#BoycottBlackFriday By Supporting Marginalized Communities

The holiday season is hard for a lot of folks. With the recent push to #BoycottBlackFriday, I wanted to provide a list of places folks can spend their money and know the funds go directly to supporting marginalized communities. Some of these are fundraisers, and some are small, individually-run businesses that could use a boost this holiday season. These are all queer and trans, Black, Indigenous and people of color, sick and disabled, or otherwise marginalized people. Some don’t have family support. Some have children to support. Some struggle to work due to health issues. All of them need help.

I am asking in the spirit of community wellness and loving kindness: if you have the funds, please donate to these people and groups. rather than spend money this holiday season at the mega-corporations, make a conscious, ethical choice to support people from marginalized communities who don’t have the same resources. Your support could save someone’s life. It could enable them to eat, to stay housed, to get necessary medical care

Charities and organizations are at the end of the list, with individuals at the top.

Individuals

Aaminah Shakur: “I am an Indigenous/Black Queer Crip artist/poet/culture critic and full time student in an art history program whose work is about challenging the canon and bringing forward the lives/work of forgotten Queer & Crip POC artists.”
Shop: mkt.com/shakur-arts
Paypal: paypal.me/shakurarts

Sumayyah Talibah is a brilliant writer and artist, whose work has appeared in several anthologies, including Mourning Glory Publishing’s After Ferguson, in Solidarity. Buy a handmade, one of a kind piece of jewelry for yourself or someone you love this holiday season, and support her work!
Shop: sumayyahsaidso.com/shop
Paypal: paypal.me/sumayyahsaidso

Noemi Martinez, “a chronically ill Queer Chicanx single mama of crip children.”
Website: www.hermanaresist.com
Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/catrinacreations

Mallory: help a disabled woman and her children stay housed and away from their abuser.
GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/malloryandkids

Jaden: “I’m a newly disabled/chronically ill TQPOC who recently was denied for disability. Really struggling to pay for groceries, medicine, and other bills. I’m not currently able to work.”
Blog: www.chronicillnesschronicling.tumblr.com
Cash.me: cash.me/$surviveandthrive

Chaz Vitale, “artist, activist, magic-maker,” is seeking funds for a vital and life-changing surgery.
GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/chazs-surgery-fund
Paypal: www.paypal.me/ChazVitale

Olivia M: “I’m a queer disabled mixed Latina, and here’s where I sell my zines (mostly perzines).
Etsy: etsy.com/shop/ParadoxNowCreations

Chloe Viening-Butler is a disabled artist and poet, heavily involved in disability activism.
Shop: https://squareup.com/store/viening-butler-studio

Alex Dehoff is queer & chronically ill. They run Ms. Andry’s Bath House, a feminist bath and body company! (They have a great line of fragrance free products, too!)
Shop: www.msandry.com/
Fragrance free: www.msandry.com/product-category/fragrance-free/

Elizabeth Adams makes metal and enamel jewelry and art.
Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/nightshaderosestudio

Allison: “Allison means so much to me. She is a wonderful fat trans lesbian who I have had the pleasure of getting to know this year. Living in the south as a disabled fat trans woman she is VERY isolated bc of these intersections. She deserves support.”
GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/allisonsgoal

 

Charities and Organizations

Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is an organization dedicated to the return of lands in the San Francisco Bay Area to the stewardship of the Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone indigenous peoples. It is an indigenous women-led effort: “guided by the belief that land is the foundation that can bring us together, Sogorea Te calls on us all to heal from the legacies of colonialism and genocide, to remember different ways of living, and to do the work that our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do.”
Website: sogoreate-landtrust.com/how-to-contribute/
Paypal email: sogoreate-landtrust@gmail.com

Daughters Rising: “I work for a preventative anti-sex trafficking/women’s empowerment project for Burmese refugee/ indigenous girls here in Thailand. We need funding for college scholarships and small business start-up grants.”
Website: daughtersrising.org/

Oogachaga: “Singapore’s *only* community-based (not sanctioned by Queerphobic government) LGBT counselling center might close due to funding cuts.” Donate to stop that from happening!
Generosity fundraiser: www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/support-us-supporting-singapore-s-lgbtq-community

Standing Rock: support the water protectors defending their land and sacred sites from the Dakota Access Pipeline, who are facing violence from pipeline workers, security, and police, while camping outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures.
Website: sacredstonecamp.org/donate/

The QTPOC Mental Health Fecebook page has been a resource for queer and trans folks of color for a over a year, and now they’re fundraising to create a website to host a searchable database of resources and articles to serve this historically unserved/underserved population, and provide even more resources than they already do.
YouCaring: www.youcaring.com/lgbtqiapeopleofcolorstrugglingwithmentalhealth-689882
Facebook: www.facebook.com/QTPOCsupport/

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Me, My Health, and I

Two weeks ago, my doctor gave me a fibromyalgia diagnosis. I suspected I had it when I went to see her; she ran tests to rule other causes out before confirming I have fibro. On one hand, it’s nice to have a diagnosis, so I can try to get accommodations from my school. On the other, fibro is a lifelong thing, one where my treatment options are often likely to be about pain management. To reduce my low energy, high pain days, I have to eat well, sleep enough, and exercise often.

Above all, I have to find a way to minimise stress, which is not always my strong suit. I tend to commit to a lot of important, fulfilling things, juggle them all with increasing difficulty until I just can’t keep up, and I need to let one or two or three drop away. But I’ve been going through a lot the last few months, and it’s definitely made me slow down and listen to my body a lot. I have been forced to say no to things I want to do, and I’ve been forced to ask for help when I can’t manage everything I’ve got.

I am used to being pretty independent, to handling my own needs. Even when I tell other people I’m struggling, I often insist that I’ll figure something out; there’s no opening for help to be given or, in some cases, even offered. I’ve been increasingly frustrated at my lack of mobility and energy, because I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like having to rely on others, and I often feel guilty for inconveniencing friends. I apologise constantly, even for things that my friends have offered freely. I am grateful for their support, of course I am, but I also feel that I shouldn’t need it.

Recently, my mother texted me about a Facebook post I made. Her text said I should ask her for money when I need it; she might not always have it, but she likes to be asked. My automatic reply was “okay.” I didn’t know what else to say. But after reflecting on it, I also replied that I likely still wouldn’t ask her. Part of why I push so hard is that I want to get experience and find a job paying well enough that I can buy a house and move my mother in.

In my story for the Intersections event, I mentioned that my biggest life goal, my dream, is to make enough money that my mother can retire. Most folks are retired by 70. I have another 19 years to make it happen, but my recent low mobility has raised some scary possibilities. I’m afraid that I’ll never get there, that my mother will still be working 3 jobs and caring for my brother in her 70s. I’m afraid that something terrible will happen to her before I am established enough to take care of her. I’m afraid something will happen to me, and I’ll add to her burdens instead of lifting them.

How can I take care of my mother when I can’t even take care of myself?

Since my symptoms started back in October, I’ve started a slow return to stable health. I’m not as able and mobile as I was before the flare, but I’m considerably better than I was in the worst of it. I haven’t slept through class in weeks, and I can walk almost as much as I used to, though I still need a cane. The meds my doctor prescribed keep me from having too much pain during the course of the day, and I haven’t had incapacitating brain fog for almost a month. I still struggle to remember words on a regular basis, and I have to process out loud a lot now, but I also know it could be worse.

Still, I’m haunted by the possibility of going back to that place. I have been able to get accommodations from my school, and both my professors and my supervisor at work have been very understanding and supportive, but I’m used to being able to do more. That’s a manifestation of societal pressure: our society is capitalistic, and emphasises production as the measure for self-worth. (I wrote a couple of poems about that—one is here.) I know this, but I still struggle in allowing myself the space and time I would give anyone else.

I encourage my friends to care for themselves, to take things slow, to tell me and others what they need, and so on, but when it comes to myself, I am impatient. It is a good thing when my friends self-care, but I have too much to do. I even put off my own self-care by caring for my friends!

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The tattoo on my upper chest says “Radical Self Begins with Radical Self-Love”. It’s meant to be a reminder to take care of myself: I can’t do all of the cool, amazing, important things I want to do if I don’t take care of myself. I am definitely radical, but I’m also running myself into the ground, and I need to take time and space to love and care for myself, before I totally burn out.

I think it’s time to make a self care plan, and schedule some time to just do things that will help me unwind. After all, I’m not superhuman, even if I try to act like it sometimes.

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