Thanks to our community, the Survivor Support Fund is now sustained by over 80 monthly donors collectively giving enough to sustain temporary housing/rent for all survivors. And hundreds have donated to move stipends to survivors as they make transitions and heal. But as of yesterday, Monday 11/8/21, our fund is almost empty (around $1,000) and we are asking our community to support an emergency push for some urgent healing and safety needs of the survivors. We’re thrilled to share that we have a $10,000 matching donation from a generous individual - your dollars will be doubled as we emergency fundraise to reach a minimum of $17,500 by November 15th to meet vital needs that support safety, housing and healing for survivors. Your support will help us meet these urgent needs:
$8,000 for a Black trans elder and leading organizer trying to afford a down payment on a home
$1,500 for a Black trans survivor to cover costs for and care after an emergency surgery
$4,000 for a Black trans survivor to cover moving costs and security deposit on an apartment she was just approved for
$4,000 for a Black trans survivor to access emergency housing after her housing became unlivable, and to cover security deposit on a new place
= $17,500 goal
Please join us in sustaining safety and healing for survivors: please give today.
We're asking you to join us in redistributing resources to six Black trans women in DC who are experiencing housing instability and are healing from the trauma of abuse in community organizing spaces. These survivors seek support with basic necessities, housing stability, and business start-up funds, which will allow them to survive and thrive over the next two years. There’s enough money in our community for everyone to have the resources they need. Your one-time or monthly donation will allow us to make this vision of our community as one that provides for safety and healing for Black trans survivors of violence into a reality.
Our DC community collectively failed to keep seven Black trans women and non-binary people safe. For years, members of a DC-based Black trans-centered collective dealt with verbal abuse, physical aggression, bullying, and threats to their income from a white collective member. The abusive organizer in question abused their unchecked position of power to withhold pay to people in which they were in conflict. Especially in a community that’s routinely denied access to safe housing and other basic needs, threatening someone’s income is a form of intense violence that can last a lifetime. These consistent patterns of abuse left some members traumatized and unsafe at home, and forced some into homelessness. We must do more to end abuse in our community. This fundraiser is part of a process to make amends and to allow survivors the financial independence to secure safe housing and to heal.
On top of this abuse, community members are also in mourning: an active participant in this process, our beloved Nona Moselle Conner, a friend, leader, and caregiver in our community, tragically passed away in late May at the young age of 37.
Her passing is a reminder to us all of our responsibility to our community. As explained in a powerful CASS tribute to their colleague Nona: “We all have a responsibility to go out of our way to make sure Black trans women and sex workers are abundantly cared for and have safe housing, the ability to have their material needs more than met, and the autonomy to thrive in all the ways they desire. We owe that to Nona, and to every Black trans woman in our lives.”
THE VISION WE’RE BUILDING TOWARDS
This fundraiser is one act within a larger commitment to provide justice to survivors and begin to transform the culture of our DC queer organizations and class (and usually also white)-privileged donor base, so this kind of harm can be unimaginable in our community decades from now.
The six survivors who are currently in need of housing and financial support have big dreams of running small businesses that support Black trans arts, becoming homeowners, going back to school to start a new career, and more--dreams that the huge barriers of years of abuse, systemic transphobia, and anti-Blackness stand in the way of. The trans and queer community in DC is a place of stark divides, where wealthy white cis queer people gentrify nightlife spaces and neighborhoods, while over half of Black trans people are unemployed.
Our communities need to talk about how white-dominated queer institutions harm Black queer people, and the conversation was recently amplify by ongoing organizing led by Black queer and trans people to hold Nellie’s accountable for their anti-Blackness. But it’s not just corporate, multi-million dollar U Street bars that cause harm for years without being held accountable. Harm happens between our community members. Survival for some of our most marginalized community members depends on holding each other accountable for harm and making sure survivors’ can heal and thrive after violence.
We call on our DC community and co-conspirators to face and directly repair this injustice: move your money to Black trans women. The survivors have healing to do, which is only possible with safe and secure housing and financial independence. We can get them there, together, and in the process change ourselves and our community so we consistently invest in accountable, community-oriented Black trans leadership. Join as a donor and be part of building this vision in our community.
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