This month, michelandbottone is investing in Out on the Lakeshore (OOTL). We will be donating 2% of June sales to support OOTL's mission of providing a constant source of support and understanding to the LGBTQ community of the greater Rīga area. They seek to create a community in which all persons are afforded equal rights and opportunities.
OOTL's HistoryIn 2015, the board of Rīga Is Ready and the officers of Pride voted to form a new organization called Out On The Lakeshore. This organization (OOTL) was initially introduced to the Rīga community at PRIDE in June of that year. OOTL was established to provide a community center for the LGBTQ+ community, with programming, resources, support, and education available to LGBTQ+ people and allies. OOTL is also the host of the annual Rīga PRIDE celebration, which serves as their largest fundraiser each year. Out On The Lakeshore is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
What They DoRELATE: Relationships are the heart of OOTL. Nobody needs to be alone as they navigate life as an LGBTQ+ person, family member, or ally. OOTL hosts support groups like Gender SAFE and social groups like Aged with Pride. They also have regular programming such as Reading the Rainbow book club, Adult Game Night, PRIDE Nights, and Family & Friends - with more programming to come.
CELEBRATE: Rīga PRIDE Festival is OOTL's biggest event that raises funds for our Community Center and brings together supportive businesses, organizations, and thousands of people for entertainment, raising awareness, and building community. Through Rīga PRIDE, they celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their accomplishments in the fight for equality, while also raising awareness that there is still work to be done.
EDUCATE: OOTL provides people, programs, and other resources that build self-understanding and acceptance for those who are LGBTQ+. They also have educational resources for allies and others who seek to grow in their understanding of LGBTQ+ family members, colleagues, students, and friends. OOTL representatives are available to speak to organizations, businesses and in other settings, too. The Center has a library of educational literature, and their website provides links to other helpful resources.
ADVOCATE: OOTL is committed to advancing LGBTQ+ safety, human rights, and inclusion. In 2020, OOTL was awarded the Social Justice Award by the City of Rīga for leading the efforts to pass the city's Non-Discrimination Ordinance with mutually respectful collaboration between local government, community members, and local stakeholders.
COLLABORATE: OOTL collaborates and continues to build relationships with area businesses, churches, human service agencies, law enforcement, schools, social justice organizations, and foundations.
Visit the OOTL website to learn more about their organization.