5 Ways to Tap into the LGBTQ+ Community
The Charlotte Pride parade might be canceled but queer-affirming organizations still need your support.
by Jared Misner
Fears of COVID-19 transmission forced Charlotte Pride organizers to cancel its annual three-day festival in August. The accompanying economic downturn has also hit LGBTQ nonprofits. We’ve rounded up a few local nonprofits that could still use your support as you look to celebrate the spirit of Pride.
Time Out Youth supports LGBTQ youth in the area by providing a safe space, offering inclusive programs and activities, and promoting acceptance and inclusion for the area’s young LGBTQ residents. Time Out Youth, like many organizations, has transitioned to virtual programming. Nonetheless, the organization continues to provide crisis support and community discussions for area youth.
Founded in 2014, Stonewall Sports’ Charlotte branch offers bowling, kickball, cornhole, dodgeball, indoor and sand volleyball, and softball leagues for both LGBTQ Charlotteans and allies alike. The organization has outposts in many cities, including Washington, D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia. The organization has suspended in-person sports for now, but the organization has started a COVID-19 relief fund for its members who, as a group, are disproportionately affected by the economic downturn than their heterosexual counterparts.
RAIN is a locally based organization that “empowers persons living with HIV” to live a stigma-free life. The organization regularly provides HIV testing and copay assistance with medications. Those living with HIV who have compromised immune systems are especially at risk for contracting COVID-19, so RAIN’s mission of providing for and advocating for this community is more important than ever.
If you’re a political junkie, consider joining MeckPAC’s efforts to expand and protect the rights of LGBTQ people in the region. MeckPAC is Mecklenburg County’s LGBTQ political action committee, and it regularly issues endorsements of candidates and lobbies area governing councils on legislation favorable to the gay and transgender communities.
As the largest LGBTQ professional/business organization in the region, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce serves as a connector of LGBTQ-owned businesses and professionals. The Chamber has begun offering a “PIVOT 2020” series of virtual professional development events and conversations.