Opal is one of my oldest friends and someone I would trust with my life. She is in extreme danger right now, of homelessness and of confrontation with the state. Please help this pillar of the Baltimore community. She has done things for you whether you know it or not. It's time to do something for her when she needs it most.
We met when we were teenagers, playing a larp called Darkon. I knew there was something special about her back then, a way she paid attention and cared. Flash forward to our mid 20s, we both lived on Ash St. in Hampden, me in a rowhouse at the bottom of the hill, she at the top of the hill at the Baltimore Free Farm, which she helped form and run for many years.
I've never known Opal to not be trying to make the world around her better, in ways big and small. She learned to grow food and gave it away to anyone who needed it, helping to develop what is now the extremely successful Baltimore Food Rescue program, which serves the homeless. She learned to work a sound booth so that she could help the farm host shows and events for the community. The list goes on and on of the good work she's done. We've also had a hell of a lot of fun performing in the Charm City Kitty Club together.
Lately she got involved with the JHU Sit-In, and it was through her posts that I came to realize how important it was. She was there when 80 Baltimore police officers came on the morning of 5/8/19 to arrest her and the handful of other students and community members on site.
Opal is trans. The local trans community worked very hard with BPD recently and got them to adopt a policy to treat trans people according to their gender identity. BPD violated this policy over and over with her in the most insulting, terrifying, and degrading ways. Luckily there was media attention on the arrests (https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2019/05/08/protest-at-johns-hopkins-against-private-police-force-ends-in-blowtorches-arrests-and-tears/
), focusing in part on her ordeal in particular, and she was released the next day.
Opal recently came back to town after living on a commune farm, with the intention of getting her identification changed with the state to match her gender. This is a crucial step to help provide some insurance that if she interacts with the cops again, she may be treated more fairly. She also wants to get a passport, for emergencies, and to get laser hair removal in order to help with her dysphoria and with misgendering.
All of that costs money that she doesn't currently have, as does simply staying here and keeping a roof over her head. The streets of Baltimore are deadly for trans women, and her being homeless is not an option. On top of that, some of the arrested students are facing legal action from the university, and she may be next on the list.
For these reasons, I decided to start this gofundme to help her out. Part housing fund, part transition fund, part legal fund, whether for the fees associated with changing legal documents or with a possible trial. Please share and help out any way you can. Thank you very much for your kindness.
If you’d like to send money to me directly so as to avoid the gofundme fees, please feel free to message me on FB and I’ll send you payment info. All $$ will go directly to Opal.