This not that ! Reallocate your Pride donations to these 10 LGBTQ+ non-profits
Hopefully 2022 is the year mainstream national LGBTQ+ organizations hit rock bottom. Unable to articulate a response to anti-LGBTQ+ legislations, dragged deep into debates where public support is lacking, supporting unelectable political candidates, losing key corporate allies, yet being in bed with unpalatable others, bullying dissent into silence and involved in lawsuits which tarnish them.
The damage seems irreparable: NBC News claim trans rights lost 10 points of public support in a single year, anti-LGBTQ+ bills fly through legislatures like there is not tomorrow, Dave Chapelle, Bill Maher and Rick Gervais vilify us on TV as if it was 1975 and we are at the mercy of SCOTUS.
The leading LGBTQ+ organizations are indeed changing hearts and minds but in reverse gear.
As gaylas season comes to a close, I have never heard so much self-congratulations from leaders and co-opted boards at odd with the well-being of the most marginalized in our community. It’s Weimar Germany with a touch of willful ignorance and greed. The house is burning, and yet all we get is asks for more money.
It might be a good time, to re-allocate your Pride donations to local, smaller more effective organizations.
I made a shortlist for you: led by a formerly incarcerated lesbian, a trans woman or campaigning specialists, these organizations make a real difference in the lives of marginalized LGBTQ+ people. As a disclaimer, I serve on the Board and/or support financially most of these organizations — a clear sign of “dogfooding”.
1 — Witness to Mass Incarceration (incarcerated LGBTQ+)
What it does: Re-entry for LGBTQ+ formerly incarcerated people because it could be YOU. The MAP which connects formerly-incarcerated owned businesses with clients all over the country. The Suitcase Project which provides fully stocked suitcases to newly released women and LGBTQ folks returning from prison homeless and penniless. Hats and Gloves: a campaign to protect Rikers prisoners from the cold.
2 — OutRight Action International (LGBTQ+ people abroad)
What it does: Harness thew power of LGBTQ+ people and their allies to benefit the global struggle for LGBTI Equality. In the words of Board Member Suzanne Rotondo: “they punch way above their weight… they make every dollar count 2x or 5x what the larger organizations seem to do. For OutRight, this means they are the ONLY LGBTIQ+ human rights organization that has permanent status at the UN, shaping global policy based on existing and original research, bold and game-changing policy that is grounded in pragmatism. This has had a profound impact.”
The ED: Another high power lesbian — Maria Sojdin — who has true LGBTQ+ street creed.
3 — The Institute of Current World Affairs’ David Mixner Fellowship (LGBTQ+ learning)
What it does: Send bright young American minds to report on what is REALLY going on in a specific area of the world on LGBTQ+ issue to advance our comprehension of the pullies of societal change.
The ED: Greg Feifer a REAL journalist who combines ideals and great style.
4 — Housing Works (LGBTQ+ HIV+, homeless and drug users)
What it does: Provide and advocate for housing in maybe the only place in the World which has no excuses left for homelessness. It also shows that Gay people are not (only) lurking monsters who emerge from Times Square bathrooms to head to Fire Island in the summer.
The ED: Matthew Bernardo who leads this gigantic operation with poise, charm and vision.
5 — TransNewYork (unemployed trans people)
What it does: TransNewYork is a trans-ran and led organization. Its mission is to focus of employability of trans people in the tri-state area.
The ED: Gen Herley, a charming and decisive leader with unparalleled experience in her community.
6 — GenderCool (the new trans messaging)
What it does: The GenderCool Project is a unique organization that dispels the image of the sad, lonely queer kid in a society that tends to hate its victims. In 2022, it has probably been the most innovative and effective response to the vilification of trans people we have observed.
The Founders: The Grosshandlers and Gearah Goldstein: visionary and passionate leaders.
7 — International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (because visibility matters)
What it does: Every year, the Idahobit: International Day Against LGBT+ Discrimination provides a day (May 17th) to collectively voice the stories, the concerns, the hopes, the demands and the dreams of all people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. You can see the report on how the day was marked around the world this May here.
The Secretary: Joel Bedos, coordinator of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia committee, and head of SOGI Campaigns an initiative to bring a scientific approach to our messaging.
8 — Immigration Equality (refugees)
What it does: Immigration Equality fights for LGBT+ and HIV-positive immigrants. In his recent book “Asylum”, Edafe Okporo, a former client, describes how they helped me when he came here.
Executive Director: Jeune premier Aaron Morris. During his decade-long engagement at the helm of the organization, he has helped countless LGBTQ+ refugees with empathy and dedication.
9 — SAGE USA
What it does: The country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to LGBT elders. SAGE looks out for LGBT elders since 1978: “We make aging better for LGBT people nationwide. How? We show up and speak out for the issues that matter to us. We teach. We answer your calls. We connect — generations, each other, allies. We win. And together, we celebrate.”
Executive Director: The very passionate Michael Adams, an influencer on aging.
10 — Global Parliamentary Network
What it does: Members of Parliament from 25 countries — more than 100 elected representatives — launched in 2019 the Global Equality Caucus at the UN, an international network of parliamentarians aiming to tackle discrimination against LGBT+ people. The Caucus holds governments to account and try to improve equality laws, working in partnership with businesses and NGOs. It is open to legislators across the world regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It supports its members — some of which are unfortunately the only LGBTQ+ elected officials in their country — through research briefings, up-to-date information, and regular meetings.
Executive Director: the very British Alan Wardle, a true King’s Man.