Gay It Forward: Ways To Give Back During Pride

Any time of year is a great time of year to give back to those less fortunate. But if you’re feeling especially Prideful this month, how about channeling that energy into some charity, hunty?

According to the True Colors Fund, in America, up to 1.6 million youth experience homelessness each year. 40% of this number is made up of LGBTQ kids. Transgender people are especially at risk due to a lack of acceptance and are often turned away from shelters.

The National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C., has been doing incredible work to “bring America home” for over 30 years. Want to help them? You can donate money, supplies like stamps and transit cards, volunteer, and you can even donate your hotel reward points so when their speakers are traveling, you can have their backs.

The Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBTQ community center helping LGBTQ homeless youth, is also a great place to give to. If you’re in NYC, you can donate your clothes, serve food, or become a counselor or a tutor. If you’re short on time, that’s okay, cash donations are great, too. Skip the boozy brunch for one day and donate here instead. A little bit goes a long way.

Another important issue impacting our gay youth is suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. According to the Trevor Project, the rate of suicide attempts is four times greater for LGBTQ youth and two times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth. Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film Trevor, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. Youth can call or text with someone 24/7, and a service this amazing cannot run on Box Tops and your thoughts and prayers. They need volunteers, and they need money. Our young people depend on it. Give what you can. Your $1 donation can fund the 60 seconds needed for a trained counselor to talk someone out of hurting themselves.

One last organization is the Family Equality Council. They’ve been doing awesome work for the last three decades. Even though same-sex couples can legally marry in the U.S., many still face painful obstacles when wanting to start a family. FEC works to ensure full legal and social equality for all families. Read about the many battles they’ve fought on our behalf and consider getting involved and spreading the word about them. We are in tense political times, and the FEC is fighting the good fight.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie living in Manhattan. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

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