Welcome to the LGBTQIA+ Community Access Page
Providence as an LGBTQIA+ affirming city
The City of Providence has a proud history of affirming the LGBTQIA+ community. Over the past seven years, Providence has consistently been the only city in Rhode Island to receive a perfect 100 rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Municipal Equality Index. This index takes into account policies and practices that indicate strong support for LGBTQIA+ communities.
We value our LGBTQIA+ residents and have taken numerous actions to affirm and protect them, including but not limited to:
- Updating the City’s health insurance policy to include gender-affirming care
- Testifying in support of a ban on conversion therapy for minors
- Updated City’s health insurance policy to extend benefits to transgender city employees and retirees
- Raised the transgender flag at City Hall to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance
- Designated all-gender restrooms in municipal buildings (currently at City Hall, Providence Public Safety Complex, Providence School Department, and the Joseph A. Dooley Municipal Building at 444 Westminster St.)
- The City school board passed a wide-ranging policy to support transgender students, which includes provisions about bathrooms and other school facilities
- City brought in TGI Network to train city staff, including our municipal court judges, on how to be more inclusive and welcoming to the transgender community
- Encouraged City staff to include pronouns in their email signatures to foster an environment of gender equity
Key City Links
- Request the Mayor to attend an event
- Become a Vendor with the City
- Apply for a job with the City
- Request a Free All-Gender Restroom Sign for Your Small Business or Organization
o As of January 2021, all places of public accommodation with existing single-stall restrooms are required to designate them as all-gender. The City has allocated funding to provide businesses and organizations with signs. This financial support deepens the City’s commitment to equality, while also ensuring our businesses remain in compliance with state law.
LGBTQIA+ Specific Policies
City non-discrimination policy
Workplace transition guidelines for City employees
Visiting City Buildings
All-gender restrooms are located in City Hall, the Public Safety Building, 444 Westminster, and the School Department.
COMING SOON – Name Change Buddy Program
The Name Change Buddy Program is a specialized customer service initiative for anyone, especially for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, who resides in the City of Providence and would like to change their legal name. The City will provide a trained city employee to meet you at a comfortable location and accompany you to your destination to provide friendly support and enhanced customer service. All city employees are accepting volunteers, many of them members of LGBTQIA+ communities, who will be trained by TGI Network and the city to be responsive to what you most need during your visit. Coming soon in July of 2022. Please contact Human Relations Commission Executive Director Andi Wheeler (they/them) with more information at .
Community Resource Links
- General Name Change Guidance – Provided by Thundermist Health Center’s Trans* Access Health Team
- Open Door Health
Safe, confidential, and inclusive health care specifically tailored for LGBTQIA+ communities.
Address: 7 Central Street Providence, RI 02907
Phone Number: (401) 648-4700
- Project Weber/Renew – Beyond the Understanding of Gender
Program services include a community support group, transition support, support changing documents, and individual case management.
Address: Providence and Pawtucket locations
Phone Number: (401) 383-4888
- Thundermist Health Center – Trans Health Access
The Trans Health Access Team is a group of medical, behavioral health, and allied service professionals working to improve access to culturally and clinically competent healthcare for the trans community.
Address: Multiple locations
Phone Number: (401) 467-4100
Voting While Trans* in Rhode Island is a comprehensive voting guide for Transgender and Non-binary residents. This resource was compiled by Thundermist Health Center’s Trans* Health Access team.
LGBTQIA+ owned businesses
- Alley Cat
Address: 17 Snow Street, Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: (401) 272-6369
- Brooklyn Coffee Tea & Guest House
Address: 209 Douglas Avenue, Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: (401) 270-3100
- The Dark lady
Address: 19 Snow Street, Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: (401) 272-6369
- Small Format
Address: 335 Wickenden Street, Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: (401) 808-6139
- And more coming soon!
LGBTQIA+ local media
- Options Magazine
Address: P.O. Box 6406 Providence, RI 02940
Phone Number: (401) 217-3939
- The City does not endorse nor favor any business or resource over another
- For a comprehensive list of resources, please visit Options (https://www.optionsri.org/)
- To submit an additional resource link or business, please contact LGBTQIA+ Liaison Bret Jacob at
Meet Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s LGBTQIA+ Liaison Bret Jacob (he/him)
Bret Jacob (he/him) has served as Mayor Elorza’s LGBTQIA+ Liaison since 2020. In addition to this role, Bret serves as the Director of Research and Development, providing high-level oversight and strategic guidance for the programmatic deliverables of the team, the Healthy Communities Office, and any consultants and subcontractors. Policy areas of focus include, criminal legal system, immigration, and racial equity. When he’s not working, Bret spends time hiking and snuggling with Dia, the sweetest dog on the planet.
The purpose of the LGBTQIA+ Liaison is to provide support for the community and city staff, craft and promote policies incorporating LGBTQIA+ communities and generally connect the Mayor’s administration with LGBTQIA+ communities.