Support and Donate To These Black-Led LGBTQ+ Organizations
Black AIDS Institute, The Okra Project, The Transgender District and more nonprofits.
In the wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others, people in the U.S. and several other countries are standing in solidarity, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement through powerful demonstrations. As nationwide protests overlap with Pride Month this June, it’s important to look back at the history of LGBTQ+ rights and reflect on the connection between Pride and racial justice.
Led by Black and brown trans women Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the 1969 Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S. and around the world. Following the uprising, Johnson and Rivera continued to play an integral part in pushing the movement forward. In 1970, the activist duo co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a groundbreaking organization that provided shelter for homeless transgender youth in New York City.
Despite efforts by pioneering activists to create safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ+ community, fast forward to present day, transgender women of color — particularly Black transgender women — are still disproportionately affected by fatal violence, according to an HRC report. Just last weekend, two Black trans women — Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells in Pennsylvania — were killed, amid public outcry over the Trump administration’s decision to eliminate health care protections for transgender patients.
Now more than ever, the Black LGBTQ+ community needs our support. If you aren’t able to physically participate in rallies, or if you feel like you could do more to help raise awareness, consider supporting and donating to LGBTQ+ organizations that are committed to helping the queer Black communities in America and beyond.
From initiatives such as Black AIDS Institute and The Okra Project, to The Transgender District and more, read on and donate to a good cause. To support Black Lives Matter, you can also donate to these local initiatives that are making positive impacts.
Founded in 1999, the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) is dedicated to ending the Black HIV epidemic, and is committed to fighting against systemic oppression in the U.S. and around the world. BAI continues to maintain its “capacity building, mobilization, policy and advocacy efforts” with the help of Black leaders and communities across the country. Additionally, the organization provides HIV services for Black people.
Black Trans Femmes in the Arts aims to connect Black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts community. In partnership with the Black Trans Travel Fund, For the Gworls and The Okra Project, the collective has recently launched a fund to support Black trans protestors with resources, medical care and bail.
The Black Trans Travel Fund allocates donations directly to Black trans women in need of safe transportation in New York and New Jersey. 90 percent of the funds will allow individuals to purchase private car rides via Uber or Lyft, and purchase gas for their own vehicles or other alternatives, while the remaining 10 percent goes towards labor and administrative costs.
BreakOUT! is committed to ending the criminalization of LGBTQ+ youth from ages 13 to 25 in New Orleans. In order for future generations to not live in fear of harassment and discrimination, the organization helps educate the youth through its leadership development programs.
For the Gworls raises money to assist Black trans individuals’ rental payments and affirmative surgeries. Founded by a Black trans woman and a Black non-binary person, the collective has established two important initiatives, namely the Emergency Medical Relief Medical Fund and the For the Gworls’ Rent and Gender-Affirming Surgery Fund.
House of GG is dedicated to creating safe and transformative spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization provides programs, services and resources for people to heal from the negative effects of transphobia, racism, sexism, poverty, ableism and violence. The House of GG is currently focusing on “supporting and nurturing the leadership of transgender women of color” living in the Southern United States.
The LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund is a Florida-based organization that helps fight against the mass jailing of LGBTQ+ people and curbs the “disproportionate harms of mass incarceration on the queer community.” One of the initiative’s roles is posting bail to “preempt the health-harming consequences of jail stays.” After the release of an individual, the LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund would conduct an on-site HIV rapid testing and bring its client to HIV/AIDS treatment.
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) was named after the late gay liberation and AIDS activist and drag queen. Founded by Elle Hearns, the organization protects and defends the human rights of Black trans individuals by creating a community for them to heal, develop transformative leadership and promote their collective power.
Princess Janae Place offers referrals for independent housing, housing vouchers and public state housing programs to homeless LGBTQ+ adults – specifically trans and gender non-conforming people of color – who reside in the New York Tri-state area. The organization also offers support and social networking groups, GED classes and career training opportunities.
Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative is a Black, trans-led space in Atlanta devoted to ending the mass crisis of passive genocide, incarceration and criminalization of the LGBTQ+ and Black community. The organization aims to fulfill its mission through its Taking Care of Our Own Fund, SNaP4Freedom School and Atlanta Trans Leadership programs and campaigns.
The Okra Project supplies home-cooked, healthy and culturally specific meals and resources to the Black Trans community. The collective pays its Black Trans chefs to visit the homes of Black Trans people to cook them a delicious meal with the help of individual donations.
Founded in 2012, the Trans Justice Funding Project supports “grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people.” The organization establishes yearly grants, which are reviewed by a panel of six trans justice activists from the States. All donations the organization raises go to its grantees with no restrictions.
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a national trans-led organization that is committed to changing law, policy and attitudes. It is also dedicated to fighting for racial justice and implements a variety of community-driven strategies to further aid the transgender and gender-nonconforming community.
Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, also known as The Transgender District, was founded in 2017 by three Black trans women, Aria Sa’id, Honey Mahogany and Janetta Johnson. It is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. The district itself consists of “six blocks in the southeastern Tenderloin and crosses over Market Street to include two blocks of 6th street” in San Francisco. The initiative aims to create an urban environment that fosters the empowerment of transgender people, as well as to educate the public on transgender culture and the community’s contributions to the liberation of humankind.
Sponsored by the Washington Peace Center, the Trans Women of Color Collective’s mission is to create change among trans and gender non-conforming people of color by uplifting their narratives and experiences. This initiative helps those in the community who do not have access to resources, opportunities or sustainable systems of support.