Today is the day the Trump Administration’s ban of transgender people from serving in the military goes into affect. I joke, as a Quaker pacifist, I would be happy to see even more of these bans limiting who serves in the military. I say bring back the ban on gays and lesbians. We should ban all women, cis and trans from serving. Let’s ban all men, cis and trans from serving. In fact, let’s ban everyone from serving in the military. But that is my pacifist fantasy.
Banning trans people in any area of society is unjust, regardless of how any one of us feels about the military. It reinforces the false notion that some people are more reliable and valuable than others in our society. It stigmatizes and marginalizes people who already face discrimination in every area of society. Just like churches have been impoverished by driving LGBTQ people out, similarly any institution that bans trans people becomes weaker from the brain and heart drain they perpetuate. These bans undermine the safety and wellbeing of trans and gender non-binary people.
I am continually impressed by the Trans Justice Funding Project (TJFP) In a time when transgender and non-binary people are asserting themselves in a society that does not yet fully value them, this project is essential work. TJFP raises money, lots of it. $650,000 in 2018. They invite transgender groups (with budgets less than 250,000) to submit proposals for grants. TJFP then convenes a team of transgender justice folks to read ever application to determine who gets what.
TJFP never stipulates how the groups use the money–they trust the groups to do what they need to do with it. They also give money to groups that have and do not have non-profit status (recognizing it is not an easy or cheap process to getting non-profit status.) In their most recent annual report, they explain:
The Trans Justice Funding Project is about investing in trans communities who are making decisions by and for ourselves. In the last six years, we’ve received 877 applications and distributed 717 grants through our community-led process, with funds we’ve raised that total over $1.9 million!
I am a monthly donor to the TJFP. Whenever I have a little extra money, I send it to them as well. I encourage people to give to this group. If you are someone who is alarmed at how transgender and non-binary people are treated, if you feel it is wrong and something needs to be done, here is an excellent way to contribute to the positive work by trans people for trans people. Give up something for a week or two and use that money to support TJFP. Have a fundraiser and donate to TJFP. Pool together with friends and send in a donation. Even consider being a monthly donor–even as little as $5 a month.
This year I will increase my monthly giving to Trans Justice Funding Project.