3 ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride month
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The TPG brand was founded on principles of equality for all. Our founder, Brian Kelly, has publicly shared his experiences traveling the world as an openly gay man, and our company supports a number of organizations focused on improving quality of life for the LGBTQIA+ community.
While 2020 has been a heavy year thus far, Pride month represents a bright spot of joy and celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community. One example of hard-won progress toward equality is this month’s Supreme Court ruling, which states that employers cannot discriminate against LGBTQIA+ employees on the basis of sex.
However, much work remains to be done on the equality front, especially for gay people in countries with restrictive, homophobic laws. Many individuals worldwide live in fear of persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Outed people are sometimes ostracized, abused and even killed by homophobic people in their communities or by government officials. And even within the U.S., discrimination can be seen in many areas, such as outdated policies surrounding blood donations.
For several years now, TPG has partnered with nonprofit Rainbow Railroad to rescue LGBTQIA+ individuals such as Montgomery, a Jamaican man who spent more than 30 years hiding his sexuality to stay alive. Now in his fifties, Montgomery was able to escape his dangerous homeland and relocate to the U.S. thanks to a couple of organizations, including Rainbow Railroad. Yet Montgomery is just one of tens of thousands who reach out to Rainbow Railroad each year for help seeking asylum.
This June, Rainbow Railroad is continuing to raise awareness around homophobic discrimination and abuse around the world.
Here’s how you can participate:
Watch the ‘Welcome to Chechnya’ premiere on HBO beginning June 30
Welcome to Chechnya is a powerful and eye-opening documentary about a group of activists risking their lives to confront ongoing anti-LGBTQIA+ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya.
The film has received rave reviews from critics, and premieres to the public tonight, June 30, on HBO.
Rainbow Railroad will host its seminal event with nonprofit GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) on July 16 featuring Welcome to Chechnya filmmaker David France, Rainbow Railroad executive director Kimahli Powell and a number of survivors involved in the documentary.
You can register for the virtual panel here.
Learn about Rainbow Railroad’s COVID-specific efforts
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted many of the most vulnerable members of society, including LGBTQIA+ individuals who have been internally displaced, or forced to flee their homes because of persecution.
As with most other organizations, Rainbow Railroad has had to adapt its work during the coronavirus pandemic. The non-profit offers five branches of COVID-19 support, including life-saving aid to individuals in imminent danger; direct support to partner organizations; emergency responsiveness to government crackdowns on LGBTQ+ people; in-country resources and safety information for people at immediate risk; and preparing private sponsorships for refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. and Canada.
Furthermore, Rainbow Railroad is calling on governments worldwide to uphold the right to asylum; resume the resettlement of LGBTQIA+ refugees; release LGBTQIA+ asylum-seekers being held in detention centers; and increase resources dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA+ refugees.
Donate on Give OUT Day, June 30
Give OUT Day falls on Tuesday, June 30 — the only national day of giving for the LGBTQIA+ community. The initiative has raised more than $6 million for over 700 LGBTQIA+ organizations since 2013, and Rainbow Railroad has a dedicated fundraising page here.
Rainbow Railroad relies on donations of money, as well as points and miles, to help facilitate rescue and rehabilitation missions for persecuted individuals. Escape missions are often dangerous, uncertain and complicated, and visas, safety concerns and other logistical issues will always be a problem for organizations like Rainbow Railroad. But your money and your miles can help defray the financial expenses associated with travel, which can represent the difference between life and death for hundreds of refugees.
So this June, celebrate Pride month with TPG by supporting Rainbow Railroad. Please give what you can, and help us educate and inform ourselves and our communities to eradicate anti-gay discrimination and persecution.
Featured photo by iStock.
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