Here at the Indy Fuel, we’ve been lucky enough to work with amazing organizations both in Indianapolis and beyond that are working to make our community and hockey a more inclusive and welcoming place. It’s important to celebrate and highlight these organizations making an impact in the LGBTQIA+ space all-year long, but in honor of Pride Month, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of these organizations, what they do, how you can access their resources and what they’re doing to make a difference.
PFLAG / PFLAG FISHERSFounded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. PFLAG’s network of hundreds of chapters and more than 250,000 members and supporters works to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
PFLAG Fishers offers a variety of resources for those in the community, their friends and families including scholarships, links to a variety of support groups and more. They have a free monthly meeting at their headquarters the first Thursday of every month from 6-8 p.m.
INDIANA YOUTH GROUP (IYG)
Indiana Youth Group (IYG) serves young people ages 12-24 who self-identify as LGBTQ+, as well as their allies. All programs and services are offered free of charge.
IYG strives to provide safer spaces to build self-confidence, explore individualism and develop friendships within the LGBTQ+ community. IYG promotes a space of acceptance, equity and restorative practices.
Some of the many services they offer include support and discussion groups, sexual health education, education support, STI/HIV testing, rapid rehousing, case management and risk prevention.
Founded in 1987, Damien Center is Indiana’s oldest and largest AIDS service organization (ASO) and serves more than 4,000 individuals affected and infected by HIV/AIDS through a comprehensive, innovative approach to HIV care and prevention.
Damien Center not only offers clinic services such as HIV prevention and care, PrEP, primary care, medical case management, and mental health & substance abuse services, but other means of supporting the community such as housing assistance, employment services, support groups, family support services and more.
This past February proceeding the Fuel’s Hockey for Indy game on February 25, we had a Q&A with their Outreach Team Lead, Robert Kellman to learn about his role with Damien Center and their impact in the community. You can read that Q&A HERE.
YOU CAN PLAY PROJECT
You Can Play’s mission is to ensure the safety and inclusion of all LGBTQ people in sports including athletes, coaches, staff and fans.
“We work with our partners to evolve locker room and spectator culture, consult on inclusion policies, build stronger fan engagement and increase participation in sports among LGBTQ youth. Through our work we provide safer access to sports, as well as create bridges between sports brands and the LGBTQ community.”
Some of the resources they provide online include:
When you’re at an Indy Fuel game and see rainbow tape on a player’s stick - that is all thanks to Pride Tape. Pride Tape is another great organization promoting love, support, inclusivity and acceptance in the LGBTQ+ and sports spaces. Pride Tape is a badge of support from teammates, coaches, parents and pros to young LGBTQ+ players. It shows every player that they belong playing the sports they love and that we’re all on the same team.
Pride Tape has actual pride tape packs for sale in quantities for individuals and teams as well as a variety of other merchandise.
“Your support of Pride Tape allows us to donate tape to community groups and amateur teams and leagues. Proceeds from the sale of Pride Tape also helps to support LGBTQ+ youth outreach and educational initiatives. That means every roll of tape will make an impact in sports and beyond.”
In addition to their online store, they also have tips on how to create and foster more diverse, equal and inclusive environments on your team.
No matter who you are and who you love, know that at the Indy Fuel, you are always welcomed and loved here.