Mission and Vision

Swish is a gay-straight alliance that creates opportunities for all women and men to contribute their time, energy, and talents to furthering the LGBT rights movement

We envision a world where all love is equal – where LGBT men and women have the freedom to marry, to adopt children and build strong families, and live without fear of violence, discrimination or hate.

Changing laws is critical, but so is changing hearts and minds.  Full equality means celebrating every human being for exactly who they are – and who they are not.

Our History

Founded in 2003, Swish has evolved into a large, diverse community comprising people of every background, shoe size, hair color, and sexual identity. With nearly 3,000 members internationally, Swish creates volunteer, advocacy, and educational opportunities for the gay and straight communities to learn from each other and work together toward full, unwavering equality for everyone. 

Our Values

We believe that straight allies are indispensable to achieving full LGBT equality.  At Swish: 

We welcome all to the movement, without judgment.
We celebrate each individual's talents and contributions.
We create diverse opportunities for leadership and action.
We inspire others by sharing knowledge and speaking out.
We serve our families and our communities at large.

Why We Call Ourselves Swish

  • To redefine a word that in the past has been used to demean gay people.  To Swish with us means to fight for LGBT equal rights using one’s talents, smarts, and sense of style.
  • To change hearts and minds by making activism can be uplifting, rewarding – and fun! 
     

Our Contributions

  • For Election 2012, we launched our “Str8 To The Polls” social media campaign to engage straight allies to publicly declare their support for marriage equality
  • In 2012 our Give A Swish community service programs engaged dozens of volunteers in collection drives for the homeless LGBT youth at Ali Forney Center and for holiday gifts for students at Harvey Milk High School, and in phonebanking for the 20 Million More coalition for marriage equality in MD, ME, MN and WA
  • In 2012 we participated for the 10th year in the NYC Pride March where we engaged over 200 straight allies and their LGBT loved ones to march for love and equality.  We’ve won three awards for our floats and marching contingents, and have also marched in Pride events in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
  • In 2011 we brought gay and straight supporters together to rally, phone-bank, and connect over social media with the New Yorkers United for Marriage campaign, and helped pass New York’s landmark marriage equality bill in the state legislature.
  • In 2011 we participated for the ninth year in the NYC Pride March.  We’ve won three awards for our float and marching contingent, and have also marched in Pride events in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
  • In 2010 we supported the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and others to repeal the ban on LGBT people serving openly in the U.S. military, and with the NOH8 campaign to raise awareness of anti-gay hate in the wake of LGBT teen suicides.
  • In 2009 we participated on the steering committee of the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., and hosted meet-up events to welcome marchers who traveled from around the country to lobby their Congresspeople on LGBT equality. Swish was the first organization to publicly endorse the March.  For that Swish was among those named “Best of Gay New York 2009” by Time Out magazine.
  • In 2008 we represented our U.S. membership at the international EuroPride festival in Stockholm, Sweden.  Swish board members were interviewed for Swedish national television  and spoke on festival panels about the critical role of straight allies in the gay rights movement.
  • Since our founding in 2003, we’ve contributed thousands of hours of volunteer time and thousands of dollars of donations and in-kind support to LGBT advocacy and service organizations.
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