As LGBTQ organizers in the South, we have a lot to be hopeful about in 2019. Just think about the last few months of our work at the Campaign for Southern Equality:
Supporting Youth Leadership: When we started planning our Western NC Youth GSA Summit, we knew there would be a lot of excitement for this day-long event to build connections and organizing skills among LGBTQ middle and high schoolers. And in early April more than 110 youth and supportive adults from across 8 rural counties in Western NC showed up for the Summit, which we hosted with our friends at Youth OUTRight WNC.
Building Support for Pro-LGBTQ Laws: In March, we joined our partners at Equality NC to launch Born Perfect NC, a campaign to protect young people in North Carolina from anti-LGBTQ "conversion therapy," an abusive practice that has already been banned in many states across the country. We’re already seeing incredible support, from legislators who have introduced a bill at the NC General Assembly to faith leaders, mental health providers, and child welfare advocates who are part of the coalition backing this campaign.
Connecting Trans Southerners with Health Resources: In the first 3 months of 2019 alone, nearly 12,000 users have visited our "Trans in the South" resource guide to find information on transgender-friendly health care providers in their communities. That’s a concrete example of how we’re building bridges into the type of care and support that people need and deserve.
Supporting Grassroots Organizers With Funding and Resources: We know that transforming the South requires organizing in every community, not just big cities. And we know that organizing takes resources. That’s why we give out 10% of our budget each year - more than $81,000 in 2019 - through our Southern Equality Fund. We provide direct funding and support to incredible organizers across the South every day - from offering HIV testing, to organizing the first ever LGBTQ Pride in a rural community.
We're especially excited about the Southern Equality Fund this month because a generous donor has offered to match up to $7,500 of donations toward the program. That means that every dollar you give on Give OUT Day will be automatically doubled! Please help us meet this exciting goal.
This is what HOPE looks like in 2019: Communities coming together, supporting each other, and pushing for change.
Can you make a donation to fuel this work with the Campaign for Southern Equality today? Your tax-deductible gift makes it possible for us to push forward with work like this, working across policy, organizing, and direct services to create a South where LGBTQ people are equal in every part of life.