myGwork’s official statement on the #BlackLivesMatter protests:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” - Desmond Tutu
As an organisation whose foundation is inclusion and equality for LGBTQ+ people in the workplace, we grieve for the lives of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and the many other victims of racism and police brutality.
Hatred, discrimination and injustice has no place in our societies.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community at this time and in particular with Black LGBTQ+ people in our team, on our platform, and all those who engage with us. We cannot stay silent in the face of racial injustice whether it is within our own communities or outside of them. We all have a responsibility to end discrimination and intolerance and to continue to educate ourselves and dismantle systemic racism.
myGwork remains resolute in not only our words but also in our actions, directly in our work here in the UK with UK Black Pride and with our community partners around the globe in continuing to work together to achieve true equality for LGBTQ+ people.
The reaction to recent events in America caused by the needless killing of Black Americans has spread, as protests and activists work to tackle racism that is prevalent in systems around the world. Black LGBTQ+ people live all over the world, and we’ll be looking at just some of the organisations that support them, their causes, and their livelihoods.
*All organisations listed have been hyperlinked to their websites or social media. You can click on their names to access this.*
“Strength Through Unity” are the words of UK Black Pride, an organisation that has grown to become Europe’s largest celebration of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American LGBTQ+ people. Through community outreach, advocacy, networking, and their annual UK Black Pride Festival, the focus is simple: to foster unity and co-operation between diasporic communities in the UK to celebrate Black LGBTQ+ culture through education, arts, and celebration. You can donate to UK Black Pride on their website.
BlackOut is a space for Black queer men to connect, celebrate, reflect, and explore, run by a volunteer collective. A community by Black Queer men for Black Queer men, to reflect on commonalities and differences, BlackOut hosts networking events, debates, articles, and other services, all to support the needs of the Black queer men it serves. Their campaign, Revolutionary Love 2020, brings collaborative filmmaking together with activism to promote and support black love. You can support BlackOut and its pioneering work by visiting their website.
Rainbow Noir is a group providing social, peer support and community action, led by volunteers, that celebrates and platforms Black people who identify as LGBTQ+ in Manchester and the North West. Through a desire to influence change and address feelings of being silenced or forgotten about, Rainbow Noir considers and works to influence change around Black LGBTQ+ experiences in and beyond the LGBTQ+ community both locally and nationally. Through regular meetups and an art space, Rainbow Noir is bringing communities together. You can join them via contacting their email address.
The Exist Loudly Fund was put together by Tanya Compas to fundraise £10,000 to be spent making real, tangible change for young Black Queer people, both in London and beyond, digitally. Setting out just how your contribution could help, the Exist Loudly Fund seeks to provide young Black Queer people support, access to services like workshops and mentoring, outings, and a platform to put together monthly meetings to their benefit. As the fundraiser says: Young Black Queer people deserve a space for joy, space for community, space to find a chosen family and a space to explore their identity. This fund will go a long way towards doing just that.
Gal-Dem is a magazine committed to sharing stories and experiences from women and non-binary people of colour. Available online and in print, the core aim is to provide a platform to marginalised communities to address inequality and misrepresentation, that spans essays, opinions, news, arts, and so many other areas. Highlighting just how the current journalistic landscape is 94% white and 55% male, Gal-Dem’s very existence is a challenge to that to redress this imbalance that inevitably shapes the way we consume media and experiences. You can become a member and support them on their website.
Micro Rainbow is an organisation that helps LGBTQ+ people escape discrimination and persecution, to have equal opportunities in life in employment, training, access to services and housing. Through working with LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees to provide safe housing, access to employment, training and education, the charity has helped countless people escape persecution and certain poverty and helped them to find new life, integrated into society. Further to this, Micro Rainbow also carry out research on the specific issues faced by LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees to make recommendations on how to improve their lives. You can find their Amazon Wishlist, containing items to help them provide safe housing, on their website.
The Bisi Alimi Foundation was founded in 2015 in responses to the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act 2013 in Nigeria. The Foundation works to create a Nigeria where all people are equal regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, by contributing towards opinions and views on LGBT+ issues in Nigeria. Through collecting research and knowledge to inform programmatic decisions, the Foundation trains professionals to better represent positions on LGBTQ+ issues, and to run social campaigns aimed at challenging perceptions of LGBTQ+ people in Nigeria. You can donate to their cause and get involved from the Bisi Alimi Foundation Website.
Bi’s of Colour is a blog that explores news, research, and issues surrounding bisexual people of colour, including around issues such as mental health, AIDS/HIV, and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin. The blog is only half of it though: the aim is to provide a supportive group for bisexuals who identify as BME, and to share campaigns around bettering their wellbeing, security, and opportunity. With regular physical meets (postponed currently due to the ongoing pandemic), the group creates a safe space for Bi’s of Colour. You can donate to them via their paypal account.
Team Prepster is an organisation that aims to educate and agitate for PrEP access in England and beyond, founded in 2015 by four London-based HIV prevention activists who were concerned about the lack of information to key communities including gay and bi men, Black African communities, trans people, and others. Independent from any statutory body or voluntary organisation, the mantra is straightforward: this work should be led by, and over-serve, the populations that are less likely to access PrEP despite being most in need. You can find Prepster’s resources and support them over on their website, which also includes helpful information around other health aspects too.
Colours is a youth group for BME 13-25 year olds run by Gendered Intelligence, that seeks to provide a safe space for BAME young people who have disabilities, religious beliefs, who are trans men or women, or who are gender non-conforming or nonbinary. Meeting monthly (suspended currently during lockdown), the group provides a place for BME young people to meet like-minded people and explore their gender, as well as access things such as changing facilities to experiment or wear different clothes to attend the group. More details, including how to support Gendered Intelligence, can be found on their website.
House of Rainbow is a charity that provides help to LGBTQ+ BME people on topics such as sexual health, asylum, counseling, hate crimes, and faith. Through the provision of advice, material and resources, finding referrals where necessary and supporting members during crises, House of Rainbow is driven to provide services to LGBTQ+ BME people through events, helping document hate crime incidents, and ensuring that LGBTQ+ BME people are supported.
Purple Rainbow Collective was founded against the backdrop of statistics showing a 60% increase in bigotry against people of colour and an 147% increase against LGBTQ+ people, to start looking for ways to organise safety for LGBTQ+ people of colour and protect them. The Collective exists to bring together LGBTQ+ people of colour in the UK across generations, political lines and different cultures to create a positive future, framed as being for the humanity, joy, and futures of LGBTQ+ people of colour. You can find out more on their website.
Naz exists to combat the fact that BME communities are disproportionately impacted by poor HIV, sexual, and reproductive health compared to their white counterparts. Their passion and drive to redress this imbalance is keen to see minority communities enjoying positive sexual health and wellbeing. Broken down into four key areas, Naz addresses: care and support services for people impacted by and living with HIV, sexual health prevention and promotion services, providing clinical services around HIV and selected STI pop-up services, and producing research to influence policy. Their full services, and how you can access them or help, are available online.
Kaleidoscope Trust is an organisation that seeks to support LGBTQ+ communities around the globe, especially Commonwealth Communities, through working with activists to agitate for change. Where many Commonwealth nations still carry archaic anti-homosexuality laws entrenched during British Colonial Rule, Kaleidoscope Trust seeks to encourage the British Government, and more progressive Commonwealth stakeholders, to pressure these countries to repeal them. Further to this, the organisation also seeks to train and support activists in various countries to enable them to become strong advocates for their community. More details of their work is available at the Kaleidoscope Trust or the Commonwealth Equality Network.
The National Black Justice Coaltion is a US-based organisation seeking to empower Black LGBTQ+ people to live with equal access to services and opportunity. The Coalition’s particular focus is federal public policy, through which it seeks to end racism, homophobia, as well as bias and stigma against Black LGBTQ+ people. This is broken down into three key aims: to Give Voice to the lived experience of Black LGBTQ+ people, to Take Action to eradicate racism and LGBTQ+ stigma, and to Build Networks with stakeholders and grassroots activists to unite and give power to Black LGBTQ+ communities. You can get involved with the Coalition via the links on their website.
The Commonwealth Equality Network brings together civil society organisations within the Commonwealth to tackle the inequality faced by LGBTQ+ people within Commonwealth nations. Highlighting how 36 out of 54 Commonwealth countries criminalise homosexuality, the Network gives a voice to LGBTQ+ people of colour to support joint advocacy between them to advocate for the advancement of rights. The key aim will always be to challenge homophobia and transphobia in Commonwealth Countries, instilled by Colonial Legacy.
Gay Men of African Descent is the oldest and largest African American organisation that exists to the benefit of black gay men. Through education, socialisation, and political mobilisation, the organisation tackles and explores the complex and unique issues to Black Gay men in America. The group also focuses on HIV/AIDS education and support, including prevention services, providing additionally HIV and STI testing, counseling, and interventions. Particularly, the Organisation works to find out how it can prevent the root causes for HIV/STI transmission within the Black Gay community. They are partnered with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Queer Women of Colour Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) is an organisation that aims to promote the work of Queer women of colour through the exhibition, creation, and distribution of films that explore issues of social justice and the communities of Queer women of colour. Through offering training, resources for activists, and a place to screen films once they’re made, the Project runs workshops that have created over 200 films about issues relating to, and pertinent about, Queer women of colour. You can donate to the Project from their website.
Formerly the African American AIDS Policy Training Institute, the Black AIDS Institute exists to promote awareness and tackle the spread of HIV in African American communities. This is done through an extensive education policy, that goes into communities to educate people on the dangers of HIV, the biology beneath it, and the medical advancements that have created prevention methods. Having trained over 1,000 advocates to provide support for people living with HIV, the Institute is also focusing on its training programme, the African American HIV University, which seeks to empower trainees to work with community organisations to influence funding and research around HIV, as well as policy on the matter. You can donate to them online.