The New York Pride Parade is almost here, which has a lot of people very excited. But it's also a time where people start to think of what they can do to give back— whether as a queer person wanting to give back to your community or as an ally wanting to be more involved. And sometimes, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Of course, we could all do more to be great supporters — even when it comes to just meeting people. “I think one thing is asking preferred pronouns to any new person you meet,” Chloe, a trans woman and activist with an active YouTube channel around trans issues, tells Bustle. “You never know how anyone identifies and if [you are asking] a cis person who knows nothing about asking preferred, it will serve as a lesson.” We could all be more mindful in our day-to-day lives, which is definitely one way to make a difference.
But if you want to dive in and support some of the LGBTQ organizations of New York City directly, there are so many ways to get involved. From taking part behind-the-scenes in Pride itself or looking at the LGBTQ community more broadly, there are a lot of options. Here's where you can get started:
1Volunteer With The Parade Itself
While it's organized by Heritage of Pride, a lot of the groundwork is done by folks like you and me. So if you want to get involved (especially next year, as Pride is almost here) they've made it really straightforward to volunteer.
So much work goes into making these parades happen — and cash never goes amiss. Heritage of Pride is the amazing group that puts on NYC Pride and it's really easy to donate. And of course, there are tons of other amazing LGBTQ organizations that could always benefit from donations.
3Check Out The Ali Forney Center
The Ali Fourney Center is the nation's largest non-profit providing shelter and support to homeless LGBTQ youth. You can check out the volunteering opportunities they have available but donations — of time, clothing, and services — are welcome too.
4Give Back To Seniors
Seniors are such an overlooked group, but the Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders have a visiting program, where you can donate your time to visiting queer folk who are elderly and often housebound. It's especially important to donate during Pride to spend time with the people who broke ground for younger queer folk of today, so look at their website to find out more.
5Lend An Ear
The AntiViolence Project lets you lend an ear to those who need it most— without having to leave your home. Volunteer to take phone calls from those in need and you'll really feel the impact.
6Tell The Time In Style
If you want to give yourself a little flair while giving back, check out the limited edition PRIDE watch from Kapten & Son— with 15 percent of proceeds from the sale of each watch going to Heritage of Pride, the non-profit that produces the NYC Pride events. You can represent and give back, all at the same time.
7Stay Warm And Remember Stonewall
NYC Pride knows its history and it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with their ongoing Stonewall50 Merchandise Collection. Though the anniversary is in 2019, it's never too early to get started — and help you stay cozy after a long day at Pride.
These are just a few of the many ways to help the many, many New York LGBTQ organizations. No matter what you have to give or how you want to get involved, there's an option out there.