My name is Tee and I'm a Korean transgender filmmaker, actress, and student. (she/they) I'm Tee's husband/wife, Coyote and I'm a Korean, White, Yurok 2Spirit transgender photographer, artist, and student. (he/they). We are currently writing this together, which is why we wanted to introduce ourselves!
We are a recently married couple, and are in need of funding for various survival related reasons. As two transgender persons, facing harassment and threats of violence in public spaces is a reoccurring reality. We're looking to get a used car for our mobility and transportation needs. Both of us are currently looking for stable jobs, and having access to a car would greatly increase our chance at finding employment. Since both of us are working artists, having a car in Los Angeles is critical to future projects and freelance works. We’ve also had to take Lyfts to different places to view cars, and the costs have tallied up to well over $400 so far. The two of us also live in separate spaces currently, and this would reduce the travel expenses we've been paying.
Part of our fund will also go for our necessary legal fees. As we both got married earlier this week, Coyote's last name was changed and he has to go through the process of changing all of their legal documents, including ID, passport, drivers license, SSN, and more. Tee is currently going through the immigration process, and is in need of funding for things like application, hiring a lawyer, and more.
Living in downtown Honolulu, New York City, and other cities in most of my life, traveling safely hasn’t been a given for me. I have had multiple experiences on the subways in New York where I have had to leave the subway cart because of being gay bashed/or threatened with violence.
CW (past experiences of this violence, can skip to wear it says end of examples) I have been followed, had people try to intimidate me with pulling a knife on me, yelled at with all kinds of promises to harm me, and being verbally assaulted on train cars/buses with no bystander intervention.
(end of examples)
My friends have sent me defense tools, however I have been worried about car shares from the ways that I have to perform for my own safety. As a 2Spirit/GNC/trans person, I am often targeted and have a history of being targeted with people voicing disgust or hatred.
My wife and I are trying to get our own mode of transportation that we can share with each other, both for economic reasons (as rideshares have not been sustainable for us) and to access our daily lives in a way that allows us to thrive. I also am having my name changed after marrying my wife! So I will be having a lot of major legal changes to pay for. We are getting a car and will have to take it in for repairs, get car insurance, pay for registration, etc. We made this fund out of a need for accessibility and resources, with all of the other major upcoming life obstacles we have together.
As a trans femme person, I face catcalling and stalking regularly when I walk around day to day. Even in my own neighborhood I am not promised security. A little less than a year ago, I was followed into my apartment by two men and came very close to a potential violent situation. I’ve had countless Lyft drivers be inappropriate with their language and sexualized me. With having access to a car, I’ll be able to finally feel safe in my own space.
I began transitioning at the beginning of this year. With my birth family not being supportive of my transition, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to secure enough funds to continue transitioning as well as not having the emotional support. I am also currently going through the immigration process and have been on the process ever since I moved to California from Korea when I was 13 years old. My current status doesn’t allow me to obtain employment legally, and I’ve had to rely on my savings so far to get by rent and other expenses. With my new marriage now, there are a lot more spedings I have to prepare for and it’s been incredibly worrisome for me. Securing this fund will be crucial for my safety and survival.
We are both artists that collaborate with one another and have big dreams together for our futures and collective future! We are planning on meeting each others family within this upcoming 2021 (which has been difficult for us to celebrate with our families/our larger growing family, due to covid).We really want to see each other’s parents (new in-laws!), home towns, and celebrate where eachother comes from. (Tee being from Seoul, Korea and Coyote being from Honolulu, Hawai’i). We have collaborated on a queer Korean zine that is coming out through this project that reached out to us, which was so fun as it was our first art collaboration together! Both of us being in visual arts programs within film and photography, it has been so amazing and inspiring for us to be in the same city after being long distance.
Most of our journey is documented and shared on Coyote’s instagram @nativeboytoy
With a lot of big adulting responsibilities for the two of us, things have been hard on our school schedules. But we have been doing it all together.
Fund Breakdown of what the money will go to:
9,000 Car, Registration/Tax, Insurance, Triple A, Gas, Emergency Costs, mechanic repairs needed on the car
3,000 (Coyote’s Last Name Changes: ID / Social Security Number / Passport
Couple’s immigration security/legal fees)
- John Axiotakis
- Nora Nord
- Sarah Payne
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