Our team is deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s readiness to overturn a constitutional right to abortion. Whether we are talking about family separation, police brutality, the predicted repeal of Roe vs. Wade, or voter suppression, one ultimate truth emerges: the rights of LGBTQ communities, people of color, immigrants, survivors, and young people are deeply bound up in each other. I am taking faith that regardless of the systems and bad actors that routinely betray us, we will not betray each other.
In early April, our board had the honor of meeting with movement leaders from Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT)
, TAKE Resource Center
, and the Transgender Law Center
to learn more about the seismic local and national impact of the over 200 anti-transgender bills and executive orders put forth in the U.S. South and Midwest. Hearing directly from these courageous leaders highlighted the intensity of attacks on the rights of trans and gender-nonconforming people. The Supreme Court’s apparent willingness to deprive millions of people access to abortion speaks to a reality that our movements have been warning us of for years.
The repeal of Roe vs. Wade is not a harbinger of things to come but rather reflects a lived horror that people of color, LGBTQ communities, and low-income populations know intimately. The leaked draft opinion authored by Justice Alito highlights the ongoing rollback of civil rights impacting LGBTQ communities, people of color and immigrants across the country.
This moment requires considered strategy, rigor, and most importantly, imagination. I come back to the words of Jericho Brown, again and again, we “are so much more than the state imagines.” Regardless of the oppressive policies enacted across our country, I take joy and hope from our relentless commitment to name our truths and be ourselves no matter the cost. I remember our elders, Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Leslie Feinberg, and countless others, whose wisdom and radical imagination guides us every step of the way. We are never alone.
These are the times that I turn to my people for love, support, and wisdom. That desire is a powerful teacher. We need each other to learn, to grow, and to organize for what’s to come.
In just a few weeks, we will convene grantmakers and philanthropic advocates at our annual convening for three days of radical imagining and connection. A space to learn and strategize to hone best practices for funding our movements. Taking place virtually May 24-26, Funding Forward 2022
begins with a panel exploring how trans joy can be applied to a liberatory funding framework to move us towards freedom. We will also highlight the resistance and organizing work happening in response to the anti-trans attacks coming from state legislatures–cruel strategies often wrought from the same right-wing playbook that appears to have successfully overturned Roe, expanded voter suppression, sanctioned family separation, criminalized people of color, and intensified racial segregation.
Funding Forward will offer funders an opportunity to expand their organizing toolkit, and share strategies with colleagues to queer our vision of liberation. I hope to see many of you there and look forward to sharing about how Funders for LGBTQ Issues is organizing our network to answer the call of our movements.
No matter what, our refusal to give in continues to save us. I am so proud of our staff, board, and membership for rooting ourselves in a vision of a future where we are all free.
President, Funders for LGBTQ Issues
Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash.