After years of amazing strides toward equality, the LGBTQ community’s future was thrust into uncertainty over the course of 2016 in the wake of the June 12 mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and Donald Trump’s surprise election victory in November.
While Trump’s stance on the LGBTQ community is spotty at best, Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been an outspoken opponent of marriage equality, and has defended discrimination against queer people under the guise of religious liberty. Meanwhile, Trump’s cabinet nominees and senior staff members include some of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in the country.
That news does little to comfort those rattled by the Pulse shooting, which claimed the lives of 49 victims, most of whom were queer people of color. On the flip side, the year has re-energized many minority groups to build and strengthen their communities in new ways, including online fundraising efforts.
Frequently ranked among the most effective online fundraising platforms has been GoFundMe. The California-based company is “a natural place to build community and find support in times of need,” according to its CEO, Rob Solomon. “Two of our top 10 largest campaigns this year were for the victims and families of the tragic Pulse shooting in Orlando,” he said, “but there have been thousands of campaigns to help LGBTQ folks with medical care, adoptions, legal aid and more.”
Some of the most impactful, according to GoFundMe reps, included “Save Broken Rainbow,” a campaign launched in hopes of saving an LGBTQ domestic violence hotline from closure, an effort to produce “Hate Has No Home Here” yard signs, as well as those aimed to support alleged hate crime victims with their medical expenses.
As 2016 comes to a close, here’s a look back at 15 impactful GoFundMe efforts that benefited, or will benefit, LGBTQ people. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, the selection represents the community’s diverse interests, causes and cares as it looks ahead at a new era.