With a new President here in the U.S. we are all waiting to see what happens on the front of equal rights for LGBT Americans. In the meantime, here are ten things that you can do as a member of the LGBT community to help in the fight for LGBT rights in this historic time.
#2 – Join The Impact
Now, unlike any other time in history, the power of the internet has sparked a grassroots movement uniting the LGBT community and its straight supporters to fight for equal rights for all. Join the Impact is the organization the put together the National Prop. 8 Protest on November 15th, 2008 which drew support in over 300 cities around the world. Join the Impact website and participate in their online community and any local JTI events in your area.
#3 – Help Document the Movement
Whenever someone looks up a search term online related to the LGBT community many times the content they find is not helpful to our cause. Every area of the LGBT community needs more representation online and this is a perfect way to give back to your community. We need more LGBT photos on photo sharing sites like Flickr and PhotoBucket. We need more LGBT videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. We need more blog posts throughout the blogosphere and more LGBT websites in general sharing details and highlights of our progress, emotions, and experiences throughout our struggle for equal rights.
#4 – Raise Your Children Right
I don’t know if you have children, but I do and they are growing fast! On top of that I have over 70 nieces and nephews, plus they are starting to have children too! Every single one of these children look up to me and my wife. If there are children in your life, they are looking to you as a role model whether you like it or not. On top of becoming a positive LGBT role model for the children in our life, we have to do our part in guiding them to grow into becoming equality-minded adults someday (rather than bigots).
#5 – Stay Visible, Don’t Hide
For example, when changing my name on my bank account after I married my wife, the teller asked me what my relationship was and I said I was her wife. Clueless, the teller didn’t understand at which point I said “I’m gay. I just got married to her. Now she is my wife.” I could have easily said she was my ‘friend’ and spared the teller any embarrassment. About 5 people in line saw/heard the whole thing. What their judgement is I’m not sure, but you can bet that was one way of staying visible as a member of the LGBT community!
#6 – Watch Where You Spend Your Money
Don’t continue to line the pockets of gay-bashers and anti-gays when you could easily find comparable items with gay-friendly retailers. The money that the LGBT community contributes to the economy is referred to Pink Money and it is a truly powerful thing! Divert your Pink Money and channel it into projects that are going to use it to benefit the LGBT community rather than seek to destroy it.
#7 – Make a Career Change
Stop helping bigots get rich – if you are working for one quit! There are many gay-friendly employers out there who would love to have you and treat you right. It would be great if you took a new career that involved helping the LGBT community in some way or that put you in a position to help the fight.
#8 – Make More Money
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make a nice down-payment! Find ways to make more money and create multiple income streams for yourself. Franchising, investing, and increasing your earning power should be on the priority list for all of us. The more money we make the more we will be able to financially back ourselves through the fight for equal rights.
#9 – Write Letters and Attend Meetings
If you can’t contribute to the fight financially you can still fight with your voice! Be vocal in your local area when it comes to LGBT rights and issues that you are directly being affected by. Write letters to your local government and media, and attend organization meetings to make sure your voice is heard and weighed on the issues that are affecting you as a member of the LGBT community. Think your voice doesn’t matter? This lesbian mom proves otherwise.
#10 – Connect with Other Gays
High pressure times bring high emotions and can lead to dis-unity within our own community. Reach out to others in the LGBT community and make a new friend, even if only based on your common sexual orientation. We are all in this together (and we are all out on this together too as we continue to be treated as second class citizens)!
Do you have ideas about ways to fight for LGBT rights?
Share them today with Join the Impact and your idea could be the next to pave the way for equal rights!
Julie Phineas is a work at home mom of 2 who lives in Southern California. You can find out more about her online by visiting her website at www.juliephineas.com.