JQ International proudly stands as the premiere LGBTQ Jewish organization in the greater Los Angeles area since 2004. Now celebrating its B'nai Mitzvah year, JQ International builds and strengthens a community that nurtures a healthy fusion of LGBTQ and Jewish identities. Through transformative, identity-building, and engaging programs, JQ International has established an impressive track record of innovative initiatives, services, and partnerships fostering leadership and inclusion within the community. Benefiting LGBTQ Jews and allies of all ages, JQ’s programs have impacted more than 13,000 lives in the LGBTQ and ally Jewish community in the past year alone.
Teens living within a religious or spiritual community experience particular mental and emotional stressors. Introduced in 2014, JQ International’s Teen JQSA (Jewish Queer Straight Alliance) serves ages 13-18 and cultivates connection by providing a vital, safe, and affirming social environment for LGBTQ Jewish teens and allies. The first such community-wide youth group in Los Angeles, the Teen JQSA equips participants with tools and resources to manage bullying, homophobia, and adolescent pressures, and fosters a greater understanding of Jewish values that affirm LGBTQ identity and inclusion. Participants in the Teen JQSA create lasting friendships, gain confidence, and attain an increased awareness of LGBTQ inclusion throughout our Jewish community.
JQ’s signature Adult Programing serves as the core of the organization’s mission and creates community through transformative identity-building programs. JQ’s initiatives provide a welcoming space to build and strengthen our LGBTQ and ally Jewish community. JQ seeks to integrate LGBTQ history and themes into traditional Jewish celebrations and rituals with a series of events including Shabbats and Jewish holiday meals and gatherings. Members previously unaffiliated or disenfranchised from the organized Jewish community enter an environment where they see themselves included and not marginalized and have opportunities to engage as leaders as well as community members. JQ’s signature events include the Annual Awards Brunch honoring outstanding LGBTQ and ally role models at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusion work and the Transgender Equality Brunch & Panel. Through these and other groundbreaking community-wide initiatives, JQ brings LGBTQ and ally Jews of all affiliations and identities together to create a vibrant Jewish experience where all are welcome.
LGBTQ Persian Jews represent a triple minority often raised in a conservative environment resistant to change. JQ International produces the only programing in the world specifically designed for LGBTQ Persian Jews and the Persian community at large and has engaged over 1,000 Persian and Middle-Eastern community members of all ages, religions, and cultural backgrounds. JQ’s groundbreaking LGBTQ and ally Persian programing provides a culturally sensitive space to build identity, camaraderie, and support. This programing -- including JQ's historic “Out of Iran, Out of the Closet” panel co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood -- supplies a culturally relevant environment for participants to better navigate often conflicting cultural beliefs.
The JQ Helpline represents the core of JQ’s outreach and inclusion services. By launching the only dedicated helpline for LGBTQ Jews and their allies in 2014, JQ strives to ensure that LGBTQ Jews, their families, and allies receive resources and support to meet their unique needs. The JQ Helpline operates six days a week and provides support and culturally-inclusive resources to those in need in the United States and around the world.
JQ SPEAKERS BUREAU
JQ knows personal stories deepen the understanding of the LGBTQ Jewish experience. Through the JQ Speakers Bureau, JQ’s highly trained speakers bring their personal experiences and life stories to organizations and institutions throughout the community. Every JQ speaker receives specialized training and serves as a role model to help groups better enhance their LGBTQ inclusion and awareness.
Now more than ever, Jewish and secular organizations need assistance in becoming more welcoming and inclusive. JQ International’s Inclusion Trainings help organizations better understand and address the needs of their LGBTQ and ally members through customized consulting and programing. Through these interactive and informative sessions, JQ strives to create safe, embracing, and healthy spaces for LGBTQ individuals and allies.