Note: This article was originally published on the Tulane Hullabaloo.
In light of financial crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus, the Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Crisis Funding Circle Louisiana has created a mutual aid fund to give relief to their community.
The TGNC fund was established on March 17 as the effects of COVID-19 began to take place within the New Orleans community. In the fund’s first round of donations, organizers were able to give $4,000 to nearly 50 members of the Louisiana TGNC community. As of this article’s publication, the fund has raised over $5,000 that will be dispersed within the TGNC community.
Tulane senior Dylan Borne of Real Name Campaign and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization is among those who launched the fund.
Other members of the TGNC Crisis Funding Circle Louisiana include Dylan Waguespack of Louisiana Trans Advocates, Mariah Moore of the LGBTQ Task Force NOLA, Spirit McIntyre of Trans Visible and Milan Nicole Sherry of the Trans March of Resilience.
In Louisiana, transition-related healthcare is explicitly excluded in state employee health benefits, and state Medicaid program does not address transgender health coverage. There is currently no explicit prevention against discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
In their article about the TGNC fund, Borne points out that the discrimination goes further as “the prison system incarcerates half of Black trans people. ICE officers target, arrest and deport trans immigrants. Both Black and immigrant trans people deal with sexual assault behind bars.”
Even before the pandemic the transgender and non-binary community have faced difficulties that many others have not. The pandemic, though, amplifies these difficulties.
According Mariah Moore, many in the the TGNC community have suffered food insecurities, deprivation of medical attention classified as non-essential, increased anxiety and uncertainty of housing and unemployment due to the pandemic’s effects.
The COVID-19 stimulus aid will not benefit those who are sex workers, homeless or undocumented. According to the IRS, those who are not eligible are those without a social security number and “nonresident aliens.”
“We have to make sure that our sex workers, undocumented, disabled and immunocompromised siblings are being included and intentionally centered by creating a funding circle that will be able to assist them during this pandemic,” Moore said.
If you are interested in donating to TGNC, you can do so here.