7 LGBTQ Nonprofits to Support Now

8:00 AM 6/9/2020

by Degen Pener

A guide to various organizations, from GLAAD to GLSEN.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

  • GLAAD

    Media-monitoring group GLAAD, which releases high-profile annual reports on LGBTQ inclusion in film and television, counts Pose writer-producer Our Lady J, producer and Sinai Ventures founder Jordan Fudge and Outlier Society head of production Alana Mayo as board members. "Media is a critical lifeline for LGBTQ people at a time when LGBTQ youth might be isolating in homes that are not affirming and when COVID-19 has closed or canceled safe spaces where youth can find support," says Mayo. "News stories, campaigns, films, TV shows, video games, and other media are an ever more crucial means of creating community, and these unprecedented times have heightened the need for GLAADs contributions in this arena. When production is back up and running, we’ll also need GLAAD’s continued work to push for an increase in the quantity and quality of representation of people of color, trans people, and other diverse groups within the beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ community."

  • GLSEN

    Nonprofit GLSEN supports LGBTQ students and works to end bullying in grades K-12. Says producer and board member Todd Spiewak (whose husband is Jim Parsons), "In this current climate, LGBTQ students face a greater potential for social isolation and cyberbullying. They are spending more time in a home that might not be supportive. GLSEN ensures that students, GSAs [Gay-Straight Alliances] and educators have the vital community and connection they need to be protected." Actor and Visible executive producer Wilson Cruz also serves on the board.

  • It Gets Better Project

    The mission of the It Gets Better Project, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, is "to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQ+ youth — wherever they are — through positive, inclusive storytelling and community building. So many people around the world are experiencing isolation like never before, and this is especially true for LGBTQ+ youth who may be unable to physically be with those they feel most comfortable with. Now, more than ever, young people need to feel connected, and we have been hard at work creating virtual events for LGBTQ+ youth," says board member and documentary producer Avrielle Gallagher.

  • Los Angeles LGBT Center

    Helping the L.A. community since 1969, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has been working during the COVID-19 crisis to "provide health services and prepare more than 600 meals every day for our youth and seniors to delivering essential groceries to those in need," says celebrity chef/board co-chair Susan Feniger. "The Center has never walked away from our community during tough times — and we will not do so now. We're all in this together."

  • Point Foundation

    Judith Light, honorary board member of the Point Foundation college scholarship fund and mentorship program for LGBTQ students, says, "I have the deepest respect for the students Point Foundation supports. They are the way-showers into a new world, a different future, a future with freedom of expression for all human beings. COVID-19 has forced many to leave safe and supportive campuses only to return to homes or places where people do not respect their sexual orientation or gender identity. Subsequently, the challenges they face are unending. Others who live on their own are compromised in other ways, having lost work-study jobs, and many cannot afford rent or the technology necessary for virtual learning. Remembering that these students, who have limitless potential, are today's and tomorrow's leaders, we cannot let COVID-19 or any other barrier stand in the way of their ultimate success." Writer-producer Neal Baer (Designated Survivor) is also an honorary board member.

  • The Trevor Project

    "The volume of youth reaching out to the crisis services" of suicide prevention group The Trevor Project "has at times more than doubled" recently, says board member Lauren Morelli (Tales of the City), adding "With so much happening in the world right now, prioritizing mental health by supporting organizations like The Trevor Project is more important than it’s ever been. It’s critical that we confront the stigma surrounding mental health and remind LGBTQ youth that they are never alone." Singer and mental-health advocate Demi Lovato voiced a video for its new "Pride Everywhere" campaign for Pride month.

  • Transgender Law Center

    Storyteller Trystan Angel Reese, board member of trans-led legal advocacy group Transgender Law Center, says, "In periods of crisis, people who have been marginalized in society pay the most dearly. Those most affected, especially Black and Indigenous trans people, trans people living with HIV, trans migrants, and disabled trans people lead TLC’s work at every step, creating a Trans Agenda for Liberation that charts a visionary path forward for our communities at a time when it is most needed. We need to support this work, and an important way to do that is by supporting TLC.” 

    A version of this story first appeared in the June 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.