Bergen County opens office of LGBTQ+ services 

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Rainbow flag and is pixelated
Rainbow Pixels by Ed Hahn

Permanent office debuts on National Coming Out Day

On National Coming Out Day, Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III, the Board of Commissioners, and the Department of Human Services announced the implementation of an Office of LGBTQ+ Services. The new office will operate under the Bergen County Department of Human Services.

The Office of LGBTQ+ Services, according to the county, will create a safe and welcoming environment for individuals who identify as LGBTQ, while working to ensure visibility and acceptance within the Bergen County community.

“Having an Office of LGBTQ+ Services where our residents can access culturally competent, inclusive resources is incredibly important for our LGBTQ+ residents and allies,” Tedesco said. “It promotes awareness and visibility, and it lets the community know that we have their backs. The County of Bergen will always push for inclusive policies and services for our LGBTQ+ residents.”

One of the primary objectives for the Office is to build relationships with LGBTQ allies in the community while partnering with the county’s Department of Human Services, the county stated. Bergen County assures that the office will promote awareness, education and training to effect systemic change that guarantees safe and equitable services.

“As the second in the state to form an LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and the first to host an LGBTQ+ Youth Summit, Bergen County continues to ensure that our LGBTQ+ residents have their needs met,” said Tracy Zur, a Bergen County commissioner. “This office will strengthen the connectivity among our residents and our partner organizations and continue to foster an inclusive environment for all.”

The centralized Office of LGBTQ Services will allow Bergen County’s LGBTQ residents streamlined access to the various local LGBTQ+ resources the county has to offer, including the LGBTQ+ Health & Wellness Center at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Bias Crime Unit, the Bergen County LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee, the Bergen County LGBTQ+ Alliance (BCLA), Buddies of NJ, and The Trevor Project.

The Office of LGBTQ+ Services can be reached by phone at (201) 336-6008 or by email at lgbtqservices@co.bergen.nj.us. Operating hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Chelsey Johnstone
Out In Jersey News Editor Chelsey Johnstone is an award-winning multimedia journalist and editor with a passion for honest reporting. A recent graduate of Montclair State University, Chelsey has spent over 5 years writing for publications such as The College VOICE, TrentonDaily, Unclear Magazine, Montclair Local News and more. Now, Chelsey is working to advance her journalist skills at Out in Jersey Magazine with the hope of positively impacting the world of reporting.