This article was published on January 3rd, 2017
Many hard working activists, politicians, allies, corporations, community leaders, and members of the LGBT community have put in a lot of work throughout the years for the rights, freedoms, respect, and privileges available today. It wasn’t just handed to the gay community. These rights and benefits are a testament to the people who fought for what is right. While there is still more work that needs to be done, in our own backyards, and around the world, there are many ways you can give back to the LGBT community. You can show your support and get involved by supporting organizations that actively help make a difference in the community, locally, nationally, and globally. Here are 10 amazing organizations you should choose to support, because they support the LGBT community.
- HRC The Human Rights Campaign is a force of over 1.5 million members making it the largest LGBT organization in the United States. Through their campaigns they fight fiercely for equality and the protection of the rights of our community. Donating to their cause is a great way to ensure they can carry on doing the vital work that they do.
- TELUS Use your consumer power to support companies that do. TELUS, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies has a long history of supporting our community, through sponsoring Pride events and donating $1milion to LGBT charities, events, and organizations. They were also recently recognized as being one of the best diversity employers in Canada. TELUS offers home phone, Internet, TV, and mobile services, and has amazing smart home technology.
- TD Bank TD Bank’s long standing commitment to the LGBT community is truly commendable, through their work offering grants to LGBT organizations, supporting anti-bullying and anti-discrimination campaigns, championing diversity in their workplace, same-sex ad campaigns, and supporting pride events they give back so much to the community. Support them and the work they do by considering them to fulfil your banking needs.
- Trevor Project Coming to terms with your sexuality and gender orientation can be a traumatic, frightening and lonely time, especially if you don’t have a solid support network around you. LGBT suicides among youths is shockingly high, the Trevor Project provides support and assistance via a 24-hour free hotline to those who are struggling. Giving a voice and a helping ear to those who need it the most is so important to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. Donating or volunteering are great ways to ensure they are able to continue to provide this service.
- Rainbow Refugee While we are fighting for recognition and equality, there are people around the world whose very lives are being threatened due to their sexuality or gender orientation. Rainbow refugee provides support and assistance to those seeking asylum due to their LGBT identity. Becoming a member, volunteering your time and skills or donating will help them to continue their work in assisting those around the world who are most desperately in need of help.
- EGALE Based in Toronto, EGALE is the only national LGBT rights organisation and do incredible work, not only in promotion and awareness campaigns, but in actively supporting those in need. Through their education campaigns and homelessness program that reaches out to LGBT youth who have been kicked out of home, they tirelessly and endlessly support the community. Get involved by donating or volunteering.
- Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Supporting the development of queer voices in theatre, Buddies in Bad Times provides a stage and a voice to artists to allow them to challenge mainstream gender and sexuality norms. Fiercely committed to advancing diversity they continue to develop community theatre by creating consistently excellent productions that commit to their values. Support them by making a donation or simply by going to see one of their fantastic productions.
- Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network By producing literature, funding research, engaging with law makers and legally defending and advancing the rights of AIDs and HIV carriers, the Canadian HIV/AIDs legal network has grown to become one of the worlds leading human rights organisations tackling issues relating to HIV and AIDs. Becoming a member, donating to their cause, working with them or attending one of their events are all excellent ways to get involved with their work.
- Google Gay employees within the company are known to jokingly refer to themselves as the ‘gayglers’; this is indicative of the atmosphere of diversity and tolerance fostered within Google Canada. Consistently ranking at or near the top as being one of the most LGBT friendly companies in Canada, they not only openly and financially support Pride events and parades, they worked with organizers to produce a series of films about the LGBT community.
- Inside Out Inside out is an amazing organization challenging the attitudes and perceptions of the LBGT community via film and video. Hosting several film festivals across the country and supporting artists whose attitudes are in line with their own, they constantly challenge negative portrayals and represent our community. Supporting them with your patronage is a great way to make sure they are able to continue their great work while also seeing some amazing films and videos.
With so many incredible organizations doing so much incredible work it has never been easier to support those who are fighting for, and supporting us. Whether you want to donate, volunteer, give your business too or work for/with any of these organizations, your help is always welcome.