Pride is always a time when your community comes together against adversity to show just how strong we are – and this year its all the more important. While we are all celebrating, it’s also key to consider how we can give back and support those in need within our community.
There are a lot of really big organizations out there doing great work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, and their work is more important than ever in the face of so many challenges to our rights coming from the current administration — but beyond all the big name organizations are a lot of smaller causes that you should consider championing this pride season.
Your local community center
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, an LGBTQ community center may be the first place you manage to connect with others. Many of these provide incredible local services, like health screenings, employment assistance, and social events for LGBTQ people of all ages and stripes.
Yet many of these centers could use your help. Consider stepping up and volunteering for them, and sharing some of your skills and knowledge to better your community. You’ll feel better for having done it, and may make some great new friends along the way.
Of course, if volunteering isn’t your speed, most run on tight or even nonexistent budgets; so consider a donation to help them keep the lights on and the doors open for your local community.
Queer youth groups
Yes, yes, saying “the children are our future” sounds a little corny, but it is nonetheless true. It is vital that we look to the next generation, and lend a hand — and what better way than supporting groups designed specifically for our LGBTQ youth?
While they cover similar ground to the various LGBTQ community centers around the counter, many of them cover larger areas, and provide specific support and resources that cater specifically to younger members of our community – including scholarships, discussion groups, and other support services.
Consider a generous donation to these groups, and help build the future.
Film festivals are a great way to build awareness of LGBTQ issues and causes, and give many people a chance to see stories they can personally relate to on the big screen. What’s more, many also help to get LGBTQ films off the ground in the first place, and provide support and resources for our filmmakers.
These are great causes to support, plus you can support them and get a night at the theater for you and yours.
One of the scariest things we can deal with is homelessness, whether it is due to financial disadvantage, being kicked out by family, or any number of other issues. Compounding this, not every shelter is GBTQ friendly, with many being especially difficult on transgender women in need.
Thankfully, there are a growing number of advocacy groups focused on LGBTQ homelessness. Consider finding one in your area to donate your time and/or money to this pride season, and help some in our community who may be most in need.
Pride is our annual time in the sun, where we gather to reaffirm our rights to be out, and about, and fabulous. It’s a great time not only to party and have fun, but in these uncertain times our visibility and our strength in numbers is all the more vital.
Behind every pride is an organization putting it together and making it happen, and many of those rely on your donations to pay for permits and services to make the event run smoothly. Consider a donation before or during your local pride event — or consider how you can be a part of the organizing team behind your local pride and give back with your time and effort.
We are living through challenging times, and organizations big and small could use your help this pride season. Take a moment to consider ways you can help, and together we can improve things for us all.