5 Groups Fighting To Make Life Better For LGBTQ+ People

LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way over the years, but there are still many hurdles left to overcome, from laws that allow employers and adoption agencies to discriminate against applicants based on sexual orientation and gender identity to health care providers and criminal justice systems that perpetuate inequality. Luckily, organizations like the ones listed here are working hard to fight against injustice, advocate for civil rights, and ensure that all LGBTQ+ people have a chance to thrive. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Organizations That Serve The LGBTQ+ Community

Organization Location Mission
Out & Equal San Francisco, CA Partner with companies and government agencies to provide training, consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments
CenterLink Fort Lauderdale, FL Develop strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and build a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities
The Network/La Red Boston, MA Work to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, SM, polyamorous, and queer communities through organizing, education, and the provision of support services
Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice New York, NY Fuel local and global movements that shift power to LGBTQI people and organizations pursuing social justice and human rights
AIDS/LifeCycle San Francisco, CA & Los Angeles, CA Raise money for HIV/AIDS medical care and prevention services and raise awareness to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS

Issues Faced By The LGBTQ+ Community

  • Violent hate crimes
  • Employment discrimination
  • Parents who reject their LGBTQ+ children
  • Bathrooms and other public accommodations being exclusionary
  • Unequal healthcare
  • Housing discrimination
  • Criminal justice
  • Everyday prejudice

Which States Have The Largest Percentage Of LGBT Residents?

According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law

Rank State Percentage of Population That Is LGBT
1. District Of Columbia 9.8%
2. Oregon 5.6%
3. Nevada 5.5%
4. Massachusetts 5.4%
5. California 5.3%
6. Washington 5.2%
7. Vermont 5.2%
8. New York 5.1%
9. Maine 4.9%
10. New Hampshire 4.7%

Why Kids Need To Learn About Gender And Sexuality

In Depth

While great strides toward equality have been made in recent years, LGBTQ+ people around the world still face many difficulties in their day-to-day lives. From representation in the workplace to youth homelessness, the queer community confronts numerous issues on an annual basis. If you are interested in learning about the organizations working to combat these problems, then here are, in no particular order, five groups fighting to make life better for LGBTQ+ people.

At #1 is Out and Equal. Founded in 1996 by Selisse Berry, the nonprofit strives to create workplaces free from discrimination. Since its inception, the organization has prized diversity and inclusion as its top values, adding the interdisciplinary concept of belonging in recent years. To accomplish its goals, Out and Equal collaborates with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies, offering executive leadership development, wide-ranging training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities.

In the wake of increasing globalization, Out and Equal often takes an international approach to its work, providing a variety of ways for companies and nongovernmental organizations around the world to make their workplaces more LGBTQ+ friendly. These efforts include a six-week Global Fellowship Program that gives participants a chance to develop an original project and a twice-a-month Global Webinar Series. If you are interested in learning more about Out and Equal, you can volunteer with the organization or attend its annual Workplace Summit.

If you are interested in learning more about Out and Equal, you can volunteer with the organization or attend its annual Workplace Summit.

Coming in at #2 is CenterLink, established in 1994 as a coalition dedicated to the creation and development of robust, successful LGBTQ+ community centers. Based in Fort Lauderdale, it reaches over 250 centers in forty-five states, and further afield in countries like Canada and China. With a wide range of issues affecting its community, the organization takes a multi-faceted approach to its work, covering topics like leadership development for executive directors, strengthening links to public health groups, and providing training and technical assistance.

CenterLink creates programs and resources for the more than two million people that its member organizations reach annually. Its LGBT HealthLink, for instance, promotes collaboration between community groups and public health systems to improve treatment outcomes; elsewhere, its Center Action Network compiles information on how to effectively lobby as a nonprofit, while Q Chat Space provides an online area for teenagers to access real-time support. Those who wish to help CenterLink can make online donations or subscribe to its eNewsletter to receive updates.

In the #3 spot is The Network La Red, formed in 1989 by a group of formerly abused lesbians in Boston. Offering its services in English and Spanish nationwide, the survivor-led organization aims to end partner abuse in the LGBTQ+ community. Inspired by social justice and anti-oppression beliefs, the network organizes, educates, and promotes social services in support of its mission.

Inspired by social justice and anti-oppression beliefs, the network organizes, educates, and promotes social services in support of its mission.

At the heart of the organization is a free, confidential hotline that operates twenty-four hours a day, which provides support, information, and referrals to LGBTQ+ individuals who are experiencing domestic abuse. It has other initiatives too, like the Housing Pathways Program, which connects individuals to safe and stable accommodation in times of need. Volunteering opportunities, internships, and financial and material donations all help the group continue its fight against partner abuse.

At #4 is Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. With its roots in a lesbian feminist vision, the philanthropic organization today works to advance LGBTQ+ human rights across the globe. Partnering with other foundations, individuals, and governments, Astraea aims to funnel resources to driven activists in need. Additionally, it amplifies LGBTQ+ voices and provides leadership development for organizers.

A prominent component of the foundation is its grant-making arm. Through various channels like the Intersex Fund and the Global Arts Fund, Astraea offers financial support to groups dedicated to promoting racial, economic, and gender justice. Since its founding in 1977, it has given over forty million dollars to grassroots activists in different countries. If you want to lend a helping hand to Astraea, you can attend one of its many events or even host your own fundraising house party.

Through various channels like the Intersex Fund and the Global Arts Fund, Astraea offers financial support to groups dedicated to promoting racial, economic, and gender justice.

Last but not least, coming in at #5 is AIDS LifeCycle, a seven-day bike ride that raises money to fund the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Taking place in late spring each year, the 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles promotes awareness about the ongoing HIV-AIDS epidemic and collects money for essential services like testing, prevention, and care. Since the first race in 1993, AIDS LifeCycle has raised over 200 million dollars.

Participants in the weeklong bike ride must raise at least 3,000 dollars throughout the year, but there are a variety of other ways to get involved. Roadies, for instance, are volunteers who work during the bike ride to ensure that everything goes smoothly, doing a variety of jobs from providing health services to handing out food and water. In addition, AIDS LifeCycle has year-round volunteering opportunities for those who live in California. The registration fee can also be sent as a gift to a friend or a loved one.