June is Pride Month — when we take the opportunity to celebrate and support LGBTQ communities in Minnesota and beyond. Why June? The Library of Congress explains the significance:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. […] The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

The 'All Fans Welcome' banner hanging on the section wall. (Photo: Daniel Mick)
Photo: Daniel Mick

At the Dark Clouds, we think the best way to show your pride is to volunteer with or donate to organizations that work to empower the LGBTQ community. Our Pride merch has raised $2,000 for the Avenues For Homeless Youth GLBT Host Program.

We wanted to bring your attention to a few of the many organizations, websites, and causes that we think are worth your time. The list below is not meant to be exhaustive but rather a shortlist of organizations we know best that you can start working with right away:

Twin Cities Pride – TC Pride hosts the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival and Parade which are on June 24 – 25 this year. “Twin Cities Pride brings the greater GLBT community together to commemorate our diverse heritage, foster inclusion, educate and create awareness of issues, and celebrate achievements in equality.”

TC Jacks – “Founded in 2007, the Twin Cities Jacks is the only LGBT soccer club in Minnesota. We field teams in local, national, and international tournaments, host social outings for LGBT soccer fans, promote the sport of soccer to the LGBT community, and educate other soccer organizations about homophobia in sports.”

Athlete Ally – “Athlete Ally is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization that provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities.” MNUFC was the first professional sports team to sign the Athlete Ally Pledge as a group.

Avenues For Homeless Youth GLBT Host Program – “The GLBT Host Home Program is an ‘outside-the-system’ community and volunteer-based response to youth homelessness.  It offers a transformative and intimate approach to providing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth who are experiencing homelessness with homes and support.”

Gay4Soccer – This site has a bit of it all: news, analysis, culture, advocacy, love of the game, and love of the players. “And all of this with a gay spin you won’t find anywhere else in the soccer writing world.”

OutfrontMN – “OutFront Minnesota’s mission is to create a state where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are free to be who they are, love who they love, and live without fear of violence, harassment or discrimination.”

Playing For Pride – Pro player Austin da Luz’s fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign. Pro players sign up to donate per game they play and you sign up to match their donations.

Trans Lifeline – “Trans Lifeline is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. We run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people.”

Trans United – “Trans United Fund is committed to building the political power of trans and gender expansive communities and our allies to advocate for trans equality.”

The Victory Institute – “We are the only national organization dedicated to elevating openly LGBTQ leaders who can further equality at all levels of government. Through our training and professional development programs, each year Victory Institute assists hundreds of individuals who go on to influential careers in politics, government, business and advocacy.”