Support these Black trans- and QTBIPOC-led groups advocating for trans rights.
by the South Seattle Emerald and Lavender Rights Project
The past two years have seen a record-breaking amount of anti-trans legislation in the U.S., with at least 421 actively proposed bills that would limit, restrict, or criminalize the civil rights of transgender people in 2023. While Washington is seen as a progressive state, there have been three anti-trans bills proposed during this legislation session alone and an uptick in anti-trans violence in general. For an up-to-date listing of anti-trans bills and more info, check out the Trans Legislation Tracker.
What Trans Visibility Means to Lavender Rights Project
by Lavender Rights Project
On this Trans Day of Visibility, we are in the midst of a rapidly changing political environment that is growing more and more terrifying for trans and non-binary Communities of Color across Washington State. Every week, gender-diverse loved ones throughout the country are strategically being stripped of their civil rights, primarily by radical white supremacist fascists who believe that we should not exist. While much of the legislation is targeted squarely at children (and mostly transgender girls), the policies being implemented are designed to prevent trans communities across the board from accessing lifesaving gender-affirming care, any kind of safety in public spaces, and the right to be — and live as — our authentic selves. Even in the Pacific Northwest, which people believe is a safe haven for trans people, we are seeing a significant increase in violence aimed primarily at trans femmes. Our heightened visibility in this hostile climate is becoming more dangerous by the day, and it is directly affecting our lives in alarming tangible ways.
Plus: Other Queer and Trans BIPOC Housing Projects Taking Root in Seattle
by Mark Van Streefkerk
When it comes to housing resources for their own communities, queer and trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC) are doing it for themselves. Three different Seattle-area QTBIPOC organizations have permanently acquired (or are close to acquiring) buildings that will be used for temporary and semi-permanent housing for QTBIPOC facing housing insecurity. These recent or projected acquisitions for Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network (TWOCSN), Lavender Rights Project (LRP), and Queer the Land (QTL) is the culmination of years of work and advocacy, along with a little boost from the racial reckonings of 2020.
The Black Trans Comedy Showcase will take place on June 22, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue, Seattle. It will feature local PNW comedians and is hosted by Moltyn Decadence, Miss Gay Washington 2022. The showcase, held virtually and in person, is a fundraiser for the Lavender Rights Project (LRP). The organization’s mission is to elevate “the power, autonomy, and leadership of the Black intersex & gender diverse community through intersectional legal and social services.”
Content Warning: transphobic hate crimes, anti-Blackness, murder, incarceration
In the spring of 2021, I moved to Columbia City. I found the neighborhood to be welcoming and exciting. It’s close to bookstores and Asian grocery stores, and I spent much time going on walks around my home. On my walks, I paid close attention to public boards and postings. I found posters advertising community events and marches, as well as stickers declaring various points of view about the pandemic.
One day, I was surprised to come across a red sticker on a street pole that said “protect children from gender clinics.” I’d heard this phrase before. As a transgender man, I’m very familiar with the various right-wing dog whistles used to deny health care to my community. The claim that clinics that offer transgender health care prey upon children is a blatant lie, even as bills passed in the U.S. make it increasingly harder for transgender youth to receive care.
Black trans women and nonbinary femmes are the most underserved population within the LGBTQIA+ community.
This is the reality that the Lavender Rights Project (LRP) knew but did not yet know how to effectively address after serving as a grassroots nonprofit law firm for the last five years. This September, on their five-year anniversary, after bringing Black trans women and femmes into new leadership to inform LRP’s strategy, they’re changing their mission to better hone in on this problem. While they still intend to be inclusive and serve the larger LGBTQIA+ community, they will center their work around Black trans women and nonbinary femmes moving forward.
“We are hoping to be inclusive of all LGBTQ in our services, but we see focusing in on Black trans women as a method to address all needs of the entire community. When we get it right for Black trans women, we get it right for everyone who reaches out to us for help,” Jaelynn Scott (she/her) said. As LRP’s executive director, Scott exuded a mix of fierce compassion that also somehow felt like a calming balm as she spoke about LRP’s future.
We celebrate and honor the legacy, labor, divinity, sacredness, and love of our Black trans women and femmes and trans Women of Color in community!
by Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network
Jaelynn Scott, M.Div., is the executive director of Lavender Rights Project. Jaelynn has worked as a director of HR, operations, and education for nonprofits and religious organizations. She is an ordained minister and regularly preaches and facilitates workshops on justice and mindfulness. Jaelynn is passionate about trans liberation, sacred practices for self-care, decolonized labor practices, and mindfulness in the workplace. Jaelynn, we love you and celebrate you! Thank you for your loving leadership and cosmic commitment to Black trans liberation and healing for generations to come!
Seattle’s housing crisis disproportionately affects BIPOC communities, and of those groups, queer, transgender, and two spirit (2spirit) people are impacted even more. In response, Queer The Land (QTL) was founded in 2016 as a collective of QT2BIPOC resisting displacement and gentrification. One of their long-term goals was the acquisition of a house, and on Jan. 15 the goal was realized when QTL purchased a three-story house in north Beacon Hill. The home will be a hub for transitional housing, coworking, community spaces, gardening, and other opportunities.