Even though LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way, there’s still a lot of work to be done. And with Trump being elected president, Theresa May’s proposal to make a deal with DUP and the far-right gaining popularity all over Europe, LGBTQ+ activism is very much necessary. Whether you’re an ally or part of the community, there are plenty of ways you can actively support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+ rights organizations. I already shared a list of organizations you can donate to, but since not everyone is in a position where they can give away money, I thought it’d be a good idea to share some other forms of activism and support as well.
If you’re low on funds but have some time to spare, volunteering is a great opportunity to support not just the LGBTQ+ community, but also many other minority groups. You can help out local LGBTQ+ organizations, homeless shelters or pride events, or, if you’re a student, volunteer at or even start an on-campus support center/community.
Write to politicians
Let’s face it, lots of politicians don’t like us, ignore our voices, throw us under the bus to gain more power and pass laws that will harm us. It’s important to let them know their voters do not agree with their hate and ignorance – they might not care about our rights, but they do care about votes. You can call, tweet or write your local politicians about concerns you have about proposed bills, other politicians or anything else that has to do with LGBTQ+ rights. If you live in the US, you can use a website help you find your representatives and there are even services that do most of the work for you.
Donate & encourage others to donate
Donating to LGBTQ+ rights organizations is a quick and convenient way to support them. Most of them don’t have a minimum limit, and even a $5 donation (depending on where you live this is cheaper than a drink at Starbucks) can help them a lot. They also have systems in place for automatic monthly donations, so you only have to enter your credit card information once. For example, I have a monthly donation set up for HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and have also donated to Trans Lifeline before, a hotline run by and for trans people and just $25 already pays for an entire day of calls.
If you don’t have enough money to donate, you can also encourage others to donate. An idea could be to ask your parents to donate to an organization of your choice for your birthday instead of buying you a present, or you could set up an online fundraiser for an organization.
Amplify the voice of others within the community, especially those who are underrepresented
Taking a moment to listening to the experiences and opinions of others within the community, and sharing their voice instead of invalidating them, is the easiest and perhaps also one of the most important things we can do, whether we feel like we belong in the LGBTQ+ community ourselves or not. In general, our voices are underrepresented and not listened to enough, and certain groups (such as trans women and trans women of color, for example) have it especially bad. If someone points out things like transphobia, biphobia, racism, or just want their story heard, listen to them.
It’s generally pretty easy to share a post or retweet a Twitter thread, so let’s all make use of that feature a bit more often. Similarly, if you want to write an article about, for example, trans issues, ask trans people for their opinion, or even better, pay them to write it or collaborate on it.
Point out homophobia (and biphobia, transphobia, etc.) whenever you see it
Whether it’s a coworker, a troll on Twitter or your homophobic uncle, if someone spreads hate speech call them out on it and educate them. Social media platforms are pretty bad at blocking harassment, but it’s still important to report hateful messages and accounts that are targeting a group of people. Hate speech doesn’t have a place in society, and that includes social media.
Sign and share petitions
You can find petitions that interest you on Change.org, and some LGBTQ+ rights organizations will send out newsletters containing petitions as well. Signing them is pretty easy, they usually only require a first name and e-mail address. And, afterwards, you can share them on social media. Petitions really do make a difference, and it’s another convenient way to have your opinion be heard.
Support the work of queer content creators and artists
Whether it’s subscribing to a YouTube channel, sharing blog posts, buying artworks or donating money to their Patreon, every content creator is grateful for the support. I especially encourage donating money to queer bloggers. They often get paid nothing or very little for their work, and YouTubers might need some extra support as well these days.