How to Help the LGBT Community in Orlando

At  Skepchick, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the horrific shooting in Orlando. As the death count climbs to 50 (which means this would potentially be the deadliest shooting in US history), many are already asking how they can help the victims and Orlando’s LGBT community. Here are a couple ways to get involved:

  1. The Center offers counseling services to the LGBT community in Orlando. These services will be crucial to the community following the mass shooting. To donate, click the “Donate” button in the upper right-hand corner of their website.
  2. The Zebra Coalition in Orlando also offers mental health services to LGBT youth in Orlando, many of whom may now be scared to get involved in their local LGBT community. Donations can be made here.
  3. Lastly, we recognize that the ability to donate blood currently excludes those who fall under the FDA’s outdated restrictions on blood donations (gay men who have not been celibate for the past year). There are reports that blood donation organization One Blood is lifting that ban on donations at their centers, but One Blood has Tweeted that this is not true.  There is currently a severe need for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood donors following this tragic event. If you are able to donate blood (especially if you are in Orlando,) please call One Blood at 1-888-936-6283 to schedule an appointment.

Courtney Caldwell

Courtney Caldwell is an intersectional feminist. Her talents include sweary rants, and clogging your social media with pictures of her dogs (and occasionally her begrudging cat). She's also a political nerd, whose far-left tendencies are a little out of place in the deep red Texas.

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  1. Thanks for the suggestions, I made a donation. I was also thinking someone should organize a Pulse T-shirt fundraiser.

  2. Hey, this is great! I’m O+.

    A friend of mine, an Evangelical from Standing Rock but certainly more left-leaning than “Evangelical” would normally imply, was just telling me about how he just thought “What if my brother and sister had lived in Orlando?”

  3. Just tried calling One Blood. I couldn’t get a human to answer, but will try again tomorrow. I’m in a “needed” category and within driving distance. The recording said they would have blood needs “for days.”

  4. Stupid question about blood donation:

    I’m nowhere near the Orlando area (Cincinnati), but I have O+ blood. If I donate locally tomorrow, will that help? I know there’s no harm in donating in general, but I’m wondering if distant areas help in times of crises and that Cincy will need help sending blood there or replenishing it’s stock.

    Basically, I’m just wondering how it all works. Thanks.

  5. To be sure it’ll reach the victims with blood and money…best way is to give it to them directly. If you donate blood elsewhere throughout the country…seeing as how blood is always in high demand…if you give through Red Cross or United Blood…it’ll most likely be used for people within your city/state. You’d have to donate blood in Orlando to be certain the victims will get it. If its money…to avoid fraudulent companies that come out when tragedies happen…best way to be assured the victims will get it is to donate to them directly. Id avoid donating any kinda money online. Money doesn’t having a tracking number like FedEx packages do. If you don’t give either to em directly…there is always a chance it’ll never reach em…much moreso with blood.

  6. The CDC has been legally banned from researching the epidemiology of gun violence since the 1990’s. A group called the 314 PAC (as in 3.14159…) is sponsoring a petition to rescind the ban. Even the original Republican sponsor of the bill is on board with removing the ban (according to the 314 PAC’s web site. You can sign the petition here.

    The 314 PAC is devoted to getting more scientists elected to public office, and promotes diversity, education (particularly in STEM fields), and rational, reality-based public policy.

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