Fifty years ago, patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back. As trans women, drag queens, lesbians, and gay men alike fought back against police brutality and mistreatment at the Stonewall Inn, they started a new chapter in LGBTQ history.
Stonewall changed history – forever – because of what LGBTQ people did together. Their actions those nights began with a few hundred people and quickly spread to thousands – and then to millions – standing up for our rights across the country.
On April 18, 2019, LGBTQ people and our allies will have another chance to show the dramatic change that’s possible when we act together. That’s because April 18 is Give OUT Day, the only national day devoted to giving to support the nonprofit groups that advocate for, meet the needs of, and celebrate the lives of LGBTQ people every single day.
The idea of Give OUT Day is simple and profound: to help those nonprofit organizations to raise the funds they need to do their work. Give OUT Day provides tools to our community’s nonprofits – including a free web platform – so they can tell their stories and ask for support.
Give OUT Day will unite donors and organizations across the country in the shared goal of improving our lives, our friends’ lives, our families’ lives, and the lives of all people who love and are loved by our community.
A lot has changed in 50 years. And a lot hasn’t. We all know there is no aspect of life within the LGBTQ community that is not vulnerable to discrimination and bias. Fighting back isn’t just a matter for the history books. For some of us, fighting back may mean simply getting dressed in the morning and going out into a sometimes unfriendly world. Fighting back today means calling out injustice – of all kinds – when we see it. Fighting back is resisting government actions that harm any member of the LGBGTQ community – anyone, anytime, anywhere.
The nonprofit organizations that serve and advocate for our community fight back day in and day out. They need us – all of us – to fight back with them. Every single day, our nonprofits make thousands and thousands of LGBTQ people safer, healthier, stronger, and more equal. They are the backbone of our national movement and in LGBTQ communities in every part of the country.
For some of us, it can be easy to overlook the work that community nonprofits do – at least until we need them their services or their advocacy. Give OUT Day is a day for all LGBTQ organizations to shine, and for all of us not to overlook them.
Last year, Give OUT Day raised just short of $1 million for more than 450 different organizations. This year, we plan on surpassing that. No donation is insignificant. That’s not only because every donation means more funds for nonprofits’ vital work, but also because every gift made on Give OUT Day becomes part of something much larger than any one of us. Through giving, we are community.
There is immense power in our community. And just as the Stonewall Riots became something much larger than that first brick, Give OUT Day is greater than the sum of its parts. We are all part of that community. Please come out for Give OUT Day – and join the legacy of power, pride, and progress.
Roger Doughty is president of Horizons Foundation.