We are raising funds to support our members' basic survival needs during COVID-19
Mirror Memoirs is a national, abolitionist storytelling + organizing nonprofit project intervening in rape culture by uplifting the healing and leadership of Two Spirit, transgender, non-binary, intersex and queer Black, Indigenous, and of color survivors of child sexual abuse.
Too often, gender non-conforming children are made to believe that we are not cisgender because of the abuse we experienced as children. But in reality, we were likely targeted because of who we are: while US statistics show 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are child sexual abuse survivors, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the numbers were up to six times higher for people who were visibly gender non-conforming children (with those assigned male being most at risk of experiencing sexual violence).
This year, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on survivors, and transgender survivors of color (particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, undocumented, disabled and/or immunocompromised) have been disproportionately impacted. Many Mirror Memoirs community members were already impoverished, underemployed, precariously housed, lacking blood family support, and navigating the constant threats of state and hate violence BEFORE 2020. Our federal government not only has failed to provide ample financial relief, but also has targeted transgender people by rolling back protections in healthcare, housing, and other lifesaving social services.
In the spring, Mirror Memoirs Founding Co-Director Amita Swadhin + Board Member Treva Ellison helped launch a national mutual aid fund for QTIBIPOC (queer, trans, intersex, Black and Indigenous people and other of color). Their team raised over $250,000 within 7 weeks, but over 2,500 people applied for assistance within five days. Thanks to our partnership with the Colorado-based nonprofit YouthSeen, we were able to distribute over 2,500 payments of $100 to every QTIBIPOC person who applied for relief. But the need in our communities continues to be urgent and vast.
In response, we are now raising and redistributing funds through our new Mirror Memoirs Member Support Fund. We launched this fund on December 1, 2020, and by mid-January we raised enough (thanks not only to this campaign but also to an anonymous donor who personally gave $30,000, plus a grant from Collective Future Fund, along with ticket sales from our December 22, 2020 Holiday Party) to distribute 95 micro-grants of $500 to survivors on our email list that is specifically for QTIBIPOC survivors, per the guidelines and priorities named below. Members applied in January, and all funds were distributed by mid-March.
Our members have asked us to keep this fund open so that we might distribute funds in the summer and fall of 2021. We now aim to raise another $50,000 through this campaign by the end of June.
Our fund awards $500 grants to Two Spirit, transgender, intersex and/or non-binary Black, Indigenous or of color survivors of child sexual abuse. Within this demographic, we will prioritize individuals who have been Core Members of our project (those who have coded our archive, led trainings and healing circles, and generally helped shape our organizational structure and strategic priorities), survivors who have shared their story in the Mirror Memoirs audio archive, and folks who have attended a Mirror Memoirs event (in-person or virtual). We will further prioritize applications from folks who are Black, Indigenous, disabled, immunocompromised, undocumented, unemployed, unhoused or precariously housed, and/or uninsured. However, our applications will be open to ALL Two Spirit, transgender, intersex and/or non-binary Black, Indigenous or of color survivors of child sexual abuse.
If you or someone you know meets the criteria above and is not yet on our Mirror Memoirs core member email list (specifically for QTIBIPOC survivors of child sexual abuse), they can complete our member survey here (note: the survey is actually open to ANYONE who wants to help co-create a world without child sexual abuse).
Please support our campaign by donating generously and sharing this link with your friends, colleagues and social media network. Thank you for supporting trans survivors as we navigate the triple pandemics of COVID-19, white supremacy and child sexual abuse.
[With gratitude to artist Donovan Vim Crony for the beautiful graphic for this campaign! The artwork in our campaign image depicts cartoon characters based on five transgender, non-binary and intersex BIPOC survivors of child sexual abuse who shared their stories in our audio archive anonymously.
Image Description: Five animated queer, trans, and intersex people include a Black woman with visible tattoos, blue and black hair, wearing a red shirt and white pants, holding a small striped cat in her arms; a non-binary Pacific Islander person with their purple hair in a long braid, wearing a teal suit and red necktie; a non-binary South Asian femme with purple shoulder-length hair and a flower crown, wearing a pink v-neck top and an orange skirt; a non-binary Black person with short hair wearing a long-sleeve green shirt, blue pants and tan boots; an East Asian femme with shoulder-length blue hair in a wheelchair, wearing a teal short-sleeve shirt and blue pants and holding a small dog in her lap. Above them is an orange and pink banner that says “Support Trans Survivors.” The “Mirror Memoirs” logo in white text is in the bottom right corner, with the second and third “r’ mirroring each other.]