June 15th, 2020
In August 1966, trans women, drag queens, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community fought for their rights and fair treatment outside Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Three years later on June 28, 1969, the LGBTQ+ community, once again, rose up against inequitable treatment and police misconduct at the Stonewall Inn. For both of these historic moments, LGBTQ+ people of color—and in particular Black trans women and trans women of color—helped lead the fight against hate and injustice. In many respects, the modern-day LGBTQ+ movement for equality was born from these rebellious acts and the many events preceding them.
Pride should still be a protest. For those within the Black+ and LGBTQ+ community—especially Black+ trans women—the injustices we’re seeing today are a reminder of past and present struggles for equity, justice, and equality under the law. We believe communities must show up for one another, and we stand in solidarity with the Black+ community across the world, honoring the longstanding Pride tradition of unity.
We’re focusing on helping local organizations that create change for LGBTQ+ people of color, trans and non-binary communities, LGBTQ+ families, and many more. We’re also expanding access to mental health resources and bringing people together virtually.
Local love: $1.2 million for LGBTQ+ organizations worldwide
COVID-19 has shown us that vulnerable communities, including LGBTQ+, too often bear the brunt of any crisis. This means that local LGBTQ+ organizations are serving as a critical safety net for those in need, whether they’re helping someone find a bed in a shelter, offering healthcare services, or advocating for more inclusive and equitable policies. Lives depend on these organizations.
However, LGBTQ+ organizations are now figuring out how to do their work virtually—with increased demand and strapped financing—which is why Google.org is donating $1.2 million to over 70 organizations around the world. These organizations improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the cities where they operate. As the 2020 Pride Committee—a group of LGBTQ+ Googlers from all backgrounds and identities—we’re proud to support organizations in Googlers’ hometowns, many of which have influenced our lives or our colleagues’ lives in some way.
An additional $1.2 million for The Trevor Project
In a physically distant world, grappling with inequities, isolation, and challenging situations at home can have devastating effects on LGBTQ+ people, especially those of color. Every year, an estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ+ youth seriously consider suicide in the U.S., and the lifeline, text, and chat crisis services at The Trevor Project—a Google.org grantee—are experiencing their highest demand in 22 years. While Black LGBTQ+ youth have similar mental health disparities compared with all LGBTQ+ youth, they’re significantly less likely to receive professional mental health care, and Black children die by suicide at nearly twice the rate of their white peers. The Trevor Project’s continued targeted outreach to LGBTQ+ Black youth is incredibly important, and the organization offers resources to help allies be more supportive.
The Trevor Project’s work is life-saving, which is why we’re providing $1.2 million to build on our existing work with them. In addition, a new cohort of Google.org Fellows will help The Trevor Project use natural language processing to automate the moderation of crisis content on its online forums and instruct counselors through a virtual conversation simulator training.
This year, Pride will feel different for many of us. We’re finding ways to bring people together virtually, including a toolkit that helps organizations host remote Pride events, a collection of apps, shows, movies, and books about LGBTQ+ stories, and a YouTube “spotlight” channel to elevate LGBTQ+ voices. On Google Arts & Culture, you can explore the history of Pride, including new exhibits on the birth of the Pride march, and critical leaders of the movement like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
While Pride is usually marked by jubilant marches and beautiful parade floats, it’s much more than that. For us, Pride is about the ongoing struggle for equity, visibility, and acceptance. We’ll be spending Pride as allies to our Black+ community members, reflecting on the many LGBTQ+ people of color who started our liberation movement decades ago and finding ways to remedy systemic injustices.