Jun 14, 2021 By IIDA HQ
Spotlight on The LGBTQIA+ Design Community
For the first in our two-part Pride month series, we look at organizations and programs supporting the LGBTQ+ design community.
By IIDA HQ Jun 14, 2021
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LGBTQIA+ Pride month is a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, and a chance to reflect on how far the LGBTQIA+ community has come in recognition and acceptance—but also on how far we have to go. A 2018 survey by Architects Journal reveals a 7% drop in LGBTQIA+ respondents who were out at work, and a 2% rise in experiencing transphobic or homophobic remarks in the workplace—including on work sites.

As part of our mission to create a more equitable and diverse interior design industry, and to support our members better, IIDA has established our first-ever Equity Council to provide guidance in the pursuit of equity and diversity—but we are far from the only organization with a commitment to the LGBTQIA+ members in our industry. As a resource for our members and the architecture and design community at large, we've gathered a list of impactful organizations that are championing LGBTQIA+ equity and visibility.

Architecture LGBT+

A non-profit grassroots organization that provides a safe, inclusive, and prejudice free environment for LGBT+ architects and those working and studying within the profession. The organization aims to increase visibility and offers the opportunity to connect and build community—ultimately facing the issues and obstacles that LGBTQ+ people face in the industry including homophobia and transphobia.

Architecture LGBT+ offers a range of programming from seminars and panel discussions, to networking and their annual Pride Float competition.

Building Equality UK

An alliance of construction consultants, engineers, developers, contractors, and institutions who are passionate about working together and harnessing their collective power to drive LGBTQ+ inclusion in the construction, engineering and built environment industry in the UK.

Build Out Alliance

Promotes and advocates for the LGBTQ community within the building design and construction industries in the U.S, recognizing that many LGBTQ+ professionals in these industries are not all comfortable being out at work. Members work towards making these industries more welcoming to LGBTQ+ professionals, and ultimately more inclusive through mentoring, networking, leadership, outreach.


DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) raises awareness and grants funds to organizations that provide treatment, direct care services, preventive education programs and advocacy for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS, and societal plights that directly impact new HIV/AIDS infections. They support programs and ideas that reflect a unique or innovative approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic; projects which incorporate strategic collaboration between agencies or efforts that use proven techniques to prevent infection and provide care.

Chaired by Interior Design magazine editor in Chief Cindy Allen, DIFFA serves a broad range of organizations and communities including LGBTQIA+ youth, at-risk minority populations and incarcerated populations. Addressing the communities most pressing needs, the organization provides unrestricted funds to AIDS service agencies in communities, providing for flexible spending in direct care and education programs.

GLBT Historical Society

Founded in 1985, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of LGBTQ public history. With exhibitions such as Performance, Protest, and Politics: The Art of Gilbert Baker, Queer Past Becomes Present, and Stories of Our Movement: Bay Area Reporter at 50, the museum is an essential source for GLBT history.

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the only dedicated LGBTQ+ art museum in the world, with a mission to exhibit and preserve LGBTQ+ art and foster a creative community of support. Through exhibitions, artist residencies, fellowships and extensive education programs the museum “provides a platform for artistic exploration through multi-faceted queer perspectives.”

Founded in 1969 by Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman (who ran his own interior design firm for many years) the museum was born from an exhibition of gay artists the couple curated in their SoHo loft. As art supporters their collection continued to grow and the museum now has over 30,000 objects, hosts 6 exhibitions annually, and has over 3,000 volumes in it’s research library.

Currently on view through June 26th, the first retrospective of powerful Latinx artist and photographer Laura Aguilar.


A queer architectural research organization that pushes for organized action through exhibitions, publications, digital archiving, and design guidelines, and research on topics such as gender inclusive bathroom design, LGBTQ homelessness and housing, and queer histories in architecture. QSPACE is a hub for students, professionals, and academics to connect and collaborate on LGBTQ topics in the built environment.

The Queer Creative

A podcast hosted by Renessa, a creative director at Ciampa Creative, a branding and creative studio, and Jonah, the owner and creative director of MK Workshop, a Brooklyn-based interior design studio. The hosts sit down with queer creatives across disciples for conversations about queer ideas, the creative process, and what it means to be a queer creative.

Are there organizations or programs that we missed? Let us know here.

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