June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, including the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan which remained a key tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the US.
This year, June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions. However, many moments of celebration have been redirected back to activism and protest in the wake of Black and LGBTQ+ lives being taken by the hands of police brutality and racist rhetoric.
Sarah Kate Ellis, president of LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, told Good Morning America, “It is all of our responsibility to speak out publicly against racism, systemic injustice, and police brutality, and to elevate voices and amplify stories of people of color, especially with the LGBTQ community.”
“We know that social change is often built on the pain and outrage of moments like the ones we are seeing in America today,” she added.
“It is important to remember that the revolutionary riots at Stonewall in 1969 were spearheaded by many LGBTQ people of color, and that none of the progress made for the acceptance and equality of LGBTQ people over the past 51 years would be possible if not for the action and courage of those protestors,” Ellis furthermore explained.
Below, we’ve rounded up 15 Black-led LGBTQIA+ organizations who are not only doing amazing work in their communities this month but all-year-round. If you’re still looking for organizations to donate to, these 15 should be on your list.
SNaPCo was founded in 2013 in response to an attack from the Atlanta City Council and former Mayor Kasim Reed on Black Trans women who were engaging in sex work. The organization is a Black, Trans-led, Atlanta-based coalition working to build a Black, Queer, Trans, Feminist movement toward practical abolition.
The mission of TAA is to assist transgender persons in South Carolina with getting a legal name change, providing support for healthy living, and seeking equality and equity through activism.
The Freedom Fund posts bail to secure release and safety of tens of thousands of LGBTQ people who cannot afford bail and are held in jail or immigration detention. They also raise awareness of the epidemic of LGBTQ over-incarceration.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma.
Kween Culture Initiative’s mission is to promote the social and cultural empowerment of transgender women of color. They aim to empower and celebrate the richness of Black and Brown transgender women by fostering community while articulating and building joyful futures for transgender women of color.
Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) is the only premier Black-think-and-do tank in America. Unique and unapologetic, the organization is powered by two decades of work to end the Black HIV epidemic and led by people who represent the issues we serve.
META Center Inc. is an Akron-based 501(3) organization that creates regular programming for transgender and gender non-conforming youth ages 7–19. By providing affirmation to one of society’s most vulnerable, META Center Inc. works to create social change and foster acceptance.
Founded and led by Trans and gender-nonconforming people and allies, House of GG creates safe and transformative spaces where members of the community can heal — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually —from the trauma arising from generations of transphobia, racism, sexism, poverty, ableism and violence, and guide them into tomorrow’s leaders. The organization currently primarily focuses on supporting and nurturing the leadership of Transgender women of color living in the U.S. South.
The Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led funding initiative founded in 2012 to support grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. They center the leadership of trans people and organize around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration and other intersecting oppressions.
The Okra Project is, according to their page, a “collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home-cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People.”
BreakOUT! seeks to “end the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to build a safer and more just New Orleans.” They build on the rich cultural tradition of resistance in the South to empower LGBTQ youth ages 13–25.
Black and Pink was founded in Boston by Jason Lydon and was named to represent the black flag of anarchism and the power of queer politics and experience. According to the site, “We will always hold true to our foundational and radical beliefs in the capacity for good, in the abilities of all people to be the best versions of themselves, and to dismantle the systems that plague our communities. We will always be partners with those impacted by the prison industrial complex, the atrocities it enacts, and we will not rest until it is completely dismantled. Because we not only imagine a world without prisons, we demand it.”
Founded by three Black Trans women in 2017 as Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, The Transgender District is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. Originally named after the first documented uprising of transgender and queer people in United States history, the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots of 1966, the district encompasses six blocks in the southeastern Tenderloin and crosses over Market Street to include two blocks of 6th street.
CBE is breaking barriers in accessing employment and opportunity. Through equipping community leaders with the tools, experiences, and knowledge, it enables them to unlock the leadership and problem-solving potential of themselves and others.
Established in 2011, The Black Trans Advocacy Coalition (BTAC) is the only national organization led by Black Trans people to collectively address the inequities faced in the Black transgender human experience.
If you felt inspired by this story, check out ways you can still celebrate Pride this month.
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