Black trans lives matter. Black queer lives matter. Black bisexual lives matter. Black pansexual lives matter. Black lesbian lives matter. Black gay lives matter. Black lives matter.
In solidarity with the anti-racist movement happening across the world, I’m From Driftwood is committing itself further to elevating the stories of the Black LGBTQ+ community.
The LGBTQ community as a whole owes the successes and advancements we now enjoy to the Black and POC members of our community who kickstarted our movement 51 years ago. Statues ought to be erected in honor and praise of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Instead, Black and POC people have been ignored, silenced, and worse. There are organizations who provide direct services to Black, POC and trans communities, which are listed below.
As the last couple weeks has shown us—and as centuries of US history has shown us—there is a desperate need for Black voices and narratives to be amplified. As a storytelling organization, what I’m From Driftwood can do is ensure the stories and experiences of the Black LGBTQ+ community are featured prominently and preserved indefinitely. Beginning immediately and for the remainder of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, every story featured on the I’m From Driftwood homepage will be by a Black storyteller. Additionally, every existing story from a Black storyteller has now been tagged with “Black Voices” so that any time you want to seek out stories from Black storytellers, all you have to do is click the “Black Voices” tag. After Pride Month, there will be a “Black Voices” featured row that will update whenever a new Black storyteller is featured. We’ll also recommit to focusing on “Story Equity” by sharing stories from segments of the LGBTQ+ community that are often overlooked.
If you have any questions or comments or ideas of how we can further amplify Black LGBTQ+ stories, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Executive Director, I’m From Driftwood
BLACK LGBTQ-LED ORGANIZATIONS:
House of GG
Founded and led by Trans and gender nonconforming people and our allies, we create safe and transformative spaces where members of our community can heal—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—from the trauma arising from generations of transphobia, racism, sexism, poverty, ableism and violence, and nurture them into tomorrow’s leaders. We currently primarily focus on supporting and nurturing the leadership of Transgender women of color living in the U.S. South.
Trans Justice Funding Project
The Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led funding initiative founded in 2012 to support grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. We make grants annually by bringing together a panel of six trans justice activists from around the country to carefully review every application we receive. We center the leadership of trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions. Every penny we raise goes to our grantees with no restrictions and no strings attached because we truly believe in trans leadership.
LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund
Each day, tens of thousands of LGBTQ people are held in jail or immigration detention because they cannot afford bail—for immigration status or charges like sleeping in public. With your help, the Freedom Fund posts bail to secure their release and safety. In tandem, we raise awareness of the epidemic of LGBTQ overincarceration. We strive towards a critical mass against mass detention.
The Okra Project
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.
BreakOUT! seeks to end the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to build a safer and more just New Orleans. We build on the rich cultural tradition of resistance in the South to build the power of LGBTQ youth ages 13-25 and directly impacted by the criminal justice system through youth organizing, healing justice, and leadership development programs.
Black AIDS Institute
Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) is the only premier uniquely and unapologetically Black think and do tank in America powered by two decades of work to end the Black HIV epidemic and led by people who represent the issues we serve. BAI sources our capacity building, mobilization, policy, and advocacy efforts from Black leaders and communities across the country and provide high quality direct HIV services and linkage to care to Black people.