From Amita Swadhi:
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the particular vulnerability of queer, transgender, non-binary and/or intersex Black, Indigenous folks and other LGBTQI+ people of color (QTIBIPOC folks). Due to our community disproportionately experiencing a lifelong arc of violence and discrimination, many of our community members are impoverished and housing unstable.
Many folks in our community are self-employed or in the service economy, and living with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or compromised immune systems.
Realizing a need for mutual aid for our communities at this time, and inspired by Ijeoma Oluo’s efforts to support her community of fellow artists in Seattle , Amita Swadhin launched this fund on March 14, 2020 and has since invited their trusted comrades Treva Ellison, Natalie Havlin, Carrie Hawks, Ren-yo Hwang, and Alisa Zipursky to help manage the financial records and design and manage the process of fund distribution.
None of the people managing this fund (and none of their household members) will receive monies from this fund.
We are prioritizing LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming people of color because we often have less ties to familial support networks, we have historically been simultaneously overlooked and surveilled by welfare state systems, our needs have been surplus to mainstream political formations, and we tend to work in the gig economy.
We recognize that the nation-state does not provide a safety net for so many people, and that the United States government’s response to COVID-19 has only deepened pre-existing hierarchies that make people vulnerable to premature death. We hope for a world in which universal basic income, universal health care, and other functioning social systems exist. We know that what we are doing is an imperfect solution to a very large problem, but we are trying anyway.
For more information and to apply for support: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-relief-fund-for-lgbtqi-bipoc-folks