Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Time to Say I Do to the LGBTQ Giving Challenge

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine, Bill Lyons, contacted me about a bold new initative. A recent report emerged saying that the average LGBTQ individual gives LESS than $35 a year to LGBTQ organizations. With individuals making up the BULK of giving annually, less than 2% of giving goes to LGBT causes. If we are at least 10% of the population, then the numbers just don't add up.

If we don't support our own organizations and work for liberation, then how can we expect anyone us to join us in our fights? If we don't prioritize social change work and giving (at whatever level...from $5-$5,000)....then we also do not have the moral or political ground to stand on to demand justice.

In this Recession, queer families, moreso than their straight counterparts, are struggling to make their ends meet. But we also know that in times of hardship giving from those that makes less than $50,000 a year INCREASES. In fact, most of the money given out in these several states comes from families making less than that amount each year...even in the best most affluentt times. Why? Because poor folks understand the need for critical social and political organizations that are often the only ones focused on the issues that most impact their/our lives.

It is time for LGBTQ indivudals to stand up and give up a month worth of Starbucks, two nights out at the movies, or three cocktails. It's time for those of us whose bills are paid yet we still complain about being broke to rethink our priorities and do something selfless (or, actually extremely self interested) and give and give until it hurts just a little...that level of giving is individual...I watched a homeless woman recently give a 50 cent tip to a worker at Starbucks...for her that 50 cents meant the world....for you it may be $50. But it is important that we support our community and thus ourselves. We are our own best saviors.

An easy way to start your giving is to take the LGBTQ Giving Challenge Pledge. Pledge to give at least $35 to one or more LGBTQ organizations this year. The organization for which I work, Queers for Economic Justice, is one of the organizations set to benefit from this pledge as are GetEqual, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, The Astraea Foundation, Transgender Law Center, and Faith in America. Find out more about each organization, the challenge,the pledge, and to make your committment today.

It's time to say I do to giving.

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