Isyss Honnen, 2020 TJFP Grantmaking Fellow (Photo by Mel Ponder)
TJFP is so excited to introduce the first of our six Community Grantmaking Fellows, Isyss Honnen!
Isyss Agaiotupu Honnen is an unapologetic fa’afafine and trans woman from Amerika Samoa. She is a fa’afafineist, descendant of celestial navigators, cat mama, and lover of all things Pasifika. Isyss works as the Director of TRANSform Washington, a program of Pride Foundation using public education, community organizing, and political advocacy to shift culture to keep trans communities safe by changing norms, hearts, and minds one story at a time. She is the Co-Chair for her political home, UTOPIA Seattle – United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance, a fa’afafine and trans womxn of color-led organization in Washington that serves the QTPI – Queer and Trans Pacific Islander – Community, and has been on the Board since 2012. She Co-Chairs for the first ever Washington State LGBTQ Commission and is honored to serve alongside Co-Chair and community icon, Marsha Botzer, and a truly brilliant group of Commissioners eager to put in the heart work. She is also the co-founder and core team member of the Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network in Washington which provides low to no-barrier funds to cover the basic needs of Two-Spirit, Black and brown trans women and femmes.
She uses her lived experience to fight like hell for trans and gender diverse sex workers in Washington affected by lack of access to healthcare, education, employment, housing, and more. Seeing trans people in love, starting families, and traveling the world brings her joy.
What absolute brilliance you are Isyss–we’re looking forward to building with you!
“TJFP is something that I’m so excited to tell people about because I think a lot of people don’t know that this group exists–where you have trans people getting money and then deciding how can we support other trans organizations that are doing work.” – Peterson Toscano, Theatrical Performance Activist & TJFP Monthly Donor
In the words of monthly donor Nicole Myles, “Worlds don’t change from just one moment or movement.” Instead, as donor Harper Jean Tobin puts it, “we need many voices and many kinds of work.” As grassroots funders, we don’t give grants only to those who fit narrow ideas of success or worth. We want to fund as many groups as possible, so that all of these brilliant visions and voices have a chance to keep on growing, changing, and connecting.
- Your donation helps support trans justice groups focusing on local needs—groups that many mainstream foundations consider “too small” of an investment.
- Your donation helps support grassroots organizations that take risks—that try radical new tactics, that find ways to work outside pre-existing systems to support marginalized communities.
- Your donation reaches grantees with no strings attachedY–allowing these brilliant leaders and activists to do their work without worrying about anyone’s approval but the communities they serve.
As our six Community Grantmaking Fellows carefully review the 216 applications we received this year–more applications than we’ve ever received before!–we see creative, dynamic responses to anti-trans threats. We see groups responding to local, unique needs, led by trans people from those communities who understand the stakes best.
These folks need your support!
Be a part of raising $50,000 more so that we can distribute, in total, half a million dollars this year–half a million that will go to urgently needed trans justice work around the country. Donor Peterson Toscano puts it best, in the video you can watch below: “When I look at LGBTQ history, it’s always been the trans people, the gender non-conforming people, who’ve been on the front lines, who really stood up. And I wouldn’t have the freedoms I have today, if it wasn’t for trans folks doing that.”
Wherever you are, however much you give, you’ll be supporting the trans leadership that has always existed and shaped our movements!
2016 Trans Day of Action march in New York, NY
This week over twitter, Donald Trump threatened to reinstate a ban on qualified transgender people serving in the military. His tweet, could result in the discharge of over 15,000 transgender people who are serving in the U.S. military. And it’s another attempt to distract folks from the enormous amount of harm his cabinet continues to inflict on our already marginalized and oppressed communities.
From the targeting of black bodies, trans women of color, Muslims, immigrants, the poor and working class, youth, trans communities and so many more, these relentless efforts to devalue our lives are unacceptable at best and are ultimately, an attack on us all.
Whether you remain outraged or have just begun to feel anger, we urge you to support local, grassroots organizing in whatever ways you can.
In a political climate that seeks to attack us over and over, our only option is to keep showing up for each other. Together, we ARE the majority!
TJFP is sending our love to all of the trans and gender non conforming individuals and communities. You and your struggle are why we exist.