spirituality? Check out our Youth Outright Resource Guide for Religion and Spirituality.
These national helplines provide LGBTQ affirming support and advice. (bullet point each in list)
- The Trevor Project | National suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth | 866-488-7386
- GLBT National Help Center & The GLBT National Youth Talkline | Free & confidential peer counseling and information. Youth serving youth through age 25 | 800-246-7743
- The Gay & Lesbian National Hotline | Peer support for adults and youth | 888-843-4564
- The National Runaway Switchboard | 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)
- National AIDS Hotline | English & Spanish; 24 hours/ 7 days a week | 800-232-4636 TTY: 888-232-6348
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | Chat line for people in crisis | 1-800-273-8255
If you are afraid that you may hurt yourself or someone else, please call 911 now! Want to know more about suicide prevention? Visit “It’s OK 2 Ask …. About Suicide” and Talking About Suicide and LGBT Populations.
WNC Youth Services
WNC LGBTQ Affirming Shelters and Service Providers
- Help Out Youth A clearinghouse for WNC services for LGBTQ youth
- Be Loved House Transitional housing, support groups, one on one advocacy 39 Grove Street, Asheville NC 28801 | 828-242-8261
- Trinity Place Shelter services 12 Ravenscroft Drive, Asheville, NC 28801 | 828-253-7233
- Our Voice Counseling services for healing from sexual violence 44 Merrimon Ave, Suite 1 Asheville, NC 28801 | 828-255-7576
If you are seeking information about local, regional, and national LGBTQ organizations, check out our Youth Outright Resource Guide to National, Regional, State, and Local LGBTQ Affirming Organizations. YO is currently compiling local and regional counseling, social services, and other resources relevant for LGBTQ youth and supportive parents. If you know of anything we might add, contact us.