SONG is a home for LGBTQ liberation across all lines of race, class, abilities, age, culture, gender, and sexuality in the South.

Dear SONG family!

SONG has seen a lot of changes in 2011, some of which includes the growing and evolving of our staff, the deepening of our role and leadership in direct-action campaigns, and the organizing and  mobilizations of thousands of people across the South in response to repressive anti- queer, anti-immigrant, anti-people of color, and anti-working class policies and laws across our region: 2011 has marked by the worsening economic conditions across the country, but it has also been a year of resilience and resistance.

This year has been very successful for us: we were able to accomplished the great majority of what we set out to do. In addition to the base building work in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama that we carried out; we had a huge opportunity to play a leadership role in Georgia through the co-creation of a campaign to fight House Bill 87 (anti-immigrant legislation). In Georgia we were able to use our coalitional relationships across progressive sectors (particularly our relationships in immigrant rights organizing and Black liberation organizing) to coalesce forces in this campaign.

Meanwhile, we have been building new and more powerful leadership bodies, relationship and base across progressive sectors in our other four states. For example, in North Carolina our work has taken off at the intersections of race, class, and church organizing through our new partnerships with Black LGBTQ congregations in North Carolina. In our community-based research, we identified rapidly growing LGBTQ churches as sites of potential organizing. Our organizer in North Carolina is a Black, gay, rural Pentecostal Bishop and he is working with SONG to build a 100 person ‘Community Summit’ in January 2012 with the Unity Fellowship Community Church of Charlotte—the goal here is base-building in new constituencies, leadership development.

We are in the process of building deeper, long-term membership bases in our five states. This is a huge jump in capacity for these states where our people rarely have opportunities to do grassroots organizing about conditions that affect their everyday lives.  We are building a base of primarily LGBTQ people who are ready to fight for the future of the South from an LGBTQ position through long-term strategies, leadership development, campaigns and projects. We have collected more community-based data on the conditions and needs of LGBTQ Southern grassroots communities than has been comprehensively and systematically gathered in at least the past decade by a Southern-based organization. We are synthesizing the data into reports to use as media and outreach tools to build our projects in each state. These projects will engage hundreds of LGBTQ Southerners in campaigns and projects that actually speak to our deepest needs and desires for community and justice.

We close 2011 and face towards 2012 with a continued focus on organizing LGBTQ Southern people to protect and defend our communities against the most repressive pieces of legislation coming down on us in our region, and we need your support!  Become a monthly donor, member, and sustainer of SONG, and join us in transforming the South into a region that can hold its often painful, but also resilient legacy, and a region that is willing to fight to safe-keep its most vulnerable people: We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For….

With love, the SONG family