Giving back is an important part of the holidays—and it’s all the more important for LGBTQ+ people to look out for each other and particularly our youth. Rather than quote statistics about the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, we’re dedicating this week’s Good and Gay to sharing the story of one person’s giving and several queer organizations you can support!
Queer Santa brings tolerance (and gifts) to LGBTQ+ kids
Linda Warren has just celebrated her 22nd year of handing out gifts as Queer Santa. Her mission is to make sure those who are rejected by their parents for their gender or sexuality still receive presents. Usually, kids are given gifts at a Holigay party hosted by The Center in Denver, CO, but this year, the process has been pandemic-proofed using a drive-thru gift pickup. There was still plenty of merriment and joy. “My family did find out I was gay after I was grown and they disowned me,” Warren tells Colorado Public Radio. “So it’s very important to me, to make sure that all children are taken care of and that we can do anything that we can.”
TranSanta provides trans youth with gifts
Last week, Pose star Indya Moore launched TranSanta, a project aimed at making sure trans youth have their needs and wants met this holiday season. The idea also came from the ACLU’s Chase Strangio. “Santas,” as donors are called, read letters submitted by hundreds of youth and then head to their registry to buy them gifts. “Trans issues don’t receive much visibility or attention unfortunately, but this year has been the most violent and deadly for my community. It has been very upsetting,” Moore writes on Instagram. “One of my most beloved ones @chasestrangio and I…decided we needed to do something for the young ones.”
Follow TranSanta on Instagram to anonymously support trans youth this holiday.
The Trevor Project supports trans youth year-round
The Trevor Project is a nationwide crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization that serves LGBTQ+ youth under 25. With a crisis hotline and several other life-affirming resources, The Trevor Project has helped hundreds of thousands of young people in crisis. Donations support training crisis counselors, keeping their 24/7 crisis services running for free, and more.
The Audre Lorde Project supports LGBTQ+ people of color to build community wellness in NYC
Focused in the New York City area, The Audre Lorde Project is a center for LGBTQ+ people of color built around community organizing. ALP is community-driven and those most impacted by the problems of queer antagonism and racism are those who identify the solutions. Donations support trainings for participants and working for justice for all LGBTQ+ people of color.
Lost-n-Found Youth fights to end homelessness for LGBTQ+ youth
Based in Atlanta, Lost-n-Found Youth works to provide safety and shelter for LGBTQ+ youth between the ages of 13 and 25. Founded in response to a lack of support for LGBTQ+ youth specifically, they provide a great deal of services from resume writing to HIV/STI testing for homeless youth and those transitioning out of homelessness. Donations support their 24/7 crisis line, emergency and transitional housing, emergency food and clothing for youth, and much more.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project fights discrimination against gender non-conforming folks
Named for one of the founders of the U.S. movement for queer equality, The Sylvia Rivera Law Project fights for a world where all people are free to self-determine their gender without facing violence. They focus on serving people of color and the poor, noting that they are at the intersections of multiple forms of discrimination and violence. Donations help provide gender non-conforming folks with legal support and offer trainings to make social and health services more welcoming to gender non-conforming folks.
Ruth Ellis Center builds community with LGBTQ+ young people
Named in honor of a Detroit icon, the Ruth Ellis Center provide trauma-informed services to LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. They have a specific focus on youth experiencing homelessness, involved in the child welfare system, or experiencing barriers to health and wellbeing. From a residential care facility for LGBTQ+ youth under the state’s care to a drop-in center for LGBTQ+ youth to gather and receive food and supplies, donations support the many efforts of the Ruth Ellis Center.
The Ali Forney Center annual campaign Homeless for the Holidays tells LGBTQ+ youth stories
Based in New York City, the Ali Forney Center works to protect LGBTQ+ youth from homelessness and empower them to live independently. Named for a gender non-conforming teen who was homeless when he was murdered in Harlem, the center assists over 2,000 youths annually through their drop-in center. Their annual Homeless for the Holidays campaign gives voice to their stories, sharing their pain and their resilience. Donations support the drop-in center, feeding the youth over 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services, and a housing program.
TGI Justice Project fights abuses in California prisons and beyond
The Transgender Gender-Variant and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project fights abuses related to incarceration and police violence, providing re-entry programs and legal support to currently and formerly incarcerated transgender, intersex, and gender-variant folks. They also host Black Girlz Rulez, a national convening of Black trans, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary folks. Donations support all services including legal guides and their leadership development program.
True Colors United fights LGBTQ+ youth homelessness
Founded by Cyndi Lauper, True Colors United supports LGBTQ+ youth through youth empowerment programs, advocacy, and trainings with homeless service providers. From their National Youth Forum on Homelessness to providing resources for COVID-19 specifically, True Colors United works to make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ youth. Donations support all of these programs and more.