Support LGBT Youth In Indiana
When Memories Pizza said they wouldn't serve pizza at a same-sex wedding, they were completely within their legal rights and still are. These expressions of intolerance and the ensuing fundraiser for hundreds of thousands of dollars send a terrible message to LGBT youth who already face more bullying, social pressure and higher rates of suicide.
Take a minute and, instead of trolling Memories on Yelp and being angry about it on Facebook and Twitter, donate $10; do something positive that will have a direct impact on LGBT youth in the state of Indiana.
I believe that we can and should out raise them 2x.
All donations made are going directly from GoFundMe to Indiana Youth Group .
IYG has been around since 1987 providing safe spaces and support for LGBT youth. They were founded "in response to the dismal suicide, homeless, and dropout rates of self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth in Indianapolis. "
Executive Directory Mary Byrne is the direct beneficiary of this campaign. See this GoFundMe help page: How do I send the funds to someone else? (US Only)
I was reminded of this campaign because a handful of people signed up for recurring donations (I didn't even know that was possible), and I got notifications for their monthly donations. Thank you to those people.
A couple of weeks ago I got to meet Mary Byrne and some of the staff at Indiana Youth Group and go on a tour. What a great space and a great resource, run by great folks. I learned on that visit that this year IYG had a plan to hire a part time person to run development, but thanks to this fund raiser they were able to hire a full time director of development. Your donations are going to be leveraged into even greater giving and a successful capital campaign to help IYG find a bigger space where they can serve even more youth in bigger and better ways.
Thanks again to everyone!
I don't know if you are aware but there is a business in WA that is being sued by the state for discrimination that has raised around $150k on GoFundMe in about the same amount of time that we've raised $30k. LGBT folks are protected from discrimination in Washington, but they are still NOT protected in most of the state of Indiana.
John Stewart called this out on his segment on the Daily Show, Monday April 6, "It remains legal in most of the state of Indiana to fire someone for being gay."
And Salon had a GREAT article about how #BoycottIndiana is ineffective, and the people who are working for real change in the state, the ones who got the changes to RFRA passed, are only disenfranchised by these campaigns.
Indiana Youth Group has been actively doing the work in the state, that the True Colors fund has been raising awareness and advocating for, for 27 years.
Take a moment now, please hit up Twitter, Facebook, your sympathetic coworkers, your family, your friends and make them aware of this campaign and what the actual situation here is.
Advocating and raising awareness of LGBT youth homelessness isn't prevention. Prevention comes from tolerance and understanding, from kids not being kicked out of their houses because we've moved to a point as a society where LGBT isn't seen as a choice and discrimination and intolerance are no longer legally protected. While we fight for that, help contribute to a deserving organization that is providing direct support for LGBT youth in the state of Indiana.
"I just want to take the time to tell you how important this is, no matter how much money is raised. I was a homeless, gay, teenage, drug addict, when I stumbled into IYG. Mr. Gonzales welcomed all of us kids without any kind of judgement. I had found a place that never made feel less than. The staff there made me feel welcome and important. A feeling that I had forgotten I was capable of. Some of my friends there were also homeless, some were HIV positive, some, like me, knew that this was their last chance. I was literally saved from myself and this, sometimes, harsh world that threatened to bury me alive.
My children think I'm old now, and my wife would probably agree. I went to college, found a career, started paying taxes, and defined my own life. I marched downtown today and felt good about holding my wife's hand in the streets. All of these things I am certain, I would have missed had I not been at that exact doorstep, in that tiny little building night after night rebuilding my foundations. I am forever in debt to IYG and could never donate enough. So......Thank You........from all of us. "
"I am a transgender man. I am 17 years old. I remember first having thoughts of self-harm when I was in second grade. My first real thought that turned into a plan (but never action) was after my school counselor outed me to my parents as a transgender man. I remember there being a lot of yelling from my parents. I didn't eat for two days. Played in three soccer games. I hoped that I somehow I would get hit in the head really hard or get some fatal injury during those games. Or really just pass out form hunger and never wake up again. Things for me seemed over.
After those games I went up to my room and stayed awake all night. I thought about sneaking outside my house and jumping in the river that was a mile away. Just jump in, hope my head hits a rock, I couldn't swim so it would be a sure thing.
I first came to IYG on 21 December 2012. I was still a mess, even though I had been out to my parents for over three months. Going to IYG for the first time is like playing in your first real soccer game with people you don't know. You don't know what's going to happen until you step on the field. I came to IYG and it was a completely different place. People were out and proud in a sense. I had a great time. I met other transgender people and adults that seemed kind of cool. I became more stable with IYG. I had something to look forward to. I hated school and home life because I couldn't be me. At IYG I could.
At some point things went downhill. Really fast. I started having suicidal thoughts regularly. I talked with some of the adults at IYG, they gave me resources like the Trevor hotline. They let me talk with them and they gave me advice. I felt like I could trust them because they never let anything slip and their advice seemed to help. One of the staff members even got me into a group that taught coping mechanisms (CAST) at IYG because he thought it would help, and it did.
Do I still have suicidal thoughts? Yes. Are there times where things seem hopeless and just too painful to bear? Yes. But I have found, through IYG, that there are times when things seem to be worth it. All that pain, loss, rejection, humiliation, everythingâ€¦. It's all bad but when I get to IYG and meet with friends who have gone through similar situations, and when I'm able to talk to awesome staff members, I'm kind of reminded that I can feel good and happy."
I donate $ to IYG through other channels, and give an entire evening or more almost every eek as a volunteer. I am especially interested in the "Christian" and even "anti-Christian" comments here. I regularly lead an IYG discussion group called "Separation of Church and H8". Many church-damaged people here, and I don't think it has to be that way.
Left-leaning news blogs - at least a few independent ones, including mine - are very much behind this and getting the word out. There are multiple stories here, and multiple needs for action, but I know I'm pushing this hard and so are a few colleagues. It would be very nice if we had some higher-profile folks in progressive media and the LGBTQ community helping, but give 'em time to get on board; it's the weekend.
Too bad you can't get left-leaning news, tv (John Stewart, David Letterman), blogs to all get behind this and get the word out like Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" did to mobilize religious zealots and tea party dingbats! It wasn't popular, Indiana support that drove Memories Pizza donations up; it was a talented and savvy political activist who works for The Blaze. I did see that whoever bought the MemoriesPizza .com domain name has now pointed it to "It Gets Better" page for donations. While I'm not gay, I'm tired of the Indiana tea party sending Indiana on a downward spiral. So, I donated $25 on their page in honor of Mike Pence using the state house as my address. I hope Mike gets the "thank you" note for donating! I will donate here too! Keep fighting the good fight. @troyrudd TroyRudd.com
Just donated $100 to the Indiana LGBT Youth Group. May LGBT youth inherit a kinder, more open world free of jerks who say they are Christian and then act like jerks to people. I'm Christian, I'm gay...........I don't think I'm better than anyone for any reason. Jesus said love thy neighbor and judge not lest you be judged but this doesn't stop jerks from using religion as a means to degrade and put people down. My mother was always very Christian and she never said a bad word against anyone! These are phony Christians who just want to be jerks. They find passages in the Bible that they think will let them be asses to others. Why not find the passages in the Bible that show us how to love another more??????????????????????????? HUH???????????? the Old Testament is filled with passages in Leviticus that say don't come into contact with a woman who is having her period.........that she is unclean........can you imagine saying this to any woman today?????? Hello! a slap..............and rightfully so.........oh, excuse me.......are you having your period? then I can't be near you..........learn the Bible people..............the strict passages were meant perhaps to address things people didn't understand then...........like a woman's period for a quick example in Leviticus...........today........we know better........science.........education.......biology.....and not being so damn backward................people aren't property...........the Bible says slavery is ok...........today we don't think that...........to Christians I would say........be a real Christian..........love others........don't be a jerk and use your religion to make life shitty for others. Does this make sense to anyone? Please.....anyone.........anyone who uses religion to hurt others is a fake to that religion........not real.........remember that!
Sharing and donating! I wish you lots of luck! You need to get this into the media for more attention so you will be able to reach your goal...The pizza shop is all over the place, that's why they are getting so many donations. People need to know about this group!
As a Christian and big fan of Memories Pizza and the awesome fundraising going on over there, I really appreciate someone that decided, instead of trolling and trying to ruin other people's lives, to start something to encourage people to give to causes they do support. Good for you, starter of this campaign. :)