It’s Pride Month and you’ve probably already started to see rainbows everywhere. Brands are launching exclusive pride products, decorating store fronts with rainbows, rainbow-fying their logos for the month; seems like everyone is celebrating. However, selling people things dipped in rainbow paint isn’t the true spirit of pride. Pride is about taking a stance against discrimination and violence towards LGBTQ+ people. The opposite of shame, Pride is about community, equality, visibility, and allyship. June is Pride Month not because it’s the beginning of summer and it’s prime time for parades, but because Stonewall Riots - a rebellion that’s considered to be one of the largest milestones in the LGBTQ+ liberation movement in the US - occurred in June.
So, taking the celebration of a movement that represents the rightful fight against discrimination and appropriating it to sell people rainbow-themed shit they don’t need is more than just bad taste.
Buying rainbow branded products from a company who shows no compassion or allyship towards the LGBTQ+ community except when it’s pride month is not how you celebrate pride. If you want to actually support the LGBTQ+ community, one of the best ways to do it is to donate to a non-profit cause that serves LGBTQ+ people. If you don’t know where to start, here are five Kinder- vetted LGBTQ+ organisations that have all passed the First Stage of our Getting Framework with a 100 percent score.
1) Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is a US-based organisation who fights for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV. They focus on many different aspects of everyday life like employment, fair legal treatment, immigration, and criminal justice. They employ different methods to achieve their goal of equal rights from impact litigation to public policy advocacy. In their selection process, they prioritise cases with the highest impact in protecting and advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people and those with HIV.
2) COC Nederland
Founded in 1946, COC Nederland is the oldest existing LGBTQ+ organisation in the world. In their own words, “COC strives for the decriminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity and for equal rights, emancipation and social acceptance of LGBT’s in the Netherlands and all over the world.” The main focus areas of the organisation are youth, education, senior citizens, safety, culture, and religion. Alongside running 21 local organisations in the Netherlands, COC also conducts projects internationally. Bridging the Gaps is one such project working towards providing access to quality HIV prevention, treatment, and care for LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, and drug users.
3) ILGA Europe
ILGA-Europe is an umbrella organisation that gathers nearly 600 non-profit organisations from 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia. The two main pillars of the organisation are advocating for human rights and equality for LGBTQ+ people and strengthening the LGBTQ+ movement by providing support and training to its member organisations. One of the core missions of ILGA Europe is to monitor and influence the adoption of EU legislation and policies that have direct impact on the lives of the LGBTQ+ community. They do this both on European and national level.
TGEU (Transgender Europe) works towards a vision of the world free from discrimination, where each person can live according to their gender identity and gender expression without interference and without being subjected to discrimination and violence. The organisation advocates for trans rights, raises awareness on the issues trans people face in every aspect of their lives, and builds safe communities for trans and gender-non-conforming people. TGEU is also an umbrella organisation dedicated to strengthening its trans and LGBTQ+ member organisations by providing training and support in areas like fundraising and grant writing, organisational development, and advocacy and policy work.
5) HealthRight International
HealthRight International serves marginalized groups like LGBTQ+ people, women and children, migrants, and at-risk youth around the world and links them to essential health and social services. Within the LGBTQ+ issues, they focus on improving the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people, increasing the equity of healthcare systems, and improving global knowledge on interventions that positively impact LGBTQ+ people. Some of their projects include assisting LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in the US, training health workers in Kenya on LGBTQ+ sensitive service delivery, and HIV prevention amongst male sex workers.