Whether you identify as part of the LGBTQ community or you're simply a supporter, you can make LGBTQ issues your life's work. From civil rights organizations to adoption agencies, wedding chapels to community centers, there are hundreds of options where your work can make a difference. Often, the work is closer than you think.
Here is a look at some of the best jobs related to or that directly support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues.
Gender and Sexuality Therapist
Many psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists work exclusively with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender patients.
LGBTQ therapists counsel patients about issues related to their sexuality. Gender identity therapists also work with transgender clients, helping them make sense of the emotional and psychological aspects of their transitions. Additionally, some family psychologists work with same-sex families or couples.
Event Organizer or Promoter
If you are a people person who is business-minded but also loves a good time, event production might be a good field for you. There are gay pride events all over the world, from San Francisco’s iconic summer celebration to Sydney's legendary Mardi Gras. Sao Paolo’s people-packed parade is estimated to be the largest pride event in the world, attracting more than two million people each June.
In addition to these types of annual celebrations, many cities host monthly or weekly events for the queer community, from club nights to cocktail hours to business luncheons. All of these events require extensive organization and promotion, leading to a variety of jobs in event planning and production.
Civil Rights Lawyer
The legal web weaving through the LQBTQ community is a complex one. Many state and national laws relate to same-sex marriage and adoption, not to mention the movement against employment discrimination and transgender rights. A multitude of legal issues still plagues the queer community in 2018; thus a need for lawyers to fight these battles has arisen.
The LGBTQ push for total equality has gained a distinguished voice in the media, and many organizations, from grassroots efforts to the high-profile Human Rights Campaign, hire communication specialists to help craft their campaigns and make sure their messages are effective.
There are many opportunities for media professionals in communication fields: public relations, marketing, advertising, press strategy, and event production are just a few.
In addition, individuals with experience in the LGBTQ movement tend to be in high-demand during election season, when politicians are looking for consultants who can help diversify their appeal.
Jobs are available at LGBTQ-advocacy nonprofits all around the country. Positions like data entry, accounting, graphic design, and human resources are just a few. You might be surprised just how many LGBTQ nonprofits need qualified applicants.
These groups exist at the city, state, national, and even international level, and thus a wide range of different employment opportunities are possible, from entry-level positions to managerial roles. If relocation interests you, Europe or Asia could be in your future.
Organizations range from independent, locally run groups, like MassEquality in Boston, to national institutions like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign. Some international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), like Amnesty International, are heavily involved in efforts related to LGBTQ issues worldwide.
Queer Studies Professor
Lifelong students interested in academia and who are pursuing an advanced degree in the study of sexuality might find teaching an interesting option. Through their sociology, psychology, political science, and English departments, many colleges and universities offer courses related to sexuality and gender studies. Obtaining a postgraduate degree, either an M.A. or a Ph.D. in one of these fields opens up professional opportunities in academia, much like any other doctorate would.
Most cities have LGBTQ community centers that serve as meeting points for the gay community. Many of these organizations offer important services for adolescents and teenagers, who may be experiencing difficulty in coming out at home or in school, or are interested in the details of a sexual transition.
Those with a background in psychology or social work and are interested in helping troubled youth might consider employment at an LGBTQ community center. Finding a job as a youth counselor can be a fulfilling opportunity to do meaningful work and—on a purely self-serving note—looks exceptional on a resume.
LGBTQ News Reporter
If you are a news junkie who's well-versed in the gay community, you might want to consider working as a journalist. Many news outlets cater specifically to the gay community. Huffington Post Gay Voices, The Advocate, Autostraddle, and Pink News are the heavy hitters.
Many cities around the world print physical and online periodicals dedicated to connecting queer communities. Contact them directly for additional information. One theme runs throughout the LGBTQ community: help. If you have the talent and drive, it should not be long before you find a position suited to your skills.
Same-Sex Marriage Officiant
As more and more states legalize gay marriage, same-sex marriage officiants are in increasingly high demand. While some ministers are specifically affiliated with churches or religious organizations, others are nondenominational practitioners who have obtained their ordination independently.
Although many online organizations offer certification programs for individuals looking to become marriage officiants, before paying for any program, you should research to make sure that it is legitimate and that its accreditation is accepted in the state where you would eventually practice.
Most individuals who work at adoption agencies are social workers who have an advanced Master of Social Work degree or background in adoption law. If you do not have these qualifications, do not worry. There may be an entry-level position while you finish your studies.
Adoption caseworkers help families through the extensive legal hoops, financial burdens, and potential emotional stress associated with adopting a child. Some adoption counselors work in government agencies, while others work with private adoption agencies. Most adoption agents who work specifically with same-sex couples looking to start a family are employed at private agencies that are experienced with the complicated laws of same-sex adoption.