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Storyteller CTA: Why is Pride Important to Celebrate?

Storyteller CTA: Why is Pride Important to Celebrate?

 

This Pride, we’re launching an exciting storytelling campaign: “Voices of Pride: Sharing Our Stories”. This initiative is all about celebrating the beautiful diversity and resilience within the 2TIGE community. We believe that every story holds power—the power to inspire, to educate, and to connect us all on a deeper level.

As part of this campaign, we’ve pre-loaded a couple of prompts for our community storytellers to share their experiences.

Why Your Story Matters:

🌟 Authentic Representation: Your experiences contribute to a richer, more vibrant tapestry of our community.
💌 Connection: Sharing your journey can be a beacon of support and solidarity for someone in a similar situation.
🎉 Celebration: It’s a way to honor our achievements, struggles, and the ongoing journey towards equality and understanding.
How to Participate:

Reflect on your unique experiences and what Pride means to you.
Craft your story—whether it’s a defining moment, a message of hope, or a celebration of identity.
Share it with us! Submit your responses to the prompt(s) that excite you, by clicking here.

Also, please don’t worry about perfection; it’s your authenticity and joy that we want to see!

Understanding the Anti-Homosexuality Act

Understanding the Anti-Homosexuality Act

Written by Lucretia Ssenyonojo

On August 9, 2023, the Ugandan Constitutional Court upheld the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which criminalizes same-sex relationships and imposes harsh penalties, including life imprisonment. This decision has sparked widespread concern and fear among the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, leading many to flee the country in search of safety.

The Act has perpetuated discrimination, violence, and persecution against LGBTQ+ individuals, forcing many to live in hiding or seek asylum in neighboring countries such as Zambia, Kenya, and Sudan. However, even in these countries, LGBTQ+ individuals face challenges and discrimination, making their situation precarious.

 

The law has led to:

* Arbitrary arrests and detentions

* Violence and torture

* Forced evictions and homelessness

* Limited access to healthcare and education

* Social exclusion and stigma

 

Many LGBTQ+ individuals have reported being forced to flee their homes, leaving behind their families, livelihoods, and belongings. They often face exploitation and abuse during their journey, and in their host countries, they may encounter:

 

* Discrimination and violence

* Limited access to healthcare and legal protection

* Difficulty accessing education and employment

* Trauma and mental health issues

 

The situation is dire, and the international community has condemned the law, calling for its repeal and protection for LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda and the region. Human rights organizations and advocacy groups continue to push for change, but until then, the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda and beyond remain in danger.

It is essential to raise awareness about this issue and support efforts to repeal the Anti-Homosexuality Act, ensuring the safety and protection of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Unfortunately, this is leading to a harsh anti homosexuality act in the East African region that has badly empowered all the other states in the region to come up with the same similar laws criminalizing their citizens for LOVE. 

These are the causes of the LGBTQIA refugee crisis in Africa which is escalating day by day. 

Click here to join us in the fight for equality, globally by making a donation or even hosting your own fundraiser for our LGBTQIA siblings in Africa

We hope that globally, everyone in the world will take notice of this wave, to understand that it’s here to target us as a queer community at large and then coming up with united voices, solidarity to fight and continue resisting these laws, challenging them and adding a voice to a campaign in Africa thats liberating queer refugees from here.

Finding Gender Euphoria at a Clothing Swap

Finding Gender Euphoria at a Clothing Swap

Clothing is what makes the (Hu)man; or so they say, which is why as our founder, I started TEP with a clothing swap.

I realized that clothing was one immediate form of gender expression that we have access to. Clothing amplifies outwardly the energy within our bodies. It introduces us to the world, without us having to say a word and is one of the many ways that we as humans have to connect to the world around us. Allowing us all to explore who we are, what we’re feeling, what we want to project to the rest of the world and affords comfort, especially against the elements during extreme weather.

Despite the fact that clothing is one of the most abundant resources on our planet, especially in the United States, where we are high subscribers to fast fashion, it can be incredibly difficult to access gender-affirming clothing that is affordable for our community.

From the discomfort of trying to shop in what may be an unaffirming and potentially unsafe space, to not having the cash needed to get the affirming clothing we want/need, clothing is one resource that the 2TIGE community is always in need of.

For the last few years we’ve been shipping out clothing packages to folks in need, but that’s just not sustainable!

So, now we’re asking our community members to join us in hosting clothing swaps across the country to make sure more folks get access to the clothing resources that they need.

Not only that, but clothing swaps can be a lot of fun; especially when organized with friends!  We’ve had folks hold one off-events and also held them as regular functions in Knoxville, TN until COVID hit.

You can organize clothing swaps with friends or open them up to the larger community. They’re a great and affordable way for everyone in the community (including our accomplices) to come together for fun and to freshen up their wardrobes with fresh finds.

ICYMI: Clothing swaps can help protect the earth by ensuring that unwanted clothing ends up in the hands of communities who need them rather than adding to overfilled landfills!

Did you know: “It takes almost 8000 litres of water – what one person drinks in seven years – to make one pair of jeans. And when those jeans are discarded, they join the 21 billion tons of textiles that end up in landfills each year. Of 100 billion items produced yearly, 14 for each human on the planet, three in five will be discarded within the year.”(UN, 2019) & (NRDC.org, 2019)

Check out this list of: 26 Shocking Fast Fashion Statistics & Facts to Know in 2024 from YourSustainableGuide.com

Interested in hosting your own swap? Join our Community Captains Community Cohort and we’ll help you get started!

Embracing All Shades of Womanhood: Getting “Louder With Love”

Embracing All Shades of Womanhood: Getting “Louder With Love”

By: Heather Knoxville (she/they)

In a world that too often echoes with division, Trans Empowerment Project (TEP) hopes to stand as a beacon of unity and love, especially through our transformative “Sisterhood Not Cisterhood” program. As we encourage folks to join our newest campaign, “Louder With Love,” it’s a poignant time to reflect on what it means to truly celebrate womanhood in all its diversity.

As I personally reflect on “Louder With Love” and the growth of the Sisterhood Not Cisterhood program, I am reminded of the many women I’ve interacted with at conferences and workshops – women who are learning how to be better, more intersectional allies; women who are finding themselves, claiming their power, and learning how to lead (and when to follow other leaders); women who are getting out of their comfort zones to try and make the world a better place, even with everything else they carry. 

These are trans women, cis women, BIPOC women, disabled women, white women – all coming together to learn from one another and to build community together. I am in awe of these women, and it has been a pleasure to teach and learn alongside them. Never have I seen “sisterhood” exemplified more than in these spaces, where egos are put aside, and minds are open to learning and, more importantly, hearing. 

The Power of Inclusive Sisterhood

At the heart of our Sisterhood Not Cisterhood program is a simple yet profound belief: every woman deserves recognition, celebration, and empowerment. Here’s why inclusive sisterhood is not just important but essential:

  • Unity in Diversity: Our strength lies not in our sameness but in our diversity. By embracing every woman’s unique experiences and perspectives, we build a more resilient and compassionate community.
  • Breaking Barriers: Historically marginalized groups, including 2TIGE ( 2 Spirit, Trans, Intersex, and Gender Expansive), disabled, and BIPOC communities, have faced systemic barriers to empowerment and recognition. Inclusive sisterhood seeks to dismantle these barriers, ensuring that every woman has the opportunity to thrive.
  • A Larger Community: When we stand together, the community of women isn’t just big; it’s boundless. United, there’s no limit to the change we can enact and the futures we can build.

This actually reminds me of a t-shirt my husband bought for me that says, “Our world needs women who are dangerously awake, fully alive, and unified in heart and purpose.” That rings so true for me, especially right now. Our world feels like it’s on fire, but if we wake up and work together instead of letting ourselves be divided, we can build a world where everyone thrives – that is the purpose we need to be unified under, and we need to be loud about it.

(BTW, you can get one of those t-shirts for yourself from Mahogany Mommies…no affiliation with us, they just make some really cool stuff)

Louder With Love: Why It Matters

The “Louder With Love” campaign is more than a slogan; it’s a call to action. In an age where dividing lines are drawn too quickly and hate can spread with a click, choosing love is a revolutionary act. Here’s how we can all get “Louder With Love”:

  • Drown Out Hate: Every act of love, big or small, has the power to silence messages of hate. Whether it’s through words of support, acts of kindness, or standing up for one another, love is our most potent weapon. Perform a random act of kindness today – and remember to check on your 2TIGE and BIPOC friends; this world is heavy right now.
  • Disrupt the Doom Scroll: In the relentless cycle of negative news and social media toxicity, it’s easy to feel despair. But by amplifying positive stories, achievements, and moments of unity, we can change the narrative together. Make a positive post of your own using our #LouderWithLove hashtag and challenge 3 friends to do the same, or use our customizable social media toolkit for sample posts. 
  • Build a Future on Love: Our dreams for the future are built on the foundation we lay today. By fostering an environment of love and support, we make it possible for every woman to achieve her full potential.

Together, We Are Unstoppable

The message of “Sisterhood Not Cisterhood” and the “Louder With Love” campaign is clear: our love for each other must be louder, stronger, and more enduring than any forces that seek to divide us. It’s a reminder that together, we’re not just a community; we’re a force for change.

As members of the TEP family, whether you’ve been around for a while or you’re just getting here, you’re part of this beautiful, ongoing movement of empowerment and unity. Let’s stand together, louder with love, and show the world the incredible power of inclusivity and unwavering solidarity. 

Looking ahead to a year that is sure to be fraught with tension and repeated attempts at dividing our country, I’m filled with hope and determination because I’ve seen firsthand how collective efforts can weave a tapestry of support and belonging. My pledge this year is simple, but resolute: I will be louder with love, in words and in action – and I hope you’ll join me. 

Together, there’s no doubt in my mind that we can build a future where every person, in all their unique glory, is celebrated and empowered to thrive. 

Learn more about #LouderWithLove

Here’s to a Restful Future

Here’s to a Restful Future

 

In a world that never seems to pause, the act of resting can sometimes feel like a luxury we’re not afforded. Yet, for members of the 2 Spirit, Trans, Intersex, and Gender Expansive (2TIGE) community, taking time to rest is not an indulgence—it’s a crucial aspect of self-care that fosters empowerment, resilience, and healing. Unfortunately, rest has also been historically weaponized against marginalized groups, like ours, and used as a means to diminish and control.

Understanding this context is vital in reclaiming our right to rest and prioritize our well-being.

The Weaponization of Rest
For too long, resting has been entangled with narratives that paint it as a sign of laziness or lack of ambition, especially within marginalized communities. This harmful rhetoric serves as a tactic to perpetuate cycles of exhaustion and disempowerment, making it more challenging for individuals to advocate for themselves and their community. The cruel irony is that those who most need rest to heal and fight against systemic barriers are often the ones denied it.

The Consequences of Rest Deprivation

Physical and Mental Health: Chronic lack of rest can lead to serious health issues, including cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, and significantly weakened immune systems. For the 2TIGE community, this adds another layer of stress to lives already navigating complex terrains of discrimination and transition-related health care.

Emotional Well-Being: Without rest, our emotional reserves dry up, making it harder to cope with stress, navigate even the most simple of daily challenges, and maintain healthy relationships. Emotional exhaustion leaves us feeling alienated and burnt out, diminishing our capacity to engage with others, even those in our support networks.

Community Impact: On a larger scale, when members of our community are too tired to participate fully in life, our collective vibrancy and activism suffer.

Rest is not just an individual necessity but a communal one, vital for sustaining the movements that propel us forward.

Rest as an Act of Resistance
In the face of narratives that seek to keep us perpetually on the back foot, prioritizing rest emerges as a powerful act of resistance. Here are a few suggestions to incorporate rest into your self-care regimen:

Listen to Your Body:

Learn to recognize the early signs of fatigue and give yourself permission to slow down. Your body’s needs are legitimate, and honoring them is the first step toward healing.

Set Boundaries:

It’s OK to say no to additional responsibilities if you’re feeling stretched thin. Setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial in safeguarding your time for rest.

Create Restful Routines:

Identify activities that genuinely relax and rejuvenate you. This could be as simple as reading, writing, listening to music, taking a walk, or practicing mindfulness. Incorporating these into your daily routine can help ensure that rest becomes a non-negotiable part of your day.

Seek Community Support:

Sometimes, the weight of the world can make resting feel impossible. In these times, leaning on your community can offer relief and strength. Remember, you’re not in this alone. At TEP we have a community Discord for clients and volunteers to better connect with one another.

Moving Forward:
The right to rest is inherent and non-negotiable, forming the bedrock upon which we build our strength, creativity, and resilience. As a community and as individuals, we must reclaim and protect this right, recognizing rest as essential to our empowerment journey.

We must commit to treating rest not as a luxury but as a critical element of our self-care and activism. By doing so, we not only nurture ourselves but also strengthen our collective capacity to thrive and affect change. The path may be long, but together, with rest as our ally, we continue to move forward towards a future where empowerment and healing are accessible to all.

At Trans Empowerment Project, we understand the pressures and challenges our community faces, and we stand firm in our commitment to support and uplift each other. We’re here to help you find the balance and the space to rest, grow, and empower yourself and those around you. Which is also why TEP has never been in the habit of sending our already exhausted community to the front lines to be targeted by the Chad and Karen at Chick-fil-h8.  Not only is it not sustainable but also we don’t owe others the time and energy it takes to convince a closed mind that we deserve to exist.

We all deserve the freedom of owning our own bodies. The freedom to dream and the freedom to exist in a world not controlled by white supremacy and colonialist values but one where we all get to thrive.

For Disabled 2Spirit, Trans, Intersex, and Gender Expansive community members who are also Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, these acts of aggression are further compounded by the biases of others and systemic oppressions, which we already know were designed to keep people of color disempowered. Many of us have spent our lives fighting to survive, while being denied access to the tools and resources we need to live a basic life, let alone our best lives.

While we will always encourage our community to participate in their own liberation, especially through learning about our rights and by participating in civic engagements like casting our votes, we also strongly urge you to take care of yourselves, through practicing proper self-care habits, especially through rest.

Prioritize healing, improve your mental health, and take the time needed to rest and recharge.

 

Your turn! Click the button below to share your fave methods of selfcare with us!

Clickable button which encourages visitors to Share Your Story

 

 

 

 

 

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