Here’s How to Support the Black LGBTQ+ Community

Shanna Shipin

As Black Lives Matter protests merge with Pride marches, global citizens are proving the fight for equality is inextricably intersectional—and urgent. The continued violence against Black LGBTQ+ people, specifically Black transgender women, has us approaching Pride Month with a louder call for justice. On Friday, the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the Trump administration finalized a rule to roll back protections for transgender people; the rule would make it easier for doctors and hospitals to deny health care to transgender patients.

Supporting the Black LGBTQ+ community starts with education. The 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising reminds us that there wouldn’t be a Pride Month without Black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson and Stormé DeLarverie, who have just begun to gain widespread recognition for their pivotal roles in the battle of liberation—and today’s civil rights movement wouldn’t be possible without Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, queer Black women who cofounded Black Lives Matter.

Learn about Black LGBTQ+ history, understand how queer Black youth are impacted, know the victims, say their names—and show your support through financial assistance.

Though financial giving is only part of the battle, it can be an impactful one. To help you get started, below are Black LGBTQ+ funds, organizations, and small businesses. But don’t limit your support to Pride Month—find Black LGBTQ-owned businesses to shop from regularly, set up recurring payments to organizations, and elevate Black queer and trans voices now and always.

Funds in support of Black LGBTQ+ people

Just two days after George Floyd's murder, Tony McDade, a Black trans man, was shot and killed by Tallahassee police. And within the span of 24 hours, Dominique “Rem'mie” Fells, a Black transgender woman, and Riah Milton, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, were killed. According to the Human Rights Campaign, their deaths are believed to mark 14 violent deaths of transgender or gender-nonconforming people in the U.S. this year. Here are six LGBTQ+ funds supporting those in need.

In the wake of recent violence, The Okra Project created emergency funds to provide therapy sessions for "Black trans women, Black transfeminine people, and/or Black folks who identify as transgender who have been participating in the protests against state-sanctioned violence and/or are coping with the emotional stress of the public murders of Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and the epidemic of Trans people being murdered worldwide." The Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund raises money for Black trans men and the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund raises money for Black trans women.

The LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund is a Black-led organization that posts bail to secure the release and safety of LGBTQ+ people held in jail or immigrant detention and raises awareness of the epidemic of LGBTQ+ over-incarceration. It works to "build a critical mass against the mass detention of LGBTQ individuals — a tangle of discrimination and poverty disproportionately puts them behind bars."

For the Gworls raises money to pay for a Black trans person’s rent or gender-affirming surgery. The collective began when its founders started throwing “rent parties” in New York City to help pay bills for trans people in their community. You can learn more about its Emergency Relief Fund and Rent and Gender-Affirming Surgery here.

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. It has a panel of six trans justice activists from around the country that carefully reviews every application the project receives.

The Black Trans Travel Fund is a mutual-aid fund developed for the purpose of providing Black transgender women with the financial resources needed to be able to self-determine safer alternatives to travel, where women feel less likely to experience verbal harassment or physical harm.

Organizations in support of Black LGBTQ+ people

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute was founded as a response to the murders of Black trans women and women of color and the community’s exclusion from social justice issues—including racial, gender, reproductive, and gun violence. Its goal is to "eradicate systemic, community, and physical violence that silences our community from actualizing freedom, joy, and safety.”

Black Visions Collective

The Black Visions Collective is a Minneapolis-based Black, trans, and queer-led organization dedicated to long-term systemic change through education and engagement.

The Okra Project

The Okra Project is dedicated to extending delicious and nutritious meals to Black trans people experiencing food insecurity. It’s 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 wherever we can reach them.”

Black AIDS Institute

The Black AIDS Institute works to stop the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.

Solutions Not Punishment Co.

Founded in 2013, Solutions Not Punishment Co. (SNaPCo) is committed to “ending the mass crisis of passive genocide, incarceration, and criminalization of Black trans women, trans/queer people, and the larger black community.”

The National Black Justice Coalition

Founded in 2003, the National Black Justice Coalition’s mission is to "end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma” through federal public policy.

Shop Black LGBTQ+ businesses

One of the most sustainable ways to ensure long-term economic change is narrowing the wealth gap, so if you’re in a place to shop right now, consider spending at Black-LGBTQ-owned businesses. Not only are Black-owned businesses twice as likely to get rejected for loans, but the coronavirus has disproportionately impacted the Black community. Find some of our favorites below, and shop our roundup of LGBTQ+ businesses throughout Pride Month and beyond.

Two Minds Press

Two Minds Press is a queer, Black one-woman show. Based in Philly, the silkscreen press makes handprinted clothing, accessories, and prints.

Coco and Breezy Eyewear

Sisters Corianna and Brianna Dotson are the designers behind Coco and Breezy Eyewear. The NYC-based company sells glasses and sunglasses that are the outfit—"your clothing is the accessory,” according to the brand.

Phlemuns

James Flemons is the designer behind the (somewhat) eponymous label, Phlemuns. It’s a unisex clothing brand that has graced the likes of Solange and Lil Nas X.

Bloom & Plume Coffee

Bloom and Plume Coffee is a beloved East L.A. shop inspired by the South African philosophy Ubuntu, meaning "I am because you are.” Founded by Maurice Harris and his brother, the company is dedicated to providing a place of belonging for people from all walks of life. Get merch online, and if you’re nearby, the shop is open for curbside pickup.

Show & Tell Concept Shop

The Show & Tell Concept Shop is an Oakland-based platform "for unique, vibrant, inclusive style that promotes bold beauty and joyful living." Founded in 2011, the shop carries its own handmade collection, as well as an evolving selection of ethical and sustainable goods from like-minded brands.

Telfar Global

Telfar is the unisex label behind the "Bushwick Birkin" bag you've seen around Instagram, or, well, the Brooklyn section of Bushwick, if you're in the neighborhood. Queer Liberian American designer Telfar Clemens is a pioneer in genderless fashion and was awarded the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2017.

Stuzo Clothing

Stuzo Clothing is a genderless clothing company founded by a queer POC couple. You can get the made-in-L.A. clothing at 20% off for Pride Month. (P.S. Tons of masks are available too!)

Originally Appeared on Glamour

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