News & Stories

Grantee Spotlight: Odyssey Teen Camp 436 327

Grantee Spotlight: Odyssey Teen Camp

This summer, our friends at Odyssey Teen Camp invited the Leonard Litz team to visit their campground, meet some campers, and learn more about the work being done to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all young people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. It was a  heartwarming opportunity to see in person so many teenagers being themselves and just having fun. We arrived just as some campers were building the stage and making preparations for that night’s improv show. We rode golf carts throughout the beautiful campground, which features multiple entertainment and activity spaces, a wooded amphitheater, and an expansive lake for water sports and swimming. The mission of Odyssey teen Camp is to provide teenagers with a safe and loving place to express themselves, exactly as they are. For LGBTQ+ youth, this experience can be life-changing, and sometimes even life-saving. After seeing the joy and positivity radiating from every face, we at the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation remain grateful for their efforts to make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many young people.

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In the News: LLF Names First Advocacy Fund Recipient 396 326

In the News: LLF Names First Advocacy Fund Recipient

In case you missed the news: The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation is proud to name the first recipient from our new LGBTQ+ Advocacy Fund, and it’s a familiar name: CenterLink. Their application was a perfect fit. Our Foundation was created to help LGBTQ+ people achieve their full potential by supporting nonprofit organizations of all sizes that advance the interests and well-being of our community, particularly the most vulnerable in our community, including people of color and the transgender community. CenterLink’s ActionLink program helps LGBTQ+ community centers and other LGBTQ-friendly organizations navigate 501(c)(3) policy and advocacy issues at local, state, and national levels. Most nonprofit organizations want to do policy work but don’t have the funding or staff to do it. ActionLink gives them the tools to focus on advocacy, education, and organization in a meaningful and effective way. We are incredibly proud to partner with CenterLink in this important work. Our strength is in our numbers, and this level of coordinated advocacy is more necessary now than ever. Please see the text of the press release below: Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation Approves Multi-Year Grant to Support CenterLink’s Advocacy Program Fort Lauderdale, FL – CenterLink, the world’s largest LGBTQ community-based association, today…

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LLF Adds New Grants in Q2 264 233

LLF Adds New Grants in Q2

The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Community Grant continued to support nonprofit organizations of all sizes in Q2. Our Trustees are both humbled and inspired by the passion and advocacy these organizations and the individuals who work for them show for the LGBTQ+ community. Their work is important and impactful, and we are thrilled to be be able to partner with them from a funding perspective. Click below to learn more about each organization: Bayard Rustin Community Center Bethel Pride Bradbury Sullivan Community Center Brooklyn Community Pride Center City Lights Gallery Darien Pride Easton Pride EDGE New Jersey The Gay and Lesbian Review Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation J.O.Y. Baltimore Maine Family Planning Middletown Pride Out in the Open OutCT PrideWorks Ridgefield Pride Stamford Pride Triangle Community Center Washington Blade Foundation Westport Pride YouthPride The Leonard Litz Foundation is committed to helping LGBTQ+ people fulfill their true potential, and we  look forward to further opportunities to engage more nonprofit LGBTQ+ organizations in our shared mission of protecting and expanding the safety, equality, and well-being of our community. Click here for a full list of previous grantees.

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LLF Supports CT Pride Coalition 323 334

LLF Supports CT Pride Coalition

In conjunction with Circle Care Center, the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation was incredibly proud to support a Coalition of Pride Celebrations in southwestern Connecticut this year. In what we plan to be an annual collaboration, eight different Pride groups came together to build relationships among representatives from different towns, and to identify ways to collaborate even more in the future. Connecticut has never been gayer! We are grateful to the following organizations, whose members worked tirelessly, often without much recognition, to bring a sense of Pride and inclusion to their respective communities: Bethel Pride Bridgeport Pride Darien Pride Easton Pride Ridgefield Pride Stamford Pride Triangle Community Center Westport Pride We had a chance to attend many of the diverse Pride events throughout the month of June, including a fun and joyous flag raising festival in Elliot and Roger’s hometown of Easton. There will be lots of pictures and videos to come, but for now, it’s safe to say we can hardly wait for Pride 2023, when we can continue to make the CT Pride Coalition bigger, better, and GAYER than ever!

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Roe, Roe, Roe your VOTE! 229 305

Roe, Roe, Roe your VOTE!

It’s been a tough few weeks at the Supreme Court, particularly if you are not a straight, white, cisgendered man. Besides the setbacks to federal environmental protections and gun safety regulations at the state level, the horrific decision in the Dobbs case that essentially overturned the constitutional right to abortion is a vicious attack on women’s health. The going wisdom is that LGBTQ+ rights may well be next, but in fact, this ruling affects anyone with a uterus, including many members of the LGBTQ+ community. The attack has already begun. It is not unimaginable with this current court, of course, that other precedents we’ve taken for granted, such as the right to privacy in our sex lives or the right to marriage equality, could be in danger. Justice Thomas all but laid out the game-plan in his concurring opinion. It’s very easy to be discouraged and demoralized right now. But there is also reason to hope. The truth is, there are more of us than there are of them. We are all in this fight together. Women. LGBTQ+ people. Immigrants. Any minority whose rights are under assault. None of us is free until all of us are free. But we…

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PRIDE More Than Ever 407 306

PRIDE More Than Ever

Another June has come and gone, but we know that Pride is forever. Pride is past, present, and future. And, increasingly, Pride seems to be a matter of life or death. We  live in a world of uncertainty. Deadly conflict wages in Europe (and Africa. And Asia. And right here in the U.S.). We’ve come a long way with vaccines and boosters, but we’re not quite out of the COVID-woods yet. And renewed attacks across the county, and, yes, even here in Connecticut, have once again put the LGBTQ+ community in the cross-hairs of political culture wars, targeting the most vulnerable among us: our children. Yet one thing remains certain: we will always have each other’s backs. Here at the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation, we know that our rights don’t always come without a fight. We’re here to fight. With you. Beside you. Supporting the hundreds of nonprofit community LGBTQ+ organizations that make their little corners of the world safe, more inclusive, and more welcoming. There is a CT-based artist whose motto is Love More Than Ever. We’d like to inspiration from him and suggest that what we need now is Pride More Than Ever. Be unabashedly proud. Be loud…

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Take PRIDE in GIVING 389 269


The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation was created to help LGBTQ+ people achieve their full potential by supporting nonprofit organizations of all sizes that advance the interests and well-being of our community, particularly the most vulnerable in our community, including people of color and the transgender community. Now, we are inviting you to Take PRIDE in GIVING, too! As Elliot and Roger have said, the “joy of giving” takes on a new meaning when you realize the tremendous impact that seemingly small gestures can have on so many lives in our community. Do you have a favorite local nonprofit you want to support? Donate to them this Pride Month, and Leonard Litz will MATCH every dollar, up to $100 per donation. Take some time to research the nonprofit  organizations doing amazing work in your own communities, especially on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll be amazed and excited by the amount of good they can do with whatever support you can offer them. Click Here to upload the confirmation of your donation. We will send you a confirmation of our matching donation. Please remember to verify that that organization is incorporated as a 501(c)3 entity. Now, more than ever, we need…

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Leonard Litz Recognized in “Inside Philanthropy” 394 262

Leonard Litz Recognized in “Inside Philanthropy”

The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation has been recognized as a “new and notable” foundation by Inside Philanthropy, a premier resource for professionals trying to better understand who’s doing what in the philanthropic world. The publication closely follows both major foundations, as well as new and emerging funders, particularly from the tech and finance industries, and offers day-to-day coverage of how foundations and individual donors give away their money. Their website calls Leonard Litz an “ambitious funder whose future grantmaking deserves to be watched closely.” An interview with Elliot and Roger in 2021 described them as “accessible” and “approachable,” and the foundation profile notes that there is an effort to be “collaborative,” offering “guidance on budgets for new programs and services.” Click here to the full foundation profile. We thank everyone at Inside Philanthropy for helping to make philanthropic resources accessible to all, not just to those with the right connections. We hope we can continue to inspire others with this opportunity to enrich the lives of the LGBTQ+ community—now and for generations to come.”

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LLF Awards $250k in Q1 358 301

LLF Awards $250k in Q1

The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation welcomed 2022 with a pledge to award $1million in grants this year, and just over three months in, we’re already more than 25% there. Our team continues to be guided by a mission focused on protecting and expanding the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and we are proud and privileged to be able to support the work of so many organizations who share our vision and goals. Click below to learn more about their work—we cannot wait to add to this list as we head into Spring! ACLU-Connecticut Eastern PA Trans Equity Project Hudson Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center In Our Own Voices NLGJA Odyssey Teen Camp Power Safe Place Resource Center of Virginia Pride Center of New Jersey Rockland County Pride Center The LOFT Triangle Community Center Rock Steady Farm   Click here for a list of previous Leonard Litz grantees. Are you involved with an LGBTQ+ nonprofit that has specific funding needs? We invite you to read more about our mission priorities, and learn how you can explore opportunities to seek our help.

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A Gay By Any Other Name 397 293

A Gay By Any Other Name

The hateful and discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill recently passed and likely to be signed into law in Florida has ignited a firestorm of backlash across the country (along with a chorus of support from its supporters). The “rationale” seems to be that if we deny the fact of the existence of the LGBTQ+ community in schools, kids won’t become gay, which is ludicrous, of course, but also potentially dangerous, as this brilliant op-ed by Will Larkins, reproduced below, demonstrates. Will is a junior at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, FL, and as a gay teenager, he has experienced firsthand the trauma that so many LGBTQ+ youth endure on the journey to self acceptance. “As I learned about the history and culture of my community,” he writes, “I grew to understand and love myself. Education made me hate myself less.” This bill just represents bigots sticking their heads in the sand. They seek to erase us linguistically, but whether we say “Gay” or not, the LGBTQ+ community is here to stay. Here to slay, even! A Gay by another name is just as fabulous, and pretending we don’t exist will only make life…

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