Friday’s Supreme Court decision sent a wave of celebration across the country, marking a monumental shift for gay rights in our country.
The decision happened to coincide with Pride celebrations all across the country, including here in New York City. I made my way to the parade on Sunday, fortunate enough to be able to watch from the second floor of my wife’s office on 5th Avenue.
From that perspective, from the street and from my view above, the excitement was palpable. The whole thing had the feeling of a victory parade after a long war, with millions of revelers celebrating along the Canyon of Heros.
I was also struck by the number of nonprofits serving the LGBT community specifically participating in the parade and the wide range of issues they fight for. Here are five LGBT nonprofits that caught my eye, and that you should keep your eyes on.
Did you know that LGBTQ youth make up as much as 40% of the homeless youth population in New York City. That’s the mission of The Ali Forney Center.
LGBTQ homeless youth are more likely to experience violence, sexual assault, HIV infections, mental health, and substance abuse issues than their heterosexual homeless counterparts. From their headquarters in Harlem, homeless youth can drop in for food, hot showers, healthcare, and more. AFC offers group therapy, case management, recreational activities, even emergency housing and transitional living.
They also had a lively float in the parade Sunday!
GLSEN was formed in 1990 to improve the educational environment for LGBT students, who were frequently victims of bullying and an education system that seemed to not care about them.
Through research, support of student-led efforts, partnerships with decision makers and organizations, and resources for educators, GLSEN works to create a school environment in which LGBT students are safe to learn, free from discrimination and harassment.
Founded in 1972, The Door serves young people by helping them reach their potential by offering “comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment.”
While not exclusively an LGBTQ organization, The Door offers special services for LGBTQ youth, including counseling, advice for coming out, creative art therapy, and recreational activities.
They also have a fantastic YouTube channel with everything from music videos to cooking lessons.
Immigration Equality is the only LGBT organization with a staff of immigration attorneys, working to further their mission of providing immigration resources for LGBT and HIV-positive “asylum seekers, detainees, and binational couples who are fighting for safety, fair treatment, and freedom.”
Their website alone is a vast resource of immigration information, a process that is difficult for even non-marginalized groups. They also offer a network of pro-bono legal assistance across 15+ states.
Support from families is something that is tragically denied many of LGBT youth. PFLAG aims to advance equality through a threefold mission of support, education, and advocacy, with the support of parents, families, friends, and allies.
One of the coolest things I think they do is enlist the help and support of parents of LGBTQ parents to help spread awareness for the mission. This is such a great reminder of how important the love and support of our own parents is to our development.
Check out Ellen DeGeneres’s mother Better lending her support in the video below!