June is Pride Month, a period to celebrate and amplify the voices of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community.
Organizers selected this month as a nod to the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969, which started when police raided a New York City gay bar and assaulted customers. As the gay rights movement emerged in its wake, Pride events popped up in cities across the country.
But support is about more than parades and parties. It also shouldn’t be limited to 30 days out of the year. True allyship involves a constant commitment to standing firm against discrimination, marginalization and other issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community.
Several organizations offer education, outreach, research, training, workshops, and many other resources to individuals, institutions, and businesses dedicated to being proactive allies. As a proud supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, we thought we’d highlight five organizations in our Linktree community working to create a safe, inclusive, and uplifting environment for their members and allies.
[TW: Mentions of suicide]
Minus18 is Australia’s largest charity creating a safe space for and empowering the nation’s LGBTQIA+ youth community. According to the statistics on their website, up to 21% of Australian high schoolers identify as LGBTQIA+, and 66% of Australian youth who identify as LGBTQIA+ report being bullied or harassed because of their orientation. An even greater 81% do not believe that their school or teachers offer support to try to stop the bullying.
Providing comprehensive support has been at the core of the organization’s mission since 2011, and Minus18 takes a multi-pronged approach to assisting LGBTIQA+ youth. Workshop facilitators visit schools and youth organizations to encourage LGBTQIA+ youth and allies to advocate against discrimination. Additionally, they provide training in the workplace to foster inclusivity. Minus18 has also curated a library of resources, including articles, videos, and interviews accessible to youth in any part of Australia. Their Queer Formal is a dance party for young people between the ages of 13 and 19, held annually in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide.
Get involved: Minus18 accepts monetary donations: $20 will provide resources on gender identity and sexuality to a young person; $50 allows an LGBTIQA+ teen to attend the life-affirming Queer Formal free of charge, and $188 is enough to supply LGBTQIA+ education resources to a classroom. However, any amount is welcome. Want to help fundraise? Toolkits are available . Minus18’s merch store features tote bags, stationery, pins and flags, with 100% of the proceeds going to LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia.
Wear It Purple
On September 22, 2010, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, an American student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River after being outed as gay by his roommate. Clementi’s death was one in a spate of suicides that year by LGBTIQA+ youngsters who had been bullied or harassed. That year also saw the creation of Wear it Purple. The group, co-founded by Katherine Hudson and Scott Williams, pledged to provide support to other young people who needed to feel love and acceptance.
Wear it Purple focuses on four key areas:
- Awareness: assistance in creating inclusive experiences for LGBTIQA+ youth
- Opportunity: chances for LGBTIQA+ young people to network and develop their skills
- Environment: safe physical and digital spaces, and
- Collaboration: partnerships with other organizations to promote inclusion.
Get involved: If you donate, your money will be well spent – providing free resources to schools, participation in events across Australia, access to affordable merchandise, funding initiatives, and general growth of the organization. Wear it Purple also welcome corporate sponsorship. Wear it Purple Day celebrates diversity and draws awareness to the LGBTIQA+ youth in Australia annually. Supporters can also purchase hoodies, school supplies, t-shirts, and other merch from the online store.
Melbourne Queer Film Fest
The Melbourne International Lesbian & Gay Film and Video Festival debuted in February 1991 with a screening of “Longtime Companion,” a film depicting life with HIV in the 80s. Just over a decade later, in 2003, the name was changed to Melbourne Queer Film Festival and has continued to elevate local talent while serving as a hub for queer film culture.
The organization “aims to engage the community with the best LGBTIQA+ content in order to educate, entertain and celebrate diversity.” Their values include providing a platform for underrepresented voices, championing diversity, delivering excellence to filmmakers and patrons, fostering safe and nurturing spaces for the community, and encouraging respectful and positive interactions.
Get involved: The not-for-profit organization welcomes donations to support the LGBTQIA+ community. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible, and entry to the private donor program Sweethearts starts at $250. MQFF also seeks volunteers in various roles for the festival.
National Center 4 TransEquality
The National Center for Transgender Equality works to create a more inclusive and respectful environment for transgender people through changes in policy and societal attitudes. The organization is celebrating multiple wins so far in 2022, including:
- New reforms at the State Department allowing non-binary people to apply for an “x” gender marker on their passport,
- The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) decision to stop using gendered body scanners and start working with airlines to improve gender marker requirements on tickets,
- The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) commitment to phasing out the use of gender identity verification in 2022 and introduce an “x” gender marker within the SSA system in 2023, and
- A federal proposal allocating $10 million for collecting gender identity and sexual orientation data in the American Community Survey.
Get involved: Donations of any amount support trans rights.
Sensationalized and often derogatory HIV and AIDS coverage in the 80s prompted a small contingent of journalists and writers to form the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Since 2013, GLAAD has become the preferred acronym in a bid to promote the inclusion of the other members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The organization provides a platform for storytelling that increases awareness and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people while ensuring that media coverage is inclusive and fair.
Since 1990, the GLAAD Media Awards have honored media members, entertainers, and organizations for “fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues.”
Get involved: GLAAD donations of any amount immediately qualify donors to become members. Major donors of $1,500 and above are known as GLAAD Shareholders Circle Members. Employers are also able to match donations made by their employees. Other avenues of support include hosting fundraisers, donor-advised funds, stocks, and purchasing items from their merchandise store.
There is undeniable progress in the push for inclusivity and acceptance for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, but there is still more work to be done.Vocal support is absolutely impactful, but with a little time, money, or active engagement in advocacy, we can smash the roadblocks suppressing our LGBTQIA+ friends. They belong, they are worthy and should feel free to share their whole, wonderful selves with the world.
By supporting these organizations you can help create that meaningful change.