Why Fundraising Gives Me Hope This LGBTQ+ Pride Season
Chapter Leadership Brief 6.2.2023
By Christa Orth
Co-Vice Chair of AFP-NYC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee
Founder + CEO, Seaworthy Fundraising
LGBTQ+ Pride marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings of 1969, led by a majority of trans women of color. Stonewall commemorates community resistance against state violence and discrimination.
Pride season has an urgent meaning this year.
This year, we are living through a time of unprecedented political backlash, with 530 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in legislatures around the U.S. so far in 2023. Seventy five percent of transgender youth in the South now live in a state where a ban on gender affirming care has passed.
LGBTQ+ fundraisers are going through a lot these days, especially those who have intersecting identities, like Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants, and people with disabilities.
As a white, queer, nonbinary fundraiser, it has been difficult to show up amidst the pain and fear of this targeted assault on LGBTQ+ communities, including me and my loved ones. The stripping of human rights and violence toward LGBTQ+ people is hitting close to home – it’s a really scary time.
Fundraising for LGBTQ+ rights gives me hope.
Throughout my 25-year career I have had the privilege of fundraising for dozens of brilliant LGBTQ+ organizations, including those that fought for and won equal healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ+ adoption, gender affirming care for children and adults, human rights for trans migrants, and many more. It feels good to remember that LGBTQ+ communities and organizations have deep roots and the knowledge to ensure that we thrive, even in the face of oppressive laws and policies.
During these turbulent times, it gives me hope to know LGBTQ+ communities and our allies continue to fight to live our lives on our own terms. As a fundraiser, right now I’m working closely with an organization that provides rapid response support to children, adults, and families in the South who are impacted by the anti-trans bans on gender affirming healthcare. I’m also working with a group that provides free legal services to trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people across the U.S.
To be supporting this life-saving work for LGBTQ+ communities gives me a sense of belonging, and tremendous hope. Fundraising has been, and will always be, one of the critical ways that we will continue to care for one another: storytelling about the issues, raising critical funds for LGBTQ+ children, adults, and families, and giving everyone the opportunity to get involved in these growing human rights movements.
I hope you will join me in supporting and celebrating LGBTQ+-led organizations and communities this Pride season.