Pride looks a little different these days, but whether you’re celebrating at a parade or at home with loved ones, it’s important to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to supporting the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community, whether you’re a proud member or a dedicated ally. Investing in the organizations that work to make sure the world is safe for everyone—especially those who are most marginalized by society—is a great thing to do, and there are so many Black-led L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ organizations in the United States that aim to create justice for the Black queer community. Rather than spending your extra cash on a new outfit for the Pride parade, consider taking that money and donating it to any of the below organizations working to do some serious good.
So many creators, influencers and activists are finally speaking up and spreading awareness about injustices experienced by Black members of the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community. After seeing an amazing list of organizations shared last year by Shea Couleé (a wonderfully outspoken advocate for justice who also happens to be an incredibly talented drag queen) I wanted to remind you all of her top picks for where to donate and volunteer if you’re looking to get involved. Whether it’s supporting the decriminalization of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ youth or working to fund grassroots trans justice groups, these Black-led organizations are ones you can feel truly great about supporting.
All of the organizations below seek to create justice and safety for L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ individuals, with some spanning the entire country and a few rooted in one city, working directly with folks from their community—and perhaps yours, too. If you feel compelled to support organizations closer to your home, do some research and find out what Black-led L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ organizations are located in your area. Hopefully, you’ll find a place where you can donate more than your money—maybe even your time.
Until then, these eight organizations are definitely worth reading about and supporting this Pride month. And, of course, long after that.
LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund
The LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund works to build a critical mass against the mass detention of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ people. The organization posts bail to help secure the safety and freedom of people in jail and in immigration detention. They’ve freed people in 15 different states across the United States, making sure that L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ folks—who are three times as likely to get arrest than heterosexual individuals—are safe.
The Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative (SNaP Co.) is a collaborative that builds Black trans and queer power, forcing systemic divestment from the prison industrial complex and investing in services that help empower and support the Black trans and queer communities. Their mission is to end the mass crisis of passive genocide, incarceration and criminalization of Black trans women, trans and queer people and the entirety of the Black community.
House Of GG
The Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center (House of GG) provides programs, services and resources that positively impact the lives of transgender, gender-questioning and gender-nonconforming individuals. They are the first education and historical center solely dedicated to transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the United States—started by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (a trans woman activist who’s been a pillar in the trans community for decades).
Black AIDS Institute
The Black AIDS Institute works to eradicate the Black HIV epidemic by using mobilization, policy and advocacy efforts from Black leaders and communities across the country. Their goal is to expose the systems and roots of oppression around the world that marginalize Black people as a whole.
The Okra Project
Supporting The Okra Project means supporting a collective that works to address the global crisis faced by Black trans people by bringing home-cooked, healthy and culturally specific meals and resources to Black trans individuals. The organization hopes to extend free and nutritious meals to Black trans people who are experiencing food insecurity.
The Transgender District
The Transgender District—founded by three Black trans women in 2017 as Compton’s Transgender Cultural District—is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. The district encompasses six blocks in San Francisco, and aims to create an urban environment that celebrates as well as educates the world about transgender culture.
BreakOUT! is an organization that seeks to end the criminalization of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ youth. Through youth organizing, healing justice and leadership development programs, Youth Breakout builds the power of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ youth (ages 13-25) in New Orleans who are directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
Trans Justice Funding Project
Founded in 2012, the Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led funding initiative that supports trans justice groups run by and for trans people. The organization makes grants each year to support these groups—and every penny they raise goes to the grantees with no restrictions and no strings attached.
A version of this article previously appeared in June 2020.