When Britt Huff searched online for an LGBTQ + resources several years ago, she couldn’t find any outside of colleges. So she created one called Speak of the Spectrum that meets by conference call on Fridays at 2 pm.
During the past 4 years, participants who range in age from 18 to 60+ have been part of this group as well as family and friends who are allies of the LGBTQ community. Including allies was an important part of the original concept because she hoped to increase conversation and communication between the two groups.
“I got into social work to make changes in areas where I saw a need,” said Britt. “Jersey has incredibly limited resources and spaces for the LGBTQ community, but this group is one them and that means something to me as a peer and a professional.”
Group participants originally met in person, but during COVID, the group transitioned to a conference call, which broadened its reach across the state and beyond. Britt co-facilitates the group with a co-worker, Georgie Stebbins who is also a member of the LGBTQ community.
The group is not a support or “self-help” group in the traditional sense, but more of a discussion group. Both Georgie and Britt have social work backgrounds; and part of their education and training is in guiding and facilitating groups.
During the discussion, conversation evolves naturally based on the topics that are brought up by participants. Some weeks Britt or Georgie present an educational piece on a topic when a member has requested more information. Educational presentations have been on topics such as safe sex, binary and non-binary world, the trans community and gender issues.
The discussion has been helpful to allies who wish to increase their awareness and understanding of an LGBTQ family or friend. Parents and grandparents have been a part of some weekly discussions.
“The LGBTQ community has built a strong foundation. As we grow and educate the community, the steps we take help us reach higher,” said Georgie.
Britt said Speak of the Spectrum has been a satisfying initiative that gave the community an “open space” where members can be among peers and socialize.
Speak of the Spectrum started in 2014 when Britt was an intern at The Mental Health Association in Atlantic County. She was hired as staff at that nonprofit agency following her internship. Britt works on the Peer Outreach Support Team, POST. In addition she is a tutor for the Millville School District in Cumberland County. George also works for the POST team.
Speak of the Spectrum meets on Fridays at 2 pm by calling 609.241.9388.
For more information about the group, call Britt Huff or Georgie Stebbins at 609 652-3800.
Looking for more LGBTQ+ resources? Click here to visit our resources web page, which is updated frequently.