The last few decades have seen major strides in civil rights for Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
However, some conservatives have pushed for exemptions from civil rights laws for individuals or companies refusing, on religious or moral grounds, to provide services and even healthcare for LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, sexual orientation and gender identity are the motivation for many hate crimes in the US, and bullying among teens and children is a major contributing cause of increased rates of suicide, self-harm, and homelessness.
Learn More Online
- American Psychological Association: APA’s Office on Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity provides support and guidance to those seeking psychological resources to promote beneficial change in society for LGBTQ+ people.
- Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
- Hate Crime Statistics: Compiled by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
- PBS Timeline: This timeline includes major milestones in the history of the Gay Rights Movement in the USA.
- Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: Gay Marriage & Homosexuality, and Gender. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
Join or support local chapters and organizations:
- American Civil Liberties Union: The Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU.
- BAGLEY – The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization advocating for programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ youth community.
- Boston Pride Parade
- Commonwealth’s LGBTQ+ Resource Map
- Fenway Health: Their mission is to enhance the well being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (and all people) through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy.
- GLSEN Boston: Support an LGBTQ+ teen and/or teacher.
- Greater Boston PFLAG: Programs and services for LGBTQ+, including support groups and a helpline.
- Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC): Volunteers welcome!
- Social Justice Book Group: This book group is an informal group that meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. In addition to book discussions on a variety of social justice related topics, the group hosts speaker programs and presentations themed around the selected book titles.
- UMass Lowell: Annual LGBTQ+ Programs from UMass Lowell.
- Waltham House: The first residential group home designed specifically for LGBTQ youth in New England, and one of only three of its kind in the nation.
Join or support national or international organizations:
- Amnesty International: This link takes you directly to the landing page for the topic of Gender, Sexuality, and Identity at Amnesty USA’s website.
- Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation: GLAAD works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance.
- The National LGBTQ Task Force: Advancing full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people and building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives.
- The National Center for Transgender Equality: Advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people.
- The Trevor Project – Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award® winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.