Tag Archives: TransJustice

We have something they don’t…

By now you may have already learned of the most recent attack by the Trump administration on trans people and our communities.

“The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.”, according to the New York Times article featuring a draft memo leaked over the weekend.

For those of us who feel un-nerved and uneasy by this news, your fears come from a very real place and are valid.

For those of us who feel like this isn’t new news at all and are angry and exhausted, your feelings come from a very real place and are valid.

These are difficult messages to receive year after year.

And at the same time, we want to remind you that we have something they don’t. Even with all the resources, power, and commitment to illusions of power, we know what it means to be resilient.  We know what it means to look after one another, to share, fight like hell, hold each other, and we know how to show up in ways they might never even dream of. We know the importance of that as a means to thrive and for survival.

In a statement from the Transgender Law Center, Executive Director Kris Hiyashi writes, “The draft memo the NYT reported on this weekend, a document written by officials at HHS, is transparently a hate-motivated response to these victories. It attempts to rewrite years of progress achieved by advocates under the Obama administration. Here, written out plain, is their attempt to erase our very existence as transgender people. This memo reveals that this administration intends nothing short of our destruction…. To be clear: nothing this administration can do will undermine the scores of federal courts that have recognized our humanity and hundreds of state and local legal protections we’ve already won.”

We are being called to action again and again. Not just some of us, all of us. 
If you can, please support trans led leadership in any way you can. From making a donation to volunteering to uplifting each other or sending a text to the people in your life who are on your mind… there are many ways we can organize and resist with love, justice, and each other at the center.

 

Here are 182 groups funded by TJFP this year alone who are out there, doing this work for us all every day.

To everyone one of you who live and breathe trans justice–however you’re able to, we are so thankful for you.

With gratitude,

 

 

Gabriel Foster, Executive Director

 

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Introducing 2018 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Ezak Perez!

We are so excited to welcome Ezak Amaviska Perez to TJFP’s 2018 grantmaking team!

Ezak was born and raised in and around Los Angeles, CA. They are a Two Spirit, Hopi Native American and Latinx community organizer. They have been leading trainings locally in LA as well as nationally for the past 12+ years. He is currently the Organizational Director of Gender Justice LA (GJLA).  GJLA is a member-based, grassroots social justice organization for and led by gender non-conforming, gender fluid, two spirit, questioning, and trans people of color in LA. He is currently helping to create the first Indigenous Pride LA and was recently honored by the Sons & Brothers Portrait Series for Native American heritage month.  He’s a part of a party collective called THroz, creating pop up fun-draiser parties in LA. Ezak believes that self-care & community care are critical and essential to be able to do this work for the long haul.  He loves spending time in nature and thrifting.

We can’t wait to build with you, Ezak!

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Introducing 2018 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez!

Thank you Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez for saying “Yes!” to joining TJFP’s 2018 grantmaking team!

Isabel was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Miami with their family at the age of 6. They began community organizing against deportations and for immigration reform in 2007 and have since become the Membership and Organizing Director and the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Isabel has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of South Florida and as a graduate student at the City University of New York, they published academic articles detailing the effects of legal status and marginalization on undocumented mothers and on immigrant adolescents in the transition to adulthood. From 2015 through 2016, they were the state coordinator of New York’s Mexican Initiative on Deferred Action. They also serve on the Board of Unite for a Fair Economy.

We are so excited to be able to share space and learn from you Isabel!

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Introducing 2018 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Bré Anne Campbell!

TJFP is so excited to introduce the first of our six grantmaking fellows, Bré Anne Campbell!

Bré is a black woman of trans experience from Detroit, Michigan. She is the co-director of Trans Sistas of Color Project- Detroit, the first trans lead organization in Michigan dedicated to uplifting and impacting the lives of trans women of color living in the state. Bré is also very active in national HIV work, serving on the board of the Positive Women’s Network-USA and onto national advisory board of Positively Trans. She can be seen in the upcoming web series The Femme Queen Chronicles, a series written and produced by black trans women.

Looking forward to your brilliance!

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Hot off the press! TJFP’s 2017 annual report is here!

We’re so excited to share with you TJFP’s 2017 annual report!

Because TJFP has the most incredible family and friends, we had the honor of moving half a million dollars to 153 trans-led grassroots groups across the country last year. We hope you’ll take the opportunity to learn more about these fierce folks by viewing our 2017 annual report! They are history in the making.

Also… applications are now open for 2018 TJFP grants! Please review the eligibility criteria and apply!  The deadline to apply is 2/15/2018 so spread the word and share widely!

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Introducing 2017 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Drew Jones!

We are so excited to welcome Drew Jones to the TJFP team!

Drew is a white trans queer parent who started engaging in community advocacy work 15 years ago, starting with founding the first trans youth support group in Dallas. He received his BA in Anthropology with a minor in Ethnic Studies from the University of North Texas. At Gallaudet University he completed his MA in Deaf Cultural Studies with an award winning ASL based documentary made with a young Black Deaf trans girl about her experiences at her Deaf school in DC (A Brutal Awakening, 2007). After 8 years in DC and Philadelphia, sudden illness brought him back to Texas, where he is focusing on raising his young kids and supporting social justice work and community through Dharma teaching.

Looking forward to your brilliance!

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Introducing 2017 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Cathy Kapua!

cathykapuaTJFP is so excited to introduce the first of our six Community Grantmaking Fellows, Cathy Kapua!

Cathy Kapua hails from O`ahu, Hawaii and has worked with the transgender community since 2003. Cathy started as a Peer Educator and Employment Specialist at a transgender social service organization called Kulia Na Mamo. She then moved on to become an HIV Prevention Specialist at the Life Foundation working with transgender women who engage in survival sex work. Cathy has since worked on several federally funded projects specific for the transgender community and has provided culturally competency trainings to medical service providers in an effort of raising awareness of the needs of the transgender community in Hawaii. Cathy is currently the Kuaana Project Coordinator at the Life Foundation offering a variety of social services to the Native Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Island transcommunity by utilizing peers to empower others within the transgender community. Being a role model for the young transgender community in Hawai`i drives Cathy’s passion to continue her advocacy within the healthcare and social service fields. For more information on the Kuaana Project, please visit the website at www.kuaanaproject.org

We’re looking forward to building with you Cathy!

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From the Ground to the Sky Listening Tour: Southern Edition

“As a local organizer and activist in your area what do you vision, hope or dream for trans/two-spirit/queer/gender non- conforming people in your area?”

“Can you tell us how your group got started or how you first got involved in trans justice organizing?”

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These a just a few of the questions we asked several grantees, applicants, TGNC activists, organizers, and community members on our From the Ground to the Sky Listening Tour: Southern edition

Having previously traveled to places like Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, this time we headed to the South Eastern region to expand our knowledge around what local trans justice looks and feels like in the Deep South.  

TJFP spent two weeks moving between Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana, driving along tree lined highways, in between mountain hallows, witnessing cotton fields, and bright city lights. Several times over, we saw common themes making themselves apparent from community to community.  Yet, nothing stood out as much as the importance and need to create safety and shift the conditions at home, as well as the sense of duty of bringing knowledge back to their people.

For many, the option of leaving home for more liberal areas with more trans affirming infrastructure is not always an option or even a desire. One local activist passionately stated, “Why can’t I be safe in Arkansas?”  Her desire to staying where things are familiar and where her family lives, is the driving force to not leave and to continue to work towards finding and creating community for her and other black trans woman like her.

Another thing that we heard over and over again, was the need for space to meet in to get work done, resources for traveling to meet other trans and gender non-conforming organizers so they won’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel,’ and could feel more connect to a broader network of TGNC peers. Even with things like internet access or tools like Skype and conference calls, for those who are able to travel, being face to face still remains a powerful method for breaking down isolation and unifying our leaders.

Like most places, the South has a complex and painful past.  And yet, it’s beauty and the activists we met along the way, have a deep love for their communities, their home, and their histories. Every person we spoke with reaffirmed that we should all have the right to stay at home if we wish to and have the ability to be safe as well as have our most basic needs to deepest desires met. 

From the historic Selma, Alabama to the colorful lights of New Orleans, Louisiana–which still bares the scares of the storm–we thank each and every person who took the time to allow us to record your trans justice organizing history. We hope your experiences, words, and efforts will be taken to heart and supported.

From state to state we come to understand more and more, we exist because you exist.

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TJFP’s From the Ground to the Sky tour: Alabama

After spending an amazing five days in Tennessee and Mississippi, we drove East to Alabama and our first stop was the historic Selma. We could feel the momentous energy of the city the minute we arrived. The first thing we did was pick up our camera’s and walk over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This bridge was the site of Bloody Sunday where an estimated 500 – 600 civil rights marchers were brutally attacked by state troopers as they headed from Selma to Montgomery in support of the Selma Voting Rights Campaign in 1965.

Later that day, we met with activist Quentin Bell, local Selman and founder of The Knights and Orchids Society (TKO). We sat outside along the Alabama River, at sunset and listened to Quentin talk about how the history of his hometown inspires him everyday to fight for trans justice in Selma.

That night we drove back to Birmingham, full of life and firmly committed to justice and liberation for our trans community. It was only heightened when we spoke to Daroneshia Duncan, founder of TAKE (Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering), an organization that provides supportive services to transgender people in Alabama. Our conversations with Daroneshia came on the heels of two recent attacks on trans women of color in Alabama–Jazz Alford, who was shot and killed and another, a member of TAKE, who was shot and is currently still in the hospital.

As we left the city of Birmingham we watched the landscape once again transition back into windy country roads, lined with thick beautiful forests. The words and experiences of Quentin, Daroneshia, and other Alabamans we spoke to, stay with us.

Our ancestors who crossed that bridge in Selma were met by state police and beaten, and those Civil Rights protesters continued to fight even after “Bloody Sunday”.  Many of the lessons of the past are also our blueprint for our future and we cannot afford to lose our history or each other.  Thank you to everyone we spoke with in Alabama and for being exactly who you are, where you are.

Stay tuned as we our share highlights from our next stop, Little Rock Arkansas!

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Funding The Revolution!

TFAAN_2016A very special thank you to Bishop Tonyia Rawls and The Freedom Center for Social Justice (FCSJ) for inviting TJFP to the Transgender Faith and Action Network’s (TFAAN) annual retreat.

What an honor it was to be welcomed into this space and to have the opportunity to speak with Southern trans and gender non-conforming faith leaders and allies about TJFP’s funding model and what trans justice looks like across the country!

Looking forward to next year!

 

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