Four Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ Organizations to Support

Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, a donation of time or social media engagement, there is no better time to back our LGBTQIA+ community.

by Jessa Gibboney
December 2, 2020

Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ community is a beautiful branch of our city’s personality. Yet, this community – LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual or allies, and the plus sign encompasses other terms such as pansexual and non-binary – still faces acts of discrimination, homelessness and uphill battles for local jobs and societal acceptance.

The giving season is upon us. With social justice taking center stage in Pittsburgh (and around the country) and COVID-19 uprooting our daily routines, many of us are reprioritizing our time and resources. Here are four Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ organizations worthy of a follow, a donation or an attentive ear and open heart.

SisTers PGH

 

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SisTers PGH is a resource center in Swissvale (2014 Monongahela Ave.) for trans and nonbinary people of Pittsburgh. The organization offers a drop-in safe space / community center, provides accurate and updated transgender education for our community, executes emergency shelter and relief programs (SisTers PGH recently championed the Pittsburgh COVID-19 LGBTQIA Emergency Relief Fund raising over $49,000) and aids in supportive services, such as name-changing services, mental and medical health care as well as rent support.

SisTers PGH is black transLED and proud of it. Ciora Thomas founded the drop-in space back in 2013 and now serves as the organization’s president. She also founded and continues to lead the People’s Pride PGH event, most recently occurring on Oct, 9-11. It is an alternative Pride event, SisTers PGH longest-running event, focusing on the marginalized communities within the Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ community. This year the event’s festivities were mostly virtual falling under the theme of Black Trans Lives Matter Too.

How to support SisTers PGH:

Proud Haven

 

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Proud Haven provides safety, shelter and support for Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ youth, which encompasses those between 18 and 25 years of age. As their website reveals, “National statistics have found that 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQIA+.” Proud Haven works toward ending homelessness for our Pittsburgh youth who fall into the disheartening situation of being rejected by their family or friends because of their identity.

Proud Haven was created in 2013 by Angie Scotto and her mother, Debbie Scotto. In late 2014, Proud Haven became a 501(c)(3). A full board went to work in late 2015. Their offices are located in the North Side at 512 E. Ohio St.

How to support Proud Haven:

Pittsburgh Feminists for Intersectionality 

The term “intersectionality” was coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, American lawyer and professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, and describes “how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics ‘intersect’ with one another and overlap.

Pittsburgh Feminists for Intersectionality’s Instagram was founded in 2019 and is a resource for feminists of all backgrounds and situations in need of support services in Allegheny County. For example, they most recently sought help from the Pittsburgh community to support a local mother who was currently living in her car after leaving a domestic violence situation.

As their first Instagram post stated, “Understanding intersectionality is essential to combatting the interwoven prejudices people face in their daily lives.”

How to support Pittsburgh Feminists for Intersectionality:

Dreams of Hope

https://youtu.be/usDmJkZSkmM

Dreams of Hope is home to the creative energy of the LGBTQIA+ youth in Pittsburgh. They provide a nurturing atmosphere for artists to grow and flourish as well as contribute to the education and awareness of queer and trans experiences. Founded by Susan Haugh (who now serves on the board of directors) in 2003, Dreams of Hope is, to this day, Pittsburgh’s lone arts-focused organization for LGBTQIA+ youth.

How to support Dreams of Hope:

This is not the end-all list of LGBTQIA+ organizations doing crucial work in Pittsburgh. What local LGBTQIA+ resources are you supporting or cheering on?

Header photo: SisTers PGH

Jessa is a writer and poet, but above all, a storyteller. Her blog houses poetry and essays on sustainable style, freelance and motherhood. Through her writing endeavors, she has worked with local and global brands such as Carnegie Museum of Art, TRYP Pittsburgh | Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh Opera, Cartier, Earth Brands and George Dickel Tennessee Whisky. Jessa lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Ben, daughter, Louise and their pup, Opal. She wears the same rings every day, believes anything secondhand has a good story to tell and likes her whiskey straight up.

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