Here's the big picture...
Give A Damn is many things – an online magazine, a stress-free place of learning, and an agent of change. A project of the True Colors Fund, Give A Damn supports the organization’s work to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Think of it as all the things we need to give a damn about in order to end LGBT youth homelessness.
That’s not to say that every story on this website is all about homelessness. There are many intersecting factors at play in our world which cause LGBT folks to experience inequality. To create a world in which LGBT youth can be their true selves, we need to explore all these factors.
Consider Sophia from Orange is the New Black...
Netflix's Orange is the New Black offers a look into the lives and relationships of the inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, a fictional women's prison in upstate New York. The show is known for its large cast of strong characters – our favorite of which is Sophia Burset, played by Laverne Cox.
Sophia is Litchfield's resident stye icon and voice of reason. She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. Sophia is also a transgender woman of color. Throughout the series, we learn more about Sophia's past, her family, and a thing or two about self-love and acceptance.
Sophia's perspective is vital. In America, 47% of black transgender folks have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. And prison is especially unkind to trans folks, who are more likely to face abuse behind bars. In order to fully understand Sophia's story, we need to consider how race, class, and gender intersect to affect her life.
Consider Callie from Grey's Anatomy...
For over a decade, Grey’s Anatomy has been giving viewers the inside scoop on the personal and professional lives of the doctors at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. And, as one of ABC’s longest running series, it seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
Played by Sara Ramirez, Dr. Callie Torres is an orthopedic surgeon on Grey’s. She's also bisexual and Latina. Since her coming out, audiences have watched Callie fall for women and men alike. She's helped represent not only bisexual relationships, but interracial relationships too. Driven, outgoing, and honest to a tee, Callie follows her heart – even when it means making hard choices.
While Callie is a successful leader in her field, the reality is that women and people of color are often underpaid or not given the same opportunities as men and white folks. In order to fully understand Callie's story, we need to consider how race, gender, and sexual orientation intersect to affect her life.
The factors that affect our lives don't act independently of one another. They overlap.
It's all interlinked.
Sophia from Orange Is the New Black is transgender and Callie from Grey's Anatomy is bisexual, but they’re also both so much more than that. Think of it this way: being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender isn't the only part of someone's identity.
The things that make up our identity and affect our lives are interlinked and cannot be understood alone. This concept is called "intersectionality."
The Give A Damn website is built around intersectionality. Stories are organized by “tags” based on what the piece is about, and each story has at least two tags. For example, a piece about Dumbledore's coming-out and its affect (or lack of affect) on the story of Harry Potter could be tagged with "Love & Attraction," "Age," and "Ability" – and could be found under all three tabs in the menu above!
On each story page, you’ll also see something that looks like this...
...to illustrate the intersecting factors at play. So now that you know what this damn website is all about, what are you waiting for?