OutRight Now: COVID Fund Distributes Nearly $1 Million

Dear Friend,

With the US elections (mostly) behind us and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris set to become President and Vice-President of the United States, OutRight looks forward to welcoming an administration which will be openly and actively supportive of LGBTIQ equality at home and abroad. In case you missed it, we hosted an OutTalks webinar on the implications of the election on global LGBTIQ equality and activism with leading US advocates last week. You can watch it here and join us for our follow-up OutTalks webinar on January 13 to hear from LGBTIQ activists around the world about how the US election will impact our global movement.

While we welcome the news in the US, our fight for LGBTIQ equality continues.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we knew that LGBTIQ people would be severely affected, because in times of crisis the most marginalized communities tend to suffer disproportionately. We knew too well that LGBTIQ people everywhere experience higher levels of discrimination, violence, and exclusion, and that these vulnerabilities are amplified when a crisis unfolds. We also knew that humanitarian responses tend to take a binary gendered approach, choose unsafe spaces (such as police stations) for distribution of supplies, and use non-inclusive definitions of “family,” thus excluding LGBTIQ people.

With thirty years of experience and on-the-ground partnerships, OutRight was in a great position to mobilize quickly to ensure life-saving support would be available for our communities worldwide. In April 2020 we launched the COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund. We had a modest target of raising $30,000. Six months on, we have distributed $967,000 in small grants, making this the biggest global COVID-relief fund for LGBTIQ people. And the majority of these funds would not have been made available to LGBTIQ communities if it hadn't been for OutRight's relentless and creative approach and the incredible generosity of our donors. An astounding $500,000 came from corporate gifts and more than 300 individuals also donated. Through 121 grants to organizations in 63 countries we have reached over 50,000 people!

We can't tell you the impact receiving this help has had on each of the organizations supported and people reached, but we can share a few stories. Today we released a briefing paper introducing some of the grantees of the fund, and showing their dedication, resilience and creativity in supporting their communities in a time of dire need.

When we work together we can move mountains. Thank you for moving them with us!

In solidarity,

Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International

P.S. I hope to see you at our annual conference on the human rights of LGBTIQ people – OutSummit – for the human rights of LGBTIQ people which will be held virtually from December 9-11. We are pleased to have singer and LGBTIQ activist Hamed Sinno and supermodel and trans rights advocate Geena Rocero as our keynote speakers, and we will hold sessions on sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, navigating faith-based discrimination, advocating for rights of intersex people and many more. Watch a short video introduction here, and register here.