Choose LGBTQ-founded or friendly services
Money talks: you can use your dollars to support the LGBTQ community. The GLBT Directory allows you to perform a quick search to find businesses locally, or throughout the world, that are LGBTQ-founded or LGBTQ-friendly. GLBT allows you to read reviews of businesses and request a quote for services.
Volunteer to help vulnerable young people
According to data from the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), nearly one-third (29%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth had attempted suicide at least once in the prior year, compared to just 6% of heterosexual youth. You can help young LGBTQ people by supporting The Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ and questioning young people under 25. Visit the organization’s volunteering page for opportunities to help end suicide among LGBTQ youth.
Stand up for LGBTQ rights
Take action to end hate and discrimination by supporting The Victory Fund, an LGBTQ political action committee dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ people who can further equality at all levels of government. You could also volunteer with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) a nonprofit working to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. SRLP provides free legal representation and strives to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming.
Be an ‘Ally’
The term ‘ally’ describes someone who makes a conscious effort to support, with both words and efforts, LGBTQ people (or other marginalized groups). If someone comes out to you the best thing you can do is offer them support and understanding. Check out this guide from Human Rights Campaign (HRC) about how to support your LGBTQ loved ones. Strive to make LGBTQ people feel welcome by flying the rainbow flag, supporting your local Pride parade, or advocating as part of PFLAG, a national family and ally organization. It’s important to remember that allyship isn’t just about showing you support LGBTQ people but about actually doing so. Take time to focus on and listen to the experiences of LGBTQ individuals instead of your own.
Behave appropriately at Pride
Pride events may appear flamboyant and fun, but they also have an important and poignant history. Did you know that Pride dates back to the 1969 Stonewall Riots when the LGBTQ community in New York protested against discriminatory police raids? The riots started on June 28 (which is why we celebrate Pride in June) and led to a coming together of the New York LGBTQ community that would result in major strides to legal and social acceptance. As well as being a month of celebration, Pride symbolizes an ongoing fight for equality. If you are a straight person participating in Pride it is important to understand this history and the oppression and injustice the LGBT community are still overcoming. Read this guide to behaving appropriately at Pride.
Support LGBTQ workers
Ask your managers, leaders and HR team how well your company supports LGBTQ employees and their families. You can put pressure on your company to commit to the LGBTQ community, and you can support other businesses doing so!
Invest in pro-LGBTQ companies
OpenInvest offers an investment screen that allows you to invest in pro-LGBTQ companies. We select these companies based on how experts at the HRC rates them on measures of LGBTQ treatment in their Corporate Equality Index.
*OpenInvest, and its services, are in no way affiliated with or sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), or any other of the HRC’s affiliates or publications.