Local Organizations

Individuals Respecting Identities and Sexualities (IRIS) at UofSC

Individuals Respecting Identities and Sexualities is a social, service, and advocacy organization for the LGBTQ community at the University of South Carolina. The meetings are anonymous and conducted in forum style. The group discusses a range of issues and also sponsors educational programs throughout the year. Weekly Meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm in the Russell House Theatre

Website: https://garnetgate.sa.sc.edu/organization/iris
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UofSCIRIS/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UofSCIRIS
For more information, contact Kirk Foster at kfoster@mailbox.sc.edu

Openings SC

A supportive and welcoming network of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons and straight allies coming from diverse spiritual traditions to open hearts, minds, and doors. The group holds monthly meetings at different affirming congregations one Tuesday each month. Email for meeting times, location, and other information.

Website: https://openingssc.org/
E-mail: openings.sc@gmail.com


Columbia, SC PrimeTimers is a social, nonprofit, noncommercial group for gay/bi mature men and other men 21 years and older who subscribe to our purpose of socialization. Our main goal is to arrange social activities and events to enhance the lives of older gay/bi men in the SC Midlands. Activities and events may include arranging guest speakers for our monthly meetings, dining out, educational programs, movie outings, card night, day trips etc.

Website: http://www.ptww.org/columbiasc/
E-mail: columbiascpt@gmail.com

The Guild of South Carolina

The Mission of The Guild of South Carolina is to be the gateway for the LGBT community and its supporters
to develop friendships, business relationships, and alliances through social and professional programming.

Website: www.scglbg.org
E-mail: ckestner13@hotmail.com
South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Business Guild
PO Box 7913
Columbia, SC 29202-7913

Parents, Family, and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) - Columbia, SC Chapter

PFLAG is national organization that promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons, their families and friends through support, education, and advocacy, and that works to end discrimination and secure full civil rights human rights for the LGBTQ community. Monthly meetings on the 2nd Tuesday at Reformation Lutheran Church 6-7 pm (Social) and 7-8 pm (Business)

Website: https://www.pflagcolasc.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PFLAG-Columbia/
E-mail: cola.pflag@gmail.com
Phone: 803-665-4445

South Carolina Equality (SCEQ)

SC Equality is the state's LGBT education and political advocacy organization.  Their mission is to secure equal human and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender South Carolinians and their families.  SC Equality is the home of the SC GSA Network, an education, support and resource for South Carolina high school students who want to start or want support for their high school gay-straight alliance.

Website: https://www.equalmeanseveryone.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southcarolinaequality/
E-mail: info@scequality.org
Phone: 803-256-6500
LGBTQ Resource Page: https://www.equalmeanseveryone.org/get-informed/lgbtq-resources/ 

SC Pride

The mission of South Carolina Pride Movement is to support the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community of South Carolina; to celebrate the richness and diversity of GLBT lives; to educate the general population on LGBT issues; and to advocate for equality and inclusion in all areas of life.

Website: https://scpride.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/famouslyhotscpride/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SCPrideMovement

Girls Rock Columbia

At Girls Rock Columbia, the campers learn to play an instrument, form a band, write an original song and, at the end of the week, perform a concert at a live music venue for the entire community. The program encourages an environment that cultivates self-confidence, challenges gender stereotypes, promotes positive female relationships, creativity, and leadership.  The ultimate goal of Girls Rock Columbia is to empower everyone involved; both campers and volunteers, to take the sense of community learned from within the organization and carry that throughout the city they call home.

Website: http://girlsrockcolumbia.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRockColumbia/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/girlsrockcola
Address: 1219 Taylor Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Women’s Well-Being Initiative

Established in 2001, by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Women’s Well-Being Initiative (WWBI) aims to engage faculty, staff and students in campus-community partnerships that promote the well-being of women and girls in the Midlands, and to enhance the recognition of the full diversity of women's experiences across race, class, age, ethnicity and other dimensions of difference.

Website: http://www.artsandsciences.sc.edu/wwbi/about-wwbi
Program Coordinators: Taylor Gable (gablet@email.sc.edu) and Jessica Lewis (jl30@email.sc.edu)
Office and Mailing Address:
Women's Well-Being Initiative
USC Women's and Gender Studies Program
Jones Physical Science Center, Suite 109K
712 Main Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29208


EdVenture is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to creating new generations of lifelong learners through museum experiences, afterschool programming and camps. Helping shape a new generation of people who love to learn is at the core of all we do. In fact, our mission is to inspire children, youth and the adults who care about them to experience the joy of learning as individuals, as families and as a community.

Website: https://www.edventure.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdVentureChildrensMuseum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/edventure
Phone: 803-779-3100
Address: 211 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Regional/National Organizations

Grand Strand Pride

Mission Statement: Advancing acceptance of the Grand Strand LGBT community through increased visibility

Website: http://www.grandstrandpride.com/
E-mail: terry@grandstrandpride.com
Phone: 843-839-3511
Address: 1335 44th Avenue North, Suite 102, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina  29577-5978

Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Website: https://www.lambdalegal.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lambdalegal
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LambdaLegal
Phone: 404-897-1880
Southern Regional Office Address: 730 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 640, Atlanta, GA  30308-1210

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Mission Statement: We’re building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That’s why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you.

Website: http://www.thetaskforce.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetaskforce
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetaskforce

South Carolina Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Network/ National GSA Network

SCGSA Network is resource hub for Gay Straight Alliances in South Carolina public high schools. The group provides education, leadership development, crisis management and networking opportunities for students who participate in approved GSA clubs and those seeking to create a GSA within their school. It is the official position of the Federal Department of Education that all students have the government’s support to form Gay-Straight Alliances under the Equal Access Act.

Website: https://gsanetwork.org/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/gsanetwork
Facebook (Closed Group): https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_198034040233369
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetaskforce
E-mail: info@gsanetwork.org
Phone: 415-552-4229
Office Address: 1714 Franklin Street #100-418, Oakland, CA 94612-3409

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

Website: https://www.splcenter.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SPLCenter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/splcenter
E-mail: info@splcenter.org
Phone: 334-956-8200
Mailing Address: 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104

Southern Poverty Law Center Best Practices: Creating an LGBT-inclusive School Climate (2018)

Teaching Tolerance kits are free to educators. Best Practices: Creating an LGBT-inclusive School Climate offers advice ranging from ensuring that a school’s anti-bullying policy explicitly prohibits anti-LGBT bullying to recognizing staff members who promote an inclusive school environment.

Website: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/best-practices-for-serving-lgbtq-students

We Are Family (WAF)

We Are Family provides direct support, leadership development opportunities, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, (LGBTQI) and straight ally youth ages 0-25. We Are Family’s vision is that LGBTQI and straight ally youth feel empowered to find their places in the world, in their families, and in their communities.

Website: http://www.wearefamilycharleston.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreFamilyCHS/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wearefamilychs?lang=en
E-mail: info@waf.org
Phone: 843-637-3697
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 21806 Charleston, SC 29413

Gender Benders

Gender Benders, based out of Greenville, SC, strives to create a safe and supportive space for transgender, GNC, LGBT*, and allied individuals by connecting folks through friendships, providing support through resources, and initiating trans-inclusive community change through social action.

Website: http://genderbenders.org/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenderBendersUpstate/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/genderbenders1
E-mail: info@genderbenders.org

Southerners On New Ground (SONG)

SONG is a home for LGBTQ liberation across all lines of race, class, abilities, age, culture, gender, and sexuality in the South. We build, sustain, and connect a southern regional base of LGBTQ people in order to transform the region through strategic projects and campaigns developed in response to the current conditions in our communities. SONG builds this movement through leadership development, intersectional analysis, and organizing.

Website: http://southernersonnewground.org/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/ignitekindred
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ignitekindred
E-mail: kindred@southernersonnewground.org
Phone: 404-549-8628

TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA)

A TransYouth Family Ally (TYFA) is any person or organization who is supportive of trans, gender variant and gender questioning children and their families and can uphold the mission of TYFA. An ally is someone upon whom the organization can depend to be a consistent witness, expert or other professional representative who will not only endorse the message and mission of TYFA, but will do so unequivocally.

Website: http://www.imatyfa.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imatyfa/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/imatyfa/
E-mail: info@imatyfa.org
Phone: 888-462-8932