June 17, 2021
June 28th, 1969, in Greenwich Village, New York City, NYCPD raided Stone Wall Inn: a place of refuge for Queer/Trans people. The police beat and arrested Trans women–predominately Black and Brown Trans people.
Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Sylvia Rivera, and many others fought back. They asserted that our existence is not negotiable, that state violence directed at our communities will not be met with silence, that assimilation into heterosexuality is a form of death, and that we were tired of being forced to live in the margins.
New York City’s streets erupted in protests and marches at the injustices that Queer/Trans people experience. While this is not the first Queer/Trans retaliation to police violence, this resistance ignited the Queer/Trans Liberation Movement.
We will not assimilate, and we will not be erased.
Surviving is not enough–we all deserve to thrive.
It was not always like this. We are not new.
Before European colonization, many Indigenous communities worldwide celebrated Queer/Trans and Intersex individuals. Many of us enjoyed privileged positions for ceremonies and were given positions of leadership and power.
It was during European colonization that race was forced onto Indigenous communities to justify white supremacy and violence. One way Europeans institutionalized their power was their assertion that their expressions of gender and sexuality were indicative of their superiority.
What we now know as Queer/Trans, and Intersex people were often the first to experience violence through colonization. They were used to be made an example of for not complying with white supremacist values.
Centuries of colonization have created cultural values and systems that forced Queer, Trans, and Intersex people to be punished, incarcerated, and killed. It forced us to feel shame and guilt.
Today Intersex people, people who are born outside of the sex binary of male and female, are “corrected” at birth–their bodies are mutilated to force them into a false binary without their consent.
Our Queer and Trans siblings experience gender violence at higher rates than cis and heterosexual people. Many of us are hesitant to reach out to programs and shelters because we fear that they may be turned away–no service system in history has been designed for us.
So many of us, including myself, forgo asking for help. “Will I need to disclose that I am Trans?” “Will they ask questions about my genitalia?” “Will they understand non-monogamy?”
And like all survivors: “Will they believe me?”
While I am glad to see many of our programs are celebrating Pride on their social media and displaying Pride flags at their doors, I am in need of more. My Queer/Trans and Intersex siblings need more.
Our needs are different, but our human needs are the same.
I offer these self-reflections starters:
Three Things to reach out to me for:
We know that at least 26,000 Idahoans are living with an intellectual or developmental disability and countless others are directly connected to someone with this lived experience as friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities contribute invaluably to our communities, yet continue to be devalued, dehumanized, and excluded from them. Because of the ways ableism is allowed to operate, our fellow community members experience significant barriers to services, support, and full participation in our society.
We have also come to know that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience violence and abuse at some of the highest rates of any community. Over 90% of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience sexual violence in their lifetime, and over half of the individuals who are abused will experience over 10 occurrences.
The Idaho Coalition reaffirms our commitment to showing up for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as we continue to center our solutions to gender violence and communities most impacted. For the next few years we will be deepening our partnerships with the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities, the ADA Center Northwest – Idaho, and Disability Rights Idaho to collectively improve how we provide support and healing to all our communities through the Idaho Change Initiative. Working alongside individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the VERA Institute for Justice, and the Office on Violence Against Women we seek to identify and dismantle barriers to support and healing, and co-create meaningful solutions to gender violence that will better meet the needs of all of us impacted.
We invite you to join the efforts of the Idaho Change Initiative as key contributors and change makers. We invite you to deepen your own relationships with disability service providers in your area, and with our statewide partners to build our collective capacity in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities impacted by violence. Together we can show up better for all of us.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
Accessing Emergency Housing Vouchers for Survivors of Sexual Assault
Last week the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) featuring Karlo Ng and Renee Williams held a webinar covering Accessing Emergency Housing Vouchers – specifically for survivors of sexual violence. There was a lot of great information about how to access the vouchers for survivors in your area. Please take a second to review the slides below.
Expanding the Ecosystem of Support for Survivors in the U.S.– Thursday, June 17, 2021| 11:30 am-1:00 pm PDT
Register Here to join the National Domestic Violence Hotline and FreeFrom for a webinar on reimagining what support for survivors can and should look like. Learn how every pillar of our society can show up for survivors and support their economic security.
Advocate Training COVID Series
August- Date and time to be announced |
The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence invites you to a collective reading opportunity throughout the summer and continue the Advocate Training series with a book discussion in August. Based off of the learnings and highlights from the Advocate Trainings this year, we selected books discovering healing, wellness, and radical self-love. We believe these books are meaningful to all experiences and can inform your work as advocates and support wellness and healing as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic fatigue. Please take a minute to complete this survey and choose the book you are most energized by and want to engage in a conversation with other advocates across the state!
Email any questions to Kailey at firstname.lastname@example.org
*** ALL material orders are currently on hold, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. ***Reminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.