Welcome to the letter “V” of my LGBTQ Resources A-Z blog! In advocating for the LGBTQ community, one of the most rewarding ways to spend my time is Volunteering. In this article, I will give you resources and ideas where you, too, can learn where to volunteer. Please share your favorite LGBTQ organizations where you volunteer in the comments.
We are extremely lucky to live in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Our favorite organization to volunteer for is GSAFE: the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools. GSAFE is where I became “Lady Rainbow” and the lunch lady. My wife volunteered on their board of directors and for numerous other events. When I would get questions regarding LGBTQ issues that I couldn’t answer, I would rattle of their phone number (608) 661-4141 and website www.gsafewi.org as THE “go to” for resources.
Another great organization with tremendous vounteers is PFLAG. Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Please remember that PFLAG serves more than lesbians and gays. There are over 400 chapters of PFLAG in the United States to help families and friends with resources and ways to volunteer. In Madison, we have a wonderful farmer’s market every Saturday morning. Each time we walk by the PFLAG table — which is always staffed with fabulous volunteers — we thank them for being there and for volunteering!
Another of my favorite LGBTQ organizations offering a virtual volunteer opportunity is GLSEN. GLSEN is the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. They celebrate a Day of Silence in schools each year. Read on for more about what they’re doing this year!
The GLSEN Day of Silence is a national, student-led demonstration where LGBTQ students and allies all around the country — and the world — take a vow of silence to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools.
Started in the mid 90’s by two college students, the Day of Silence has expanded to reach hundreds of thousands of students each year. Every April, students go through the school day without speaking; ending the day with Breaking the Silence rallies and events to share their experiences during the protest and bring attention to ways their schools and communities can become more inclusive.
This year GLSEN is honoring the 25th anniversary of Day of Silence on Friday, April 24, 2020 — and yes, this year they are going virtual! Check out the 2:11 video. Thanks!
Whether you volunteer your time, talents or money, the LGBTQ community appreciates you! I know that I appreciate you volunteering your time to read this…see what I did there? Again, I invite you to tell us in the chat where you volunteer to support the LGBTQ community. And thank you for it!
Lisa Koenecke (Lady Rainbow)