Help Me Brainstorm Ways to be an LGBT Activist

I am not homosexual, but my life has been positively influenced by those who happen to be homosexual since I was six years old. I don’t like to argue with people, but this is the one issue (along with racism) which I have historically not been able to remain silent about. When I was in high school, I saw so many children disowned by their parents… I’ve seen the fear that a lot of young teens go through when coming to terms with their sexuality, and I’ve seen the anti-gay bigotry within my own family. My lovely best friend and her amazing wife are gay and so is my beloved, wonderful 17-year old sister in law.

I’ve made the decision today, in light of the tragic passing of laws in several states that will take away the rights of homosexuals, to actually start doing something. I’m tired of feeling helpless and frustrated, wishing and hoping for people to finally get it. I’m ready to put time into this fight.

I have no idea what to do, though. My thinking is that most people who are opposed to gay marriage do not have a lot of exposure to actual gay people, particularly gay families. The ridiculousness of bigotry against homosexuals would become readily apparent were they actually to get to know a few.

What I don’t want is to become involved in anything hateful or anger-fueled. I want to become involved in a way that is positive and sensible, to work with a group that seeks to understand the mentality of anti-gay bigotry and fight it with facts and loving-kindness. I do not want to be a part of any organization that adopts an ‘‘us’’ vs. ‘‘them’’ mentality. Does any such organization exist? Is there anyone here with experience with PFLAG or the Human Rights Campaign? What do these organizations actually do?

Just looking for feedback on how I can become involved. I am willing to put in time every weekend.

Get in touch with your local PFLAG and figure out what the local grass-roots LGBT organizations are – all of them could use volunteers, no doubt.

I do a lot of LGBT political work but I have to say the thing I most enjoy is my demystification work – as part of a local organization, we go into high schools and answer questions about our lives as LGBT people.

I don’t know how far you are from New York, but I know they have a couple of homeless shelters for LGBT youth that are run on a very frayed shoestring. This article’ll break your heart. Bring them some clothes or something.

I had the exact same thought. I mean, almost word for word. I’ve decided to volunteer at the Utah Pride Center for now–which is appropriate, given most of the money and support for Prop 8 came from Utah. I figured, if nothing else, I can make a small difference here in SLC. I’d like to do something more, though. Something that might have a direct impact on the fight in CA.

olives, I think you’re planning on doing a MSW? You may want to look into doing a dual degree with public policy. (That particular dual degree is fairly popular here, anyway.) One of my classmates, who’s from California, announced today that at least she knows what she wants to do as a career now. We practically had to talk her down from getting a plane today, that she needs to sit down and finish her MPP so she has the skillz to be an awesome organizer first.

For the short term, I can only think that listening to matt_mcl is a good start!

Good luck. Seriously.

Heck, just buy me a beer the next time you’re in Motown. That’d be a good start on being supportive of one of the "L"s. :wink:

I support Human Rights Campaign, they might be a good start. Lots of community stuff going on there.

“Straight against 8” was a popular bumper sticker around here, along with “Straight but not narrow.”