April has been a really difficult month. I try to stay positive, but the global events, particularly in Chechnya and Nigeria, have left me feeling helpless. I’ve been avoiding social media for the most part, because the last thing I want to do is spread hopelessness, but have struggled to come up with any meaningful actions I can take on my own.
Fortunately, Olivia Helling and Dale Cameron Lowry got in contact with me about their initiative, Authors and Publishers for LGBT Chechnens. They’re putting together a list of authors and publishers who are donating royalties to organisations like the Russian LGBT Network and from May 5th, they’re auctioning off goods donated by authors and publishers.
Money has been tight this month and will be tight next month, but the auction gave me a way to contribute. I’ve donated two items: a story written to the winner’s specifications (like the M/M Romance Group’s DRitC), and an edit of an existing manuscript. I’m not sure how successful my contributions to the auction will be, but having signed up, I’m feeling much more hopeful, and thinking of more concrete actions I can take.
If you’re like me, and have wanted to help but been feeling overwhelmed, I recommend checking out Olivia and Dale’s website for more information and ideas about contributing. If you don’t want to wait to help, the website links to organizations helping Chechnens that are taking donations now. I’ve also found this list of LGBT friendly organizations in Nigeria. If you’ve got other suggestions, or links to share, please let me know.