The year 2020 has been a tough one. We saw a summer of political uprisings in the U.S. and worldwide as people continued to speak up for racial equality and justice for marginalized people everywhere. The disparities we face have been amplified by the global pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people and has left millions of us stuck inside our homes. As the summer comes to a close, it is essential to remember that the road towards progress is long and can be draining. It is essential to take time for yourself to recharge. And we all must find ways to move forward and persist in our support for marginalized people. There are many ways to support social justice causes outside of protesting. Below I would like to highlight a few ways in which we can help the LGBTQIA+ community:
Support Small Business:
A great way to support the LGBTQIA+ community is by supporting queer business owners. The pandemic has hit businesses hard, especially small businesses and those owned by marginalized people. Therefore, we must use our dollars to support the companies and the people we believe in. Below are three examples of some LGBTQIA+ businesses to check out and show some love:
TomboyX’s creators Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzales made their business for one purpose, to create underwear that works for everyone. Their unique line of undergarments comes in an extensive range of styles, fits, and colors, and their sizes range from XS to 4X. They also provide free shipping on your first purchase and free shipping if you become a rewards member.
If you love morning coffee runs before work, check out Bloom & Plume Coffee. Bloom & Plume Coffee is an LA-based, black, and queer-owned flower shop-turned-coffee house that offers various coffees, teas, and juices. They also serve some pastries and sandwiches as well as provide some incredible merch. And, of course, you can go there to get a beautiful bouquet. Unfortunately, their dine-in option is closed, but they offer takeout, making them a great place to support as we close out the summer. And all of their fantastic merch can be purchased on their website.
Freck Beauty is a skincare and cosmetics company that is dedicated to developing outstanding products. Their product line is small currently, but the products they provide are of the highest quality and affordable. They also offer free domestic shipping on all orders over $50.
There are so many unique small businesses that need support. Google your local LGBTQIA+-run companies so you can support them through your purchases.
Read and Watch:
We must consume media that tells the perspectives of different people and experiences, especially the experiences of those who are marginalized. Many books and movies cover a diverse assortment of LGBTQIA+ topics and whose genres range from fiction and fantasy to biographies and documentaries. Unfortunately, there are so many that it is impossible to list them all, but you can get started by looking up LGBTQIA+ books/films to read and watch on Google. Below are three examples of some great media to begin with.
Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
Alok Vaid-Menon is a non-binary Indian American artist and activist dedicated to fighting for LGBTQIA+ representation. Beyond the Gender Binary is an easy-to-read pocketbook that deconstructs the gender binary and challenges the world to think outside of it. The book can be purchased on Amazon. You can also download the e-book on Google.
And the Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
This children’s book tells the true story of two male penguins Roy and Silo, who partnered with one another and raised a chick together named Tango. The story is charming and is a great way to introduce children to LGBTQIA+ relationships and families. The book can be found on Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.
Disclosure is a Netflix documentary that explores the history of trans representation in our media from movies, to television, to daytime talk shows. The documentary takes an intimate look at how gender stereotypes and transphobia have shaped our understanding of the trans identity and how trans lives are valued in our society. In addition, the documentary showcases the importance of having trans creatives in front of and behind the screen.
Organizations to Support:
It is essential to support non-profit organizations dedicated to uplifting the LQBTQIA+ community, especially now as the pandemic continues to deepen long-standing inequalities plaguing our society. Below are three organizations to check out and donate to.
The LGBT National Help Center – The LGBT National Help Center is dedicated to serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals by providing free and confidential peer support.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – HRC is the largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States.
Audre Lorde Project – The Audre Lorde Project supports LGBT people of color through community organizing and radical nonviolent activism around progressive issues. They dedicate their time to organizing around issues relating to LGBT communities, AIDS and HIV activism, pro-immigrant activism, prison reform, and organizing among youth of color.