Article written by Kendra Beltran

We’re all looking for a way to give back but sometimes it can be daunting to sit down and do it. It’s easy to toss a few dollars at a charity set up outside your local grocery store. Well, it’s not that easy. You do have to sit there and listen to their rehearsed speech while the sun beats down setting back your 45-minute skincare routine and ruining your ice-cream as it melts away. So instead of that, we came up with some stellar ways you can give back to your local LGBTQIA+ community and make a difference.

1. Volunteer at Local Shelter

According to one recent study, 1.6 billion young people wind up homeless every year, and honey...40% of them are within our community. Yes, 40% of these poor kids living on the streets are LGBT and most are in that position because they didn't feel accepted at home. That is why giving back to local youth shelters is incredibly important. It not only helps to give these struggling youths a safe place to live but also keeps them from getting into drugs or turning to sex work--both of which can lead to dismal ends for them. Almost every major city has a youth shelter so all it takes is a quick Google search to find yours. Whether you can watch the front desk, volunteer in their kitchen, or help with programs - everything helps.

2. Do a Marathon

If you're on any form of social media, you know people love to post their marathon photos. And while we too sometimes ignore those posts, those people are donating not only their time but also their money to run so that they can help out whatever the hell cause they're running for. It's not just running for your health, people! It's running for a purpose. So find a cause in the community that you feel deserves a little more love, strap on some cute kicks and get going. Then you too can flood your timeline looking fierce at the finish line.

3. Organize an Event

If you're the party planner of your social circle, better start putting those skills towards the bigger picture. Think of something you've been low key passionate about and thrust forward with it. An event, a gala, a silent auction. All of these are great ways to not only rally the community together but to throw a kickass soiree.

4. Attend a Rally

In today's climate, political rallies are happening more often than Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons. You feel me? So why haven't you made an eye-catching sign, gathered your friends, and headed out in support yet? Because if you think there still isn't a long way to go in this world for basic human rights for all, you're straight up in denial. Rallies are the battle cries of the people so get out there, be the loudest, and make some change in the world.

5. Support LGBT Businesses

Legendary rapper Killer Mike did a special in which he tried to go 24 hours patronizing only Black businesses. It was rough to watch because it made you realize how monopolized the world is when it comes to who is actually running things. So one can only imagine how hard it would be for someone to utilize only LGBT-owned establishments. When we turn our backs on the little guys, it winds up hurting our communities as a whole. If we don't allow those in our community to thrive, they'll fall and in will come big business that you can be sure is owned by the same type of people they're always owned by.

September 30, 2019 — Andrew Christian
Tags: Gay Culture