Haus of McCoy: Supporting LGBTQ People of Color


Numerous new anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year in the United States alone. As anti-LGBTQ legislation continues to rise around the country, the spaces where LGBTQ people feel protected and welcomed might become scarce. 

While there are still many communities, events, and centers that do prioritize and advocate for the safety, liberation, and rights of their LGBTQ friends and family, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and laws can jeopardize these safe spaces and subject them to scrutiny and attack. And community centers and mutual aid funds located in cities, states, or communities where anti-LGBTQ legislation is being introduced and accepted can be hit particularly hard. 

Perhaps now more than ever, it is increasingly important to support not only the LGBTQ community, but also the centers, communities, and individuals that provide LGBTQ people who have been most directly targeted, impacted, and disavowed with the resources and support they need. 

Haus of McCoy is a non-profit organization and community center in Lawrence, Kansas that focuses on supporting queer and trans youth, and especially queer and trans youth of color, by providing them with resources and community-driven events and spaces that will help them thrive. The center, led by Founder and Executive Director Codi Keith Charles, is facing a number of setbacks and challenges in the face of an increasingly anti-LGBTQ climate.

This year, Kansas has seen its own wave of anti-LGBTQ bills being proposed. While most of the proposed legislation has not passed, the anti-LGBTQ sentiment persists throughout the state, leaving Haus of McCoy in a precarious position. 

In addition to hosting events (such as community meals and “Joyful Queer Craft Nights”) and working to organize programs and opportunities for collaboration with entities such as The Lawrence Times, the Haus also offers a communal library, community closet, and a community garden with fresh vegetables and herbs. While Codi runs Haus of McCoy because of their passion and drive to accelerate liberation for Black trans and queer people, they are also the sole employee working to keep the community center open, which is a huge undertaking. 

As Haus of McCoy operates to support the community, and provide community and family for queer and trans youth, there also has to be a certain level of support and investment that the local community shows in response to make the work and the Haus possible. Without that mutual support, especially in the face of encroaching anti-LGBTQ legislation, the Haus may have to close its doors in the near future. 

Losing the services and assistance that Haus of McCoy provides for Lawrence LGBTQ youth of color would be a detriment to those who rely on the community center. Consider showing your support for the Haus of McCoy’s work in the following ways:

1. Contact Haus of McCoy Founder and Executive Director Codi Keith Charles to show solidarity and offer your support, whatever that may look like. No amount of genuine support is too little if it aids in uplifting and keeping afloat work that benefits LGBTQ youth and Black trans and queer youth of color.

2. CodiKCoaching and Haus of McCoy led workshops; your participation will help Codi continue their work with the Haus. Codi is offering workshops and coaching “to help others live in truth, live in alignment with what they say they care about, and show up for the humans who need radical prioritization now.” They welcome those willing to learn, as “Being willing to make mistakes is the only way to engage true risk and happen upon something liberatory.” Learn more by emailing

3. Support Codi’s writing as a means to learn from, uplift, and amplify Black trans and queer voices and perspectives.

Codi’s "Ask Codi" column with The Lawrence Times
Codi’s writing on Medium

You can also visit the Haus of McCoy on Instagram, follow Founder and Executive Director Codi Keith Charles on Tik Tok and Instagram, and visit Codi's Linktree to keep up with Haus of McCoy happenings.

In addition to supporting Haus of McCoy, those looking to show their support and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community should seek out organizations that advocate for and provide services to LGBTQ people and LGBTQ people of color. As LGBTQ people (and those who support us) across the country face increased discrimination, consider supporting your local LGBTQ-led businesses, organizations, and community centers, and especially those that are also led by, or serve, folks belonging to multiple marginalized identity groups.