Our Story

A place to talk and grow

Identity House is an all-volunteer community that provides counseling services to support and encourage LGBTQ+ adults who are struggling with issues of sexuality, gender identity, alienation, relationships, and family. We’ve proudly served the New York metropolitan area since 1971.

Why we’re different

Identity House provides a unique service as a peer counseling center for the New York City metropolitan area’s LGBTQ+ community. We offer a walk-in counseling and referral center, as well as weekly groups where people can talk about issues related to sexual and gender identity. Unlike formal therapy, peer counseling is based on the belief that with proper guidance and support, people are capable of working through many of their own problems.

Our peer counselors use active listening skills to help clients clarify their thoughts and feelings and to explore solutions. We have the opportunity to share as equals and draw on personal experience to let clients know we’ve been there, too. And if just talking isn’t enough, we also make referrals when appropriate to short-term counseling, peer-run support groups, or licensed therapists.

We are needed now more than ever.


more LGBTQ+ individuals are at risk for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)


of bisexuals, and 35% of gay men and lesbians, report being diagnosed with depression, more than double the rate of those who identify as straight. (CDC)


of transgender people have been diagnosed with depression, and research showed that lack of support for their transition often contributed significantly to their depression. (CDC)

Health is shaped by a host of social, economic, and structural factors. Research suggests that LGBTQ+ individuals seek mental health treatment at a higher rate than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts. Those in the LGBTQ+ community are also much more likely to experience anxiety, depression, substance abuse, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts.

Historically, many LGBTQ+ people who sought mental health services found counselors and therapists were uneducated about issues around sexuality, gender, and identity. Unfortunately, this often resulted in LGBTQ+ clients ending their treatment prematurely or never actually seeking treatment and support. In some cases, the client would end up being the one to educate the therapist about the struggles unique to their population.

An open door, then and now.

Established in 1971, Identity House is the oldest continuously operating all-volunteer organization of LGBTQ+ people in New York City.

Learn about our history →

Want to help others and be part of a great community?

Join us as a member of Identity House. Gain valuable skills as a peer counselor and discover how rewarding it is to help our community thrive.

Become a peer member →

Are you a therapist looking to grow your practice?

Identity House needs qualified therapists to join and oversee our peer counselors. Support our community and deepen your professional skills.

Become a therapist member →