LGBTQ+ Resources

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What is LGBTQ+ Pride Month?

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

Download a PDF of our LGBTQ Pride Month resource summary.

LGBTQ Figures at The Center

Bayard Rustin

Longtime activist Bayard Rustin oversaw the March on Washington’s logistics. A Quaker and a staunch pacifist, Rustin had been a conscientious objector during World War II and served prison time for his beliefs. Rustin played a role in handling all the March-related logistics—transportation, volunteer training, stage construction, food preparation, portable toilets, and the schedule.  The overwhelming success of the March in terms of numbers, publicity, peacefulness, and overall organization garnered Rustin significant attention, where he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine with fellow organizers a week later under the headline, “The Leaders of the March.”

Honor the advocacy and the life of Bayard Rustin, by joining The Bayard Rustin’s LGBTQ Leadership Society, learn more.

(Located in Rolls Down Like Water: March on Washington Gallery)

Anatasia Smirnova

Anastasia Smirnova is an activist based in St Petersburg, Russia. She coordinates a coalition of LGBTQ organizations in their international advocacy efforts. Smirnova and members of the coalition conduct advocacy for LGBTQ rights and educate the public about discrimination against LGBTQ people, their families and supporters. The coalition’s founding meeting was secretly taped by authorities and the recordings were broadcast by state media leading the coalition members to face threats and violence. Smirnova and her colleagues led the campaign to fight discrimination against LGBTQ Russians in the lead-up to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

(Located in Spark of Conviction)

Current LGBTQ Initiatives

LGBTQ Institute Southern Survey

In 2021, the LGBTQ Institute at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights partnered with Emory University to conduct a survey of LGBTQ individuals in the South (individuals who reside in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia). This is a study of, by, and for Southern LGBTQ people, with the support of many community and grassroots organizations and individuals across the Southern United States. The goal of this research is to amplify the voices of LGBTQ Southerners and highlight the issues affecting our lives, in order to create a more safe and welcoming South. The data for the Southern Survey has been collected and is now available.

LGBTQ Institute Symposium: Fighting for Our Lives: Amplifying the Call for Social Justice

The LGBTQ Institute is proud to be part of the NAESM National Leadership Conference on Health Disparities and Social Justice. The nation’s largest annual convening explores prevention, care, treatment, policy, and research advances related to the health and wellness of Black same-gender-loving men. The event starts at The Center and continues in various locations, enabling participants to network, build community, and lean into the joy critical to persevering in the fight for social justice. Registration for this year’s Symposium is now open.

YOU(th) Belong… At the Center

LGBTQ+ youth are struggling against increasing political hostility. Many of the more than 400 anti-LGBTQ state bills proposed or passed in 2023 target LGBTQ+ youth, particularly non-binary and transgender youth. Legislators have focused on schools, distorting a fundamental resource of learning into a dehumanizing battleground. Laws deny LGBTQ+ students the opportunity to learn about their histories, experiences, or even developmentally appropriate and comprehensive sexual health education that could address a myriad of youth vulnerabilities, from STI infections to teen pregnancy. Amid this avalanche of damaging legislation, The LGBTQ Institute, in partnership with a coalition of youth-advocating organizations, has taken a proactive approach, creating “YOU(th) Belong…At the Center”. This monthly Atlanta-wide series centers youth and young adult learning about social justice issues from the past to the present; provides spaces for youth to engage with leaders and change-makers; and cultivate experiences nurture authentic and empowering relationships.

Atlanta LGBTQ+ History Project: Out Down South Exhibition 

Curated by Rachel Garbus & Sam Landis, the Out Down South exhibition presents stories of change-making LGBTQ+ Atlantans. The LGBTQ+ community has made incredible strides in recent decades. Thanks to courageous work by activists from all walks of life, queer and trans people of all identities have been welcomed into the fold of America’s celebrated diversity. This history of the LGBTQ+ movement was been made all over the country, including here in the South, where legendary stories of trailblazing activists mingle with those of the leaders fighting for equality today. The exhibit features photographs and recorded stories of change-making LGBTQ+ Atlantans, told in their own words. We invite you to learn about Atlanta’s LGBTQ History, through their stories.

The exhibition is free to visit outside of The Center in the Georgia Pacific Plaza.

Atlanta LGBTQ+ History Project: Out Down South Podcast

This season the Out Down South podcast will be focusing on Atlanta, the hometown of the project and what has long been known as the LGBTQ+ mecca of the south. We believe that LGBTQ+ history isn’t just made in New York and San Francisco, but that it has happened and is happening in big cities and small towns around the world. We have our own unique stories of resilience here in the south. The podcast hosted by Rachel Garbus and Sam Landis.

Coming-Out Resources

For LGBTQ+ People

“Coming out is when a person decides to reveal an important part of who they are with someone in their life. For many LGBTQ people, this involves sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Coming out isn’t always easy. After thinking it through, you may decide not to come out. You are valid and deserve support no matter who you do or do not share your identities with. Remember, there isn’t one right way to come out, and it’s YOUR choice.”  We encourage you to take a look at this incredible resource from the Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth:

For Family and Loved Ones

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. Their resource list is a great place to start if a friend or family member has come out to you as LGBTQ:

Check out GLAAD’s Glossary of Terms.

Ways to be an Ally to LGBTQ People

  • Add your pronouns to your email signature & social profiles
  • Actively include LGBTQ+ colleagues, friends, and family in the social aspects of work and life

  • Demonstrate your willingness to learn about privilege, stereotypes, and unconscious bias

  • Intervene or speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ speech or behavior

  • Learn and use correct and inclusive language

  • Advocate for LGBTQ+ supportive policies and practices

  • Engage with and listen to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community