As many of you know, I’m getting top surgery on Friday September 7th. AND I AM SO EXCITED! To top it all off, my surgery is going to cost me... drum roll please... $40!!!
Since I qualified for coverage and found out how much it cost, I’ve been thinking about all the people who for decades have fought for healthcare coverage and the basic dignity of trans people. And how much I am grateful for those who I do know who contributed to this reality. And how I wish I knew more of the people who just lived as themselves before the times of trans visibility we are in today so I could thank them personally.
And, I’m also sitting with the fact that the options I have are simply not available to everyone— and that because of systemic oppression, too many people in the trans community (especially Trans Women and Femmes of Color) are struggling to make ends meet in a world that too often is full of disrespect and violence and a lack of care.
As an activist and organizer, I believe we need to BOTH fight for structural changes AND support and love on each other in the meantime. Shits hard out here, and I hear too many stories about frozen bank accounts for people who rely on scex work, or difficulty securing housing that is affordable, or a job that pays well and is respectful, or just straight up violence that Trans Women and Femmes of Color are facing in our community. I don’t need any of us to save people (believe me, people know what they need)— and I need us to show the fuck up because it’s unjust to sit back and post about the deaths of TWOC and have that be our primary form of “support” when we can do so much more.
Which leads me to the whole point of this fundraiser: I’ve been talking with some friends about starting a solidarity / emergency fund for Trans Women and Femmes of Color in this area.* Because I don’t need the funds for my own survival and well being and my insurance is covering most of my surgery, I’m asking that you give what you might have given for me to cover my surgery to help kick start this solidarity fund.
This fundraiser represents two things: (1) my own promise to follow through on helping to jump start this fund and (2) an opportunity (for those who can afford to) to put your money where your mouth is — and support living Trans Women and Femmes while also fighting like hell so we don’t have to keep mourning the loss of trans lives (esp Black and Indigenous).
Regarding how the funds will be accounted for and distributed: the details of how the funds will be held and distributed are still being worked out. At this time, the funds will go into my bank account. And, I will not touch a dime of the $$ and eventually (once we have a bank account figured out) will transfer the funds over there. I will provide evidence of this to any donors/community as soon as that happens. At this time, I’m imagining that it will take a bit of time before the solidarity fund is up and running— mainly because we will need to figure out the base funds we want to raise before opening it up and also will need to figure out the logistics of distributing funds. Patience until that time is helpful as this is an all volunteer project.
Two last things: 1- if you have skills / energy to devote to this, please send me a message through this campaign with a short description of what you could offer. It will be a minute before I follow up, but knowing what interest and skills there are can help springboard toward further action. 2- I love being trans— and I have so much deep love for the people in community who have nourished me and supported me to be more of who I am. That is something I want for everyone. And doing so comes with risks— and even greater risks for people who are living at the intersection of multiple oppressed identities (so much so that sometimes the risks force people to live undercover where maybe they are the only ones who know their own truth). Yet, trans people are out here every day living out our truths and creating more space for EVERYONE IN THE GODDAMN WORLD TO DO THAT TOO. I truly believe that creating a world that is liberatory for Trans Women of Color will make more space for all of us to flourish.
Thank you for supporting this idea, and for doing whatever your piece of work is to make it possible for this fund to become a reality.
Much love & solidarity,
*We know this isn’t an original idea, and if you are someone who has already done work on something similar, let’s talk and share ideas :-)
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