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Gay 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. Read on!

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 the group.

3. Put together any of the following materials you'd like to hand out:

  1. Out For Dean
  2. DFA Flyer
  3. 4-up flyers about Howard Dean
  4. Dean vs. Bush - Their Records

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 sheet.

9. Email 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 involved.


This project is entirely volunteer-funded and run.
SC Volunteers for Dean is not affiliated with or endorsed by Howard Dean or the Dean for America campaign.