Young, Gifted, and Black: We Fight Back!
Beloved Community, Family, and Friends,
It would be impossible for us as grantmakers to ignore what’s happening in the United States right now. There is no way to overstate how vital Black trans lives have been to the Trans Justice Funding Project, to the grassroots trans organizers we serve, to the trans justice movement as a whole. Unequivocally, absolutely, Black Lives Matter!
TJFP is a Black, Brown, and Indigenous-led organization that has continuously prioritized moving resources across the country to support Black trans groups and organizations, while centering their experiences and leadership. It is an honor and a moral duty to do so.
It’s notable that over the past several days there have been endless conversations and messaging discrediting activists and protestors, which avoids addressing the real conversation at hand, state sanctioned anti-black violence carried out by police. This is a tactic to sway us away from focusing on accountability and it is unacceptable. The systems that are literally killing us must be dismantled. And they must be defunded.
At TJFP we believe there is no world in which trans liberation can occur without racial justice. There cannot be Pride for a few when there is violence, repression, and injustice for so many. Some of us owe our very existence to the visions, strategies, and radical courage of organizers of the past and today.
We must honor this legacy and support Black trans leaders to lead, to organize, to envision, as they build a better tomorrow for us all. So many of the groups we fund are made up of trans people of color working within their local communities, providing direct services and resources to cover gaps or repair harms inflicted by state systems like the police. Trans justice looks like transformative justice, like gender justice, like prison abolition and anti-policing work, like disability justice, like economic justice, like solidarity with racial justice organizations, like Black trans leadership leading the way.
We protect us. These systems were not designed with the intention of our freedom. And protection was never meant for us, not in a nation built on the oppression of Black people on stolen land. We see the need, year after year, read it in application after application, the impact of militarization, surveillance, and policing on Black bodies, on Black trans bodies, on trans bodies of color across the nation. Tony McDade. Nina Pop. Layleen Polanco Xtravaganza. And countless others, casualties of a system that values property and “business as usual” over justice, dignity, and human life.
To the Black leaders who are doing this work, thank you. Thank you for your time and your energy, your brilliance and your strength, your anger and your love. Thank you for being Black excellence in all the ways you may not even realize. Please survive this in any way you can. To the rest of our TJFP family, we encourage you to find Black-led organizations in your area to consider funding them directly. Our interactive map and our lists of grantees can tell you more about trans-led organizations in your area to aid you in your research.
In love and solidarity,
The staff at TJFP