Photo via PhilCooke.com

Look, we’re all broke – and in our collective attempts at scrounging up enough cash to live our own damn lives we often forget that there are people more in need than ourselves. So let’s not let our impoverishment cause us to forget the people most in need here at home in our own beloved community.

This Pride month it’s especially important to remember the deeply political roots of our city’s pro-gay celebrations, and one of the best ways to do that is to hand some cash over to groups that queer people truly rely on. Now, we’re taking a look at five LGBTQ charities right in our backyards. From healthcare facilities to youth centers, these institutions are endemic to the survival of one of Brooklyn’s most marginalized populations.

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Photo by Yelp user Carolina S.
Photo by Yelp user Carolina S.

Out of the Closet
475 Atlantic Ave., Boerum Hill

Out of the Closet is a thrift shop benefitting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Every location offers free HIV and STD testing and has a pharmacy attached. The ultra-friendly staff at the Brooklyn location are always looking for donations in the form of used clothing, electronics, appliances, CDs and records, furniture, books, or actual money. And make sure to get tested while you’re there, why not! Here’s the link for donations.

Brooklyn Community Pride Center
4 MetroTech Center, Downtown Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Pride Center is a safe space for the LGBTQ community. According to their mission statement, the goal of the organization is to offer “physical and mental health services, social support, recreational and cultural programming…Through promotion of the empowerment, development, and general welfare of the community.” They emphasize gender, racial and ethnic parity. This summer, they’ll be offering exciting events ranging from youth hangouts to open mic nights. You can donate now, over here.

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Photo via Hetrick Martins Institute
Photo via Hetrick Martins Institute

Gays Against Guns

Formed in the wake of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub last year, GAG (that acronym, tho) describes themselves as an “inclusive direct action group of LGBTQ people and their allies committed to nonviolently breaking the gun industry’s chain of death—investors, manufacturers, the NRA and politicians who block strong gun laws.” If you want to donate to this organization, a great way to do so would be to head to Metropolitan Bar in Williamsburg on the first Thursday of every month, where drag queens Alotta McGriddles, Crimson Kitty, and Heidi Glum strut their stuff, with proceeds raised from the shows going directly to this charity. Contribute over here.

Callen-Lorde
356 W 18th St., Chelsea

Callen-Lorde is a historic LGTBQ healthcare facility and the only primary care center in the city specifically focused on serving sexual minorities – and all of their services are totally free. While previously only serving Manhattan and the Bronx, this year Callen-Lorde signed a 20-year lease on a new location at 40 Flatbush Ave. in Downtown Brooklyn. Set to open in 2019, the group will likely need a lot of money to get this operation off the ground, so now’s a great time to contribute. Donate now.

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Photo via
Photo via Hetrick Martins Institute

Hetrick Martins Institute

HMI is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit serving LGBTQ youth and their families. The group has previously organized mental health initiatives and events in all five boroughs of NYC. According to their website (https://www.hmi.org/youthsummit/), the goal of this programming is “to decrease LGBTQ youth isolation by connecting young people to appropriately and thoughtfully designed community services.” Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, HMI works towards creating safe and supportive environments for a wide array of youths, with a specific focus on 13-24 year olds and their families. Donate online over here.

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