By Zach Eisenstein, YNPNdc volunteer.
YNPNdc In Focus is our blog series highlighting nonprofits in the DC area that correspond with awareness months and timely topics. This month, we’re focusing on LGBTQ+ nonprofits in honor of Pride Month.
A ‘DC June’ is typically marked by rooftop happy hours, an uptick in tourism, and a little too much humidity. But, there’s another thing that separates June from the eleven other months--both in the district and across the country: Rainbow everything, everywhere.
Why the sudden splash of color? This month, we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. In June of 1969, the Stonewall riots, a series of LGBTQ civil rights demonstrations, took place in New York City. Sparked by LGBTQ patrons at a bar called, ‘The Stonewall Inn,’ historians usually point to these demonstrations as the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement. Almost half a century later, annual parties, parades, and marches take place each June as we celebrate the gains we’ve made and acknowledge the work we still have left to do.
Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in spurring both awareness and action for underserved groups. Despite advances over the past few decades, much remains to be done to bring full equality to every member of the LGBTQ population.
Nationwide, there are hundreds of LGBTQ-focused nonprofits and many are located right here in the nation’s capital. Interested in advocacy, volunteer work, donating, or finding a new job to advance the well-being of LGBTQ people? Consider looking into the following organizations:
National LGBTQ organizations
- The National LGBTQ Task Force is the nation’s oldest LGBTQ advocay group and mobilizes millions of activists around the country. The Task Force works to break down barriers that LGBTQ face ever day including: in housing, employment, health care, retirement, and basic human rights.
- GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students through research, policy, educator training, youth engagement, and resource development.
- The Trevor Project is the leading provider of crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people. They also offer resources, provide supportive counseling, and advocate for laws and policies that reduce suicide among LGBTQ youth.
- The National Center for Transgender Equality is a social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization with over three million members and supporters nationwide. HRC works toward a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.
- The DC Center for the LGBTQ Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities throughout the Washington, DC area--focusing on four key areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & peer support, and advocacy & community building.
- Casa Ruby is the only multicultural LGBT center in Washington DC working to create success stories among the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community. Case Ruby operates a drop-in center and a safe space, and offers hot meals, a clothing exchange, career development, social services and more.
- Whitman-Walker Health is a multi-location community health center providing stigma-free care to people throughout Washington, DC. Whitman Walker Health has been a leader in LGBTQ health care and HIV education, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment since 1973.
Looking for even more LGBTQ-focused nonprofits? You’re in luck. There are plenty of other incredible organizations working to improve all aspects of life for all members of the community including (but not limited to): GLAAD, GSA Network, Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, Lambda Legal, The LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network, PFLAG, Pride at Work, The National Black Justice Coalition, The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Victory Fund, and many, many more.
Do you want to share information about an LBGTQ+ organization? Comment below!