Housing for Terence Smith (aka Joan Jett Blakk)

Terence Alan Smith, also known as his drag persona Joan Jett Blakk, is a hero to us (and the subject of  our show MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT currently running at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.) Terence made history as Joan Jett Blakk when she ran as America’s first black drag queen candidate for Mayor of Chicago in 1991 and President of the United States in 1992 -  and our lives have been profoundly bettered by Terence’s years of activism and advocacy with groups like ACT UP and QUEER NATION.  But today, at age 62 and through a series of unfortunate recent events, Terence finds himself without a home.  When we located Terence to find out about producing a work based on his extraordinary life, we discovered he was shuttling between friends’ couches and the streets as he struggled to find housing in the very expensive city of San Francisco.  He is still without a place to live and funds to secure one. 

It is our hope to raise enough money to allow Terence to find decent housing for at least six months as he gets himself back on his feet.  We are budgeting $2200 for monthly rent for Terence, for six months, in the very expensive city of San Francisco where he lives.  If he is able to procure a rental for less money a month (which would be the goal), he will use the funds raised to spread out over an additional amount of time. 

Helping Terence secure a home is the least we can do to thank and honor this man for giving so much of his life to paving the way for ours.  In recognition of Joan Jett Blakk, and all the queens and queers who walked before - struggling for visibility, affirmation, respect, and equal opportunity – we hope you will consider donating to this fund.  Happy Pride month, and blessings to all!

You can find out more about Terence at:




The Overview:  This fund is managed by me, Tina Landau, writer/Director of MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, living in NYC.  I met Terence when Tarell McCraney (co-creator of the show) and I decided to create a theater piece based on the story of his run for President of the U.S. in 1992 as Joan Jett Blakk.  We located Terence in San Fransisco, where he has been surviving without a home.  The money raised by this campaign will pay for rent for Terence to have a roof over his head, a place of his own, for at least six months (if not more, depending on what kind of apartment can be procured for him in San Fran.)  The beneficiary of the money will be Terence's lawyer, who will withdraw and disperse the funds for the sole purpose of paying rent for Terence to have a home.  I thank you again for your interest in and support of one of the treasured pioneers of the LGBTQ++ movement.
  • Ada Parnanen 
    • $10 
    • 18 mos
  • Dora Parnanen 
    • $50 
    • 18 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 20 mos
  • Ellie Kaplan 
    • $10 
    • 30 mos
  • Katya Kulik 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Joan Jett Blakk (7)

Tina Landau 
Raised $5,722 from 30 donations
New York, NY
Alex Austin 
Tarell Alvin Mccraney 
Team member
Raised $1,190 from 10 donations
Daniel Kyri Madison 
Team member
Raised $200 from 1 donation
Sawyer Smith 
Team member
Raised $95 from 3 donations
Patrick Andrews 
Team member
Raised $75 from 2 donations
See all
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