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June is Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ+ identities, and it’s coming up faster than you think. We’ve got your guide to 18 must-know resources in Birmingham that serve our community and advocate for equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people.
1. AIDS Alabama
AIDS Alabama is huge player in HIV/AIDS healthcare throughout Alabama. This organization is dedicated to eradicating AIDS in our state by helping people find treatment and assistance without stigma or judgement. They offer healthcare, case management, housing assistance (including the first homeless youth shelter in Alabama) and policy advocacy.
2. Birmingham AIDS Outreach
The first AIDS service organization in Alabama, Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) is dedicated to the fight against HIV and AIDS in the Birmingham area. According to their website “the agency was founded as a ‘grass-roots’ response to the devastating and fatal impact HIV/AIDS was having on the Birmingham community. Today Birmingham AIDS Outreach provides free services to over 800 HIV positive individuals and touches thousands of lives through community events, HIV testing, and prevention outreach.”
3. Magic City Wellness Center
Magic City Wellness Center is the first LGBTQ+ comprehensive healthcare facility in Alabama. According to their website, “The Magic City Wellness Center provides a safe, open and affirming space for LGBTQ individuals to have an open dialogue with a healthcare provider without fear of rejection, embarrassment or discrimination.”
4. El Centro/The Hub
El Centro/The Hub is “a welcoming, comfortable space that centers the experiences of young gay, bisexual, and transpeople of color but is welcoming to all.” This new AIDS + PrEP clinic, a project of AIDS Alabama, opened on January 5, 2021 in Lakeview. It’s a center for LGBTQ+ people of color, providing both community and healthcare.
5. TAKE Birmingham
TAKE Birmingham stands for “Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable and Empowering”, and this group is just that. The organization began as a support group for trans women of color in the Birmingham area and has transformed into a wider organization that advocates for equal housing, support for sex workers, provides trans-friendly services, fights against trans discrimination in the workplace, and works to alleviate the many other barriers that trans men and women of color face.
6. Trans in the South
Part of the Campaign for Southern Equality, Trans in the South is a guide to transgender resources in the Alabama and neighboring states. The guide includes information on healthcare providers, mental health counselors and advocacy. Access the guide here (tip: Alabama’s information begins on page 7).
Education + youth
7. Magic City Acceptance Center
The Magic City Acceptance Center is a Birmingham organization dedicated to providing support and resources for LGBTQ+ individuals. The organization is a project of Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) and offers free programming for LGBTQ+ people of all ages.
8. Magic City Acceptance Academy
Magic City Acceptance Academy is a new public charter school in Homewood that’s LGBTQ+-inclusive and welcoming to all. They’ve got big plans to foster excellence and innovation through project-based learning with real world applications. They’re currently accepting applications for rising 6-12 graders for their inaugural 2021-22 school year. Apply now.
9. PFLAG Birmingham
PFLAG stands for “Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.” The Birmingham chapter “advocates full equality and civil rights for all people.” They host monthly peer support groups to help families “dispel myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity.”
10. Magic City Parents
Magic City Parents is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ parents and parents of LGBTQ+ children that provides encouragement and support. “The group seeks to build an inclusive community that nurtures and accepts all types of families. By joining this parenting group, families will have the opportunity to be introduced to families like themselves and create positive relationships that share a common thread– children.”
11. Birmingham Black Pride
Founded in 2017, “Birmingham Black Pride is the coming together of the ideas and frustrations of communities of color in Birmingham in their fight to become more involved with the issues that affect them.” They aim to empower and advocate for Birmingham LGBTQ+ people of color.
12. Central Alabama Pride
Coming up on its 43rd year of celebrating LGBTQ+ identities in Alabama, Central Alabama Pride is “committed to spreading the message of equality each year with the production of our LGBT Pride events which also brings together all Alabama citizens.”
13. HRC Alabama
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Alabama arm advocates for “LGBTQ equality alongside lawmakers at the local and state levels across the country.” Currently in Alabama, the HRC is working on Project One, a permanent campaign in several Southern states including Alabama to bring LGBTQ+ equality.
Arts + athletics
14. Steel City Men’s Chorus
The Steel City Men’s Chorus is Birmingham’s premiere gay men’s chorus that began in the summer of 2013. The chorus’s mission is to “to create community, educate, and give voice to LGBTQ issues through music and service.” Anyone 18+ can join the chorus, but only those who identify as male are able to have a singing part.
Check out their upcoming show at the Birmingham Zoo on June 12 at 5:20PM.
15. SHOUT Film Festival
SHOUT is Alabama’s first LGBTQ+ film festival, founded in 2006 and is hosted at Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema. SHOUT spotlights films centered on the experiences of LGBTQ+ communities in a range of cinematic mediums, including documentaries and shorts. Check out a few of the film alumni:
16. Human Rights New Works Festival
The Human Rights New Works Festival is a performing arts festival coming soon to Birmingham, hosted at Red Mountain Theatre’s new Parkside campus. The festival is “a conversation and a celebration of that which unites us all – our humanity.” The festival will include:
- Staged readings of plays and musicals
- Fully-produced performances
- Playwright Q+As
- Community conversations
- Panel discussions
- Commissioned pieces
Two shows are coming up soon: Memorial and Pink Unicorn. Learn more.
17. New South Softball League
New South Softball League is an LGBTQ+ affirming sports team that is part of the North America Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA). This Birmingham softball league was the 12th city to join, creating a space for LGBTQ+ individuals to participate in sports without judgement or discrimination. They also founded the Southern Shootout Tournament, with the goal of creating the best LGBTQ+ sports tournament in the US.
18. LGBTQ+ friendly and affirming religious organizations
- Temple Emanu-El
- The Birmingham Shambala Center
- The Abbey
- St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
- Baptist Church of the Covenant
- Southside Baptist Church
- Covenant Community Church
- Canterbury Chapel
- Grace Episcopal Church
- St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
- Shepard of the Hills
- The Church Episcopal of the Epiphany
- Church of the Reconciler
You can also visit Gay Church’s website to see what churches near you are LGBTQ+ affirming and/or friendly.
Did we miss one? Let us know at @bhamnow on social media.