Since we’re only a few weeks into the new year, you might still have some motivation to make some changes in yourself and in the world. I’m always trying to find ways to give back and contribute to my community and a friend turned me on to the idea of giving 1% for the 99%. Essentially, you pledge to donate 1% of your monthly income to 12 different nonprofits. This year, I’m challenging myself (and you) to donate to these 12 LGBTQ organizations making a difference in the community.
OutYouth – I’ll be starting out the year by supporting a local Austin organization that provides a variety of programs and services for LGBTQ youth like a drop-in center for youth to hang out at, free HIV testing, and facilitated discussions. Every year OutYouth puts on events like the Out Youth Prom, an evening that allows queer youth the chance to have their own high school prom.
GSA Network – Continuing with support for the children, GSAs provide a safe space for queer and straight students to socialize and support each other. GSA Network offers resources and support for those local GSA clubs. Additionally, they help develop youth into leaders to head their local clubs.
Trans United Fund – It’s time to end the patriarchy which is why I’m proud to support an organization that is committed to building the political power of the trans community. They do this by building political leadership in the trans community and aiding and endorsing candidates with pro-trans platforms.
Victory Institute – Representation and visibility is everything. The best way to ensure LGBT rights is to have LGBTQ politicians representing our needs. The Victory Institute is the only national organization that works to train and develop LGBTQ leaders to take on careers in politics, government, business, and advocacy.
ALLGO – This Texas organization provides cultural arts, wellness, and social justice programs for queer people of color. As a queer person of color myself, this is an organization that I’ve been interested in for a while and have been meaning to be more involved with.
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association – The world’s oldest association of LGBTQ healthcare professionals works for to build equality in healthcare.
Their website also helps you find an LGBTQ friendly doctor, which you can appreciate if you’ve ever been treated by a doctor unfamiliar with our community.
AIDS Services of Austin – ASA provides services to people living with HIV and AIDS while also working to prevent the spread of HIV through education and outreach.
LGBT Asylum Support Task Force – While the US may slipping in its support for the LGBT community, some places in the world are far less welcoming. This organization supports LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the US. I had no idea that asylum seekers aren’t allowed to work until they are granted a work permit and social security number, which can take more than a year. The LGBT Asylum Task Force works to provide housing, food, basic necessities, and financial support during that time.
LAMBDA Legal – As the oldest and largest LGBTQ focused legal organization, Lambda Legal doesn’t charge their clients for legal representation or advocacy.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project – Named after the transgender activist, this organization works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity. They provide trainings for service providers and name and ID changing assistance.
SAGE – Elderly LGBTQ face higher poverty rates as well as significant health disparities than the general elderly population. Discrimination and social isolation can make things significant worse. Through their network of affiliates in SAGENet, SAGE works to improve financial security, reduce isolation, and enhance the quality of life for LGBTQ elders.
Hopefully this list inspires you to find and support a cause you’re passionate about. You never know, you might just find a dance party for that cause. If there are any LGBTQ organizations you love that I’ve left off the list, let me know!