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What does Equalize do?Equalize educates young music fans about acceptance for everyone, no matter who they love or how they identify, and gives youth the tools to enact positive changes in their own communities. We spread the word that discriminating against and stereotyping people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity is not okay.
Why should I fight for the rights of LGBTQ-identified people if I’m straight?Every living person is just that: a person. No one enjoys feeling discriminated against, so discriminating against others who are different hurts everyone. The Golden Rule has always been treat others how they want to be treated. At it’s core, Equalize is not just about LGBTQ issues, it is also about leveling things for people of different races, sexes, religions, socioecomonic backgrounds, etc. We believe in equality for all people. Eventually someone who is skeptical of equal rights for LGBTQ folks will make friends with someone who identifies under the queer umbrella. People are coming out every day, so fight for the rights of your friends, current and future!
How long has Equalize been around?The idea was formed in the summer of 2008, after Alex attended Warped Tour and was frustrated with the lack of LBGTQ organizations represented. We officially incorporated in January of 2009.
Is Equalize a 501(c)3?We are in the process of getting our 501(c)3. Currently, we are a registered nonprofit corporation in the state of Oregon.
What can I do to help?Please check out this page to sign up for our mailing list and our volunteer list. You can also start up your own street team if your city doesn’t have one, and see what our current missions are.
Do I need to be gay to help Equalize?No! Equalize is for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
What is an ally? What do I have to do to be an ally?An ally is someone that does not identify as LGBTQ, but is committed to supporting the community and those that are.
I really want to help, but my parents don’t think that gay or transgender people should have rights. What can I do?Our organization is about fully accepting everyone as equal, hence the name Equalize. The way that we interpret that here is through helping people understand that those who identify as LGBTQ are just as human as those who don’t. We all are unique individuals with our own identities, and sexuality and gender expression are only a part of that. Although that’s the piece that we focus on, our true objective is to "equalize" everyone. If you want to help us out, you can explain to your parents that no one should have to suffer or live in fear for any characteristic about them (sexual/gender identity or otherwise).
Questions About LGBTQ
These are all really great questions with really complicated answers that we couldn’t possibly begin to tackle in a couple of sentences here. Please check out http://www.scarleteen.com/ to learn all about sex between folks of all identities.
We just happen to have a handy-dandy glossary where you can find out what all of those words mean. If you see a word used on this site that you haven’t heard before and it isn’t in our glossary, shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to add it.
Although it used to be considered completely offensive, the word has been reclaimed. Queer is used by many people as an umbrella term for their sexuality and/or gender identity because they don’t feel that other words like gay or lesbian accurately describe them. Generally, people that use the word queer have a more fluid identity than those who use gay, lesbian, or bisexual. It’s only offensive if it’s used offensively.
It just so happens that Alex wrote up a great tutorial about that, which you can read right here.
Questions About Us
Some of us are, some of us aren’t. Equalize is for everyone!
Those of us that identify as GLBTQ all have our own stories of discovering our identity. Some of us are even still in that process. If you are questioning your own sexuality, there are lots of resources to help you with that, such as ithinkimightbegay.com
This is a very personal question that some people might not be comfortable discussing with a stranger. For more information about transitioning from one gender to another, we will soon have a tutorial up that explains this process. There are also many personal blogs and websites where people document their transitions online and are very open about discussing the process.
How anyone has sex is a pretty personal thing. However, if you’re curious about how people of different gender identities or sexual orientations have sex, you can check out a site like scarleteen.com that has educational answers to pretty much any sex question you can think of!
Being gay has to do with your sexual orientation, or whom you’re attracted to. Your own personal gender doesn’t affect whom you like or which gender(s) you want to date.