Giving back to the LGBT community

It is that time of the year again, the month of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It has officially begun and the celebrations of love, equality and resistance are in full swing.

In the current state of the world, when you are feeling helpless or insignificant. Kindness, acceptance and a little bit of love can go a LONG way and do wonders for the mind and soul. Just because it’s the Mardi Gras it doesn’t mean you have to only help during this month. Giving back to the LGBT community is essential to the progression of society’s views towards the LGBT community and can be done in many ways, at any time of the year. So how can you give back to the LGBT community?

  1. Attending events like Fair Day and the Official Mardi Gras Parade: Indeed, Fair Day was yesterday, but it is definitely worth a mention. Fair Day is an wonderful FREE event in Sydney which has been known to attract over 80,000 individuals from all walks of life. Fair Day has a whole bunch of tents for food, drinks and a stage with drag shows as well as music. Most importantly, you’ll find a bunch of tents with petitions! You can sign the petitions and learn about the issues within the community as you go. There are a lot of petitions running at the moment that are aimed to make a whole lot of changes in Australia for the LGBT community. Some of the petitions include marriage equality, adoption rights for LGBT individuals who wish to start a family and much more. Signing a petition is a great way to get the ball rolling to make a difference in current worldly issues and is a great, easy way to give back to the LGBT community.
  1. Attending a movie or two during the Film Festival: The Mardi Gras film festival is a platform for queer documentaries and movies that are otherwise not shown on mainstream TV or movie theatres. This makes it the perfect opportunity to support local, national and international actors, producers, directors and many more of the LGBT community. Their relentless efforts to put queer individuals on the big screen.
Ellie Goulding in "I Do Down Under T-Shirt" Photo
Photo: Ellie Goulding in “I Do Down Under T-Shirt”
  1. StartOver: StartOver is one start up to definitely keep an eye out for. The guys at StartOver had a stall at Fair Day this year and were promoted their new application which is soon to be released. The application is called, you guessed it, “StartOver”. The application will be a platform for individuals who are either coming out, planning to come out or are confused on what to do and how to do it. You are able sign up to the application which will allow you to receive free mentoring from someone within the LGBT community. Anyone can volunteer to become a mentor to, as long as you’re over the age of 18. StartOver will be a great platform to give back to the LGBT community and assist individuals in a really vulnerable time in their life. People who sign up will receive a day of professional training on how to be a mentor.
  1. Share your story with a website like www.Story.LGBT – Already out and proud? Share your story with organisations like Story.LGBT to show those who are just coming out that it gets better! Story.LGBT is the first ever online catalogue of coming out stories and is designed to help to show people that they’re not alone.
  1. Say I do down under: Support marriage equality by donning a ‘Say I do down under’ t-shirt or an Equality t-shirt.
  1. Equality Campaign: Fax your local MP. Let them know why ALL Australians deserve equality.

 

Why support the LGBT community? The LGBT community is still largely marginalised and mistreated around the world, even in 2017. Only yesterday, whilst giddily stumbling into my Uber driver’s car, still laughing and grinning from a day of being surrounded by likeminded people did my bubble get sharply popped by the needle of our driver. “Why are the streets so busy?” asks my Uber driver. “Today was Fair Day!” my partner and I both said in unison, grinning. “That explains all the dudes in fucking skirts. Unbelievable” He says, shaking his head. The awkward silence for the rest of the trip was deafening.

It truly sucks that in 2017, two girls have to choose to stay quiet, rather than stand up for their LGBT friends out of fear for getting judged, mistreated or worse.  It’s not good enough. Any support, whether through showing up to rallies, attending the official parade or wearing it on your damn sleeve is undeniably imperative to the change of views of people who are like my Uber driver and those similar. Thanks for reading!

 

 

About the Author: Chloe is a Consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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