and Lesbian Outreach Campaign
Developed by Lanya Shapiro
Dean outreach to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
and Transgender Community
What to do:
Dean has a number of specific positions (civil unions, his HIV
policy) that appeal to the gay and gay-friendly communities. These
are natural Dean constituencies – all we need to do is reach
them with Dean information. Let's reach out to these communities
and introduce Howard Dean!
Every state has gay and lesbian community centers and MCC churches.
Many cities have other fun events: gay pride parades, gay bingo
(or drag bingo), concerts by gay choruses, AIDS Walks, etc. These
are a great place to canvass for Dean, leave literature and make
presentations. You don't need to be gay for this outreach. Your
mere presence (with good will) at a mostly gay event or center
will win people over.
How We Did It:
A terrific outreach event for us here in Durham, NC is Drag Bingo.
250-500 people donate $10 to play bingo and have lots of fun for
a good cause (helping people living with HIV). It's a monthly
fund-raiser, run by volunteers who are mostly gay men in drag,
with proceeds going to a local AIDS Service Agency. Since drag
bingo is an event to call attention to HIV/AIDS issues, we avoid
pushing Dean and just make our presence about visibility. We wear
Dean T-shirts and buttons, and we have literature whenever anyone
asks. However, you could go to centers and do more active outreach.
How You Can Do It:
1. Find a location near you. Some gay and lesbian organizations
in SC are on this document.
You may know of other gay-friendly zones in your community!
2. Contact the organization and ask to talk with the director
about the presidential election and the potential impact on the
gay community. Explain that you’re volunteering for Howard
Dean and that you’d like to provide information to their
group. Offer to speak to the group (If you don’t want to
make a presentation, others will! Email
us.) and ask if you could bring printed information to
3. Put together any of the following materials you'd like to hand
4. Go to the center, wearing your Dean shirt and/or buttons and
talk with everyone. "Hi everybody, we’re trying to
send George Bush back to Texas and we think Howard Dean is the
man to do the job. Do you know about Howard Dean and his record?
He’s done a lot for the gay community." Be able to
describe Dean in 1-2 sentences.
5. Engage people in conversation – ask them what matters
most to them, and what they hope to see in a president. Share
what it is about Dean that inspires you! DO NOT BE AGGRESSIVE
ABOUT THIS. Just be polite.
6. To those who are supportive, tell them “It’s really
important that Dean wins in South Carolina. We need your help
to take our country back.” Ask them to help reach others
– their friends and neighbors. Get their information and/or
encourage them to sign up at SC
Volunteers For Dean.
7. Thank the director, and ask him/her if we can leave extra fliers
to be distributed by her/him and if s/he could suggest other ways
to reach more of the GLBT community.
8. Go to SC Volunteers
For Dean and enter the people who signed up on the volunteer
us with how things went and suggestions for improving
the campaign. We'd like to post your success stories.
10 . Visit again to update supplies and encourage people to get