A unique lottery supporting the LGBTQIA community
BY FREYA HOPPE, IMAGES BY THE RAINBOW LOTTERY
FROM LOTTERY SCEPTIC TO ARDENT SUPPORTER
If you’re anything like I was prior to playing The Rainbow Lottery, you’re perhaps a sceptic. When feeling somewhat lured like a magpie to the promise of a small, shining fortune, many giveaways seem too good to be true and perhaps you’re left thinking, “What could possibly be in it for me?”
I can’t say that I’ve ever been particularly blessed with good luck when it comes to winning things – a free pineapple from drag queen bingo while at university in Birmingham is the most thrilling win that springs to mind – so, when a colleague mentioned The Rainbow Lottery, my interest was piqued.
MORE THAN JUST A GAME
Established in 2021 by Tom Gattos and his partner, David Murray, The Rainbow Lottery supports projects that specifically help the LGBTQIA community.
Tickets cost just £1, with winning number combinations drawn every Saturday. Through taking part, we’re all able to support our brilliant, diverse community, and be in with the chance of taking the top prize of £25,000. Tom explained his inspiration behind setting up the lottery, with the aim of being a beacon amongst so many other lotteries and raffles: “Here we are in the 21st century where there seems to be lotteries for just about everything – except the LGBTQIA community!”
For me, the idea of mutual support is always at the heart of being a lesbian woman – I have been hugely inspired by my uncles who, like Tom and David, grew up as gay men in the 1980s. Their stories of solidarity between people of different LGBTQIA identities, during the HIV/AIDS crisis and difficult political climate of the time, always warm my heart. Although we live in a more connected society today thanks to technology, I sometimes find myself longing for that sense of mutual aid that seemed so prevalent in earlier LGBTQIA movements. I think The Rainbow Lottery does an excellent job of bridging a gap, through the power of the internet, to support such deserving causes.
A REAL-WORLD IMPACT
Naomi, from sapphic media streaming database Lesflicks, who has been supported by this lottery since June 2021, summed up her pride in Lesflicks’ involvement: “The community gets the opportunity to pay £1 for a ticket with substantially better odds than the mainstream lottery, and knowing that their money is being reinvested back into the LGBTQIA community.” Lesflicks has since referred other incredible causes, including Rainbow Boroughs Project and Planet Nation, after see- ing first-hand the positive impact of this lottery.
Representation is hugely important – we feel less alone when we see women and non-binary people just like us in films and series that we consume. Playing The Rainbow Lottery lets me support brilliant organisations, like Lesflicks, in representing LGBTQIA women and non-binary people, and I’ve now discovered a brilliant source of female-focused series and films too.
The Rainbow Lottery’s good causes also connect LGBTQIA women and non-binary people in real life. Notts LGBT+ Network is one of over 100 organisations you can support, doing brilliant work through their own events and supporting smaller groups. Tatiane, representing Rainbow Vision LGBT+ women’s group, said: “We received a couple of grants from the Notts LGBT+ Network [for] our social events and that’s thanks to the money they receive from The Rainbow Lottery.” From pub disco nights to women’s cycling, Rainbow Vision helps establish safe spaces for LGBTQIA women, showing just how far the money from The Rainbow Lottery tickets can travel.
This is merely a small snapshot of the incredible progress that The Rainbow Lottery helps LGBTQIA organisations achieve up and down the country and, with our support, they continue to grow.
Why not join in with this week’s draw and be in with a chance of winning £25,000? It’s as easy as heading to rainbowlottery.co.uk and selecting from one of so many magnificent causes, before choosing your six lucky numbers. I’ve got my fingers crossed for any DIVA reader buying a ticket!
Spotlight on four Rainbow Lottery good causes:
LGBT Foundation Its women’s programme provides everything from dance classes to online lecture events for LGBTQIA women, with 95% of attendees reporting an improvement in their wellbeing.
George House Trust Supporting LGBTQIA people living with HIV to live healthy, confident lives.
Diversity Role Models Inspiring thousands of LGBTQIA young people to reach their potential via school inclusion workshops.
Space Youth Project, Dorset A cause local to me, supporting LGBTQIA young people via meet-ups and mentoring.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.