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Support and Educational Resource for the LGBTQ+ Community and Allies

Right now, Pride is the most authentic it’s been in decades. Pride began as a protest for LGBTQ+ rights on June 28, 1969 and now 51 years later, we find ourselves amidst the largest human rights movement in decades.  

We are experiencing a huge and much needed change on a human rights level, but COVID-19 is still here and prevalent. This pandemic has separated many LGBTQ+ individuals from their chosen families and has even forced some back into unsafe home situations. It is vital to understand how allies can continue to support the LGBTQ+ communities under these new circumstances. Below are some other avenues to celebrate Pride and resources for the LGBTQ+ community to find support locally and online.  

amika will be donating a total of $5,000 to The Okra Project. This organization “is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.” To honor Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and the many Black Trans people who have been murdered by state-sanctioned violence, The Okra Project is dedicating $15,000 to create the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund and the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund. We will be donating $2,500 to each memorial fund. The Okra Project is asking community donors to match their commitment. The funds will pay for one-time therapy sessions with a licensed Black therapist for each applicant. If you have the means to do so, we encourage you to donate along with us! 

For our LGBTQ+ friends: community + support

  • New Alternatives -- an incredible local NYC organization that is delivering/offering pickup for hot meals to homeless LGBTQ+ youth in NYC. 
  • Validation Station -- sign up to receive validating + gender affirming text messages 
  • Gender Spectrum - works to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens. 
  • Q Chat Space - https://www.qchatspace.org/ -- Find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests and get good information. Chat with like-minded peers in live chats designed for you & by you, facilitated by folks who care. 
  • The Trevor Project - an organization that has trained counselors to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, utilize their phone, chat, text lines and online resources and support center. 
  • Autostraddle - an intelligent, hilarious & provocative voice and a progressively feminist online community for multiple generations of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends). 
  • Clark Hamel 30 days celebrating pride
  • Lex - a lo-fi, text-based dating and social app for lesbian, bisexual, asexual, and queer people. Lex is for womxn and trans, genderqueer, intersex, two spirit, and non-binary people for meeting lovers and friends. Inspired by old school newspaper personal ads, Lex (formerly known as Personals) lived on Instagram for years before evolving into an app. 
  • Lex app also put together a google sheet of Queer Businesses to Support: Takeout, Delivery and Online Orders
  • Growing Up NYC Resource page -- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYC Unity Project surveyed hundreds of LGBTQ program and service providers across New York City to develop this resource page, which includes up-to-date information on LGBTQ resources still available during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Educational Instagrams to follow, no matter your sexuality

Movies and tv shows with LGBTQ+ representation to watch

  • Portrait of A Lady on Fire 
  • Sex Education 
  • Pose 
  • Killing Eve 
  • Euphoria 
  • Moonlight 
  • Paris Is Burning 
  • Tangerine 
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson 
  • Kiki 

Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement are intersecting. Black transgender people face violence and discrimination on disproportionate levels. Not only can this violence come from school and inside the home, but it also regularly happens at the hands of law enforcement.  

  • The average life span for a black trans woman is 35 years old. - GLAAD 
  • Half of transgender people report they are uncomfortable seeking police assistance.3 More than one-fifth (22%) of transgender people who had interacted with police reported police harassment, and 6% of transgender individuals reported that they experienced bias-motivated assault by officers. Black transgender people reported much higher rates of biased harassment and assault (38% and 15%) - NCTE 

Black trans lives matter. Don’t forget these names and make sure to SAY them: Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Iyanna Dior. Iyanna Dior is a 21-year-old Black trans woman who was brutally beaten by a mob in Minneapolis over a fender bender. Nina Pop was a 28-year-old Black trans woman murdered in her apartment in Missouri. Tony McDade was a 38-year-old Black trans man who was fatally shot by law enforcement in Tallahassee. Read their stories and know their names. 

If protesting isn’t the right way for you to use your voice, you can also take the following actions: 

  • Demand justice for Tony McDade. Text "Tony McDade" to 484848 to demand the arrests of the officers involved and release of body camera footage from the night he died. Here are two petitions for those demands: one hosted on Change.org and one organized by Tallahasse Dream Defenders. 
  • Educate yourself. Learn the names and stories of trans victims of hate crimes and police violence. Read Out Magazine's Trans Obituaries Project, honoring the trans women of color lost in 2019, and the Human Rights Campaign's most recent report on violence in the trans community. 

For allies of the community to share + donate

Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations (compiled from resources pulled together by @annika.izora, @aidanwharton, @raquel_willis + @pfpicardi) that support these disproportionately affected communities and the black lives matter movement.

  • SNaPCo -- builds power of Black trans and queer people to force systemic divestment from the prison industrial complex and invest in community support 
  • Black Aids Institute -- working to end the black HIV epidemic through policy, advocacy and high-quality direct HIV services. 
  • Trans Cultural District -- the world’s first ever legally recognized trans district, which aims to stabilize and economically empower the trans community. 
  • LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund – posts bail for LGBTQ+ people held in jail or immigrant detention and raises awareness of the epidemic of LGBTQ+ overincarceration.  
  • House of GG – creating safe and transformative spaces for community to health, and nurturing them into tomorrow’s leaders, focusing on trans women of color in the South. 
  • TransJustice Funding Project -- community-led funding initiative to support grassroots trans justice groups run by and for trans people. 
  • The Okra Project -- collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home-cooked meals and resources for the community. This New York City organization has launched mental health funds in honor of both Tony McDade and Nina Pop, which will purchase therapy sessions with licensed Black practitioners for trans people. The Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund will benefit trans men, and the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund benefits trans women. 
  • Youth Breakout -- works to end the criminalization of LGBTQ+ youth in New Orleans to build a safer and more just community. 
  • Black Trans Travel Fund -- pays for private car rides for Black trans women in NY & NJ so they can self-determine safer transportation options 
  • TGI Justice Project – a group of trans, gender variant and intersex people (inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers) creating an united family in the struggle for survival and freedom 
  • Black Aids Institute – mission is to stops the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.  
  • Transgender Law Center – changes law, policy and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. 
  • Princess Janae Place -- offers a safe space for people of trans experience to connect with community, access gender affirming support, as well as engage in educational and recreational activities. 
  • House Homeless Trans Folks, Protect from COVID-19 - GoFundMe that donates to a collective of United States-based grassroots human rights activists who are working to help trans and other LGBTQ+ People who have been released from Rikers Island jail in the wake of COVID-19. 

For the LGBTQ+ community and allies overseas who need support

  • LGBT Switchboard – Switchboard is an LGBT+ helpline – a place for calm words when you need them most. They’re here to help you with whatever you want to talk about. Nothing is off limits and conversations are 100% confidential. Call 0300 330 0630 (10am-10pm daily). 
  • When I Came Out – Real life coming out stories. 
  • Meetup – allows people to search for relevant groups in their area. You can also set up your own. 
  • Maytree – provides support for people who are feeling suicidal and provides a 4-day or 5-day stay. Call 020 7263 7070 for more details and to be assessed. Email address: maytree@maytree.org.uk. The site is in London and they are hoping to open another house in Manchester in 2020.  
  • Papyrus – the national charity for prevention of young suicide. They run HOPELineUK which is a National Confidential Helpline. Phone: 0800 068 41 41 / Text: 0778 620 9697 / email: pat@papyrus.org.uk (Mon-Fri 10am-10pm / Weekends & Bank Holidays 2-10pm) 
  • FFLAG – supports friends and family members of LGBT people. 

We hope our LGBTQ+ friends and allies can use this as a resource for education and support. Have any suggestions? Leave us a comment below!

 

By Nina Haines + Becca King, w/ amika family + team

COMMENTS (1)

Jill Benner_

I am so happy I found amika – I love your products, and I also love the fact that you are a diverse and inclusive company. Keep this up! <3

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