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The LGBT South is a weekly email newsletter, compiling national, regional, and local news important to LGBT Southerners. Subscribe to get the latest edition to your inbox every Friday morning and keep up with what the Campaign for Southern Equality is up to!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“This is not a time to retreat. This is not a time to be in the bubble. This is not a time for naiveté. This is a time to dig deep into the marrow of who we are as a people.”
– Campaign for Southern Equality Executive Director Jasmine Beach-Ferrara speaking to the crowd at the Women’s March on Asheville on Saturday Jan. 21
Here’s your breakdown of what’s happening this week in the #LGBTsouth:
WOMEN’S MARCH GOES GLOBAL
Millions of people around the world took to the streets on Saturday in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump Friday. Inspired by the Women’s March on Washington, hundreds of other cities and towns on every continent (Antarctica included!) had their own marches to protest the new President and his agenda and to call for equality. Among the issues marchers addressed were women’s and LGBTQ rights, racial justice, climate change, health care, xenophobia and immigration, anti-Muslim discrimination, and economic disparities.
Mexico City, Mexico. Sign reads “Trump, respect migrants”.
Sandy Cove, Canada, where 15 of the village’s 65 residents marched.
In Asheville, our Executive Director, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara spoke to the crowd of thousands, saying “We are hardly the first people to face a moment like this. Let us draw strength and courage from those who have gone before us. This is not a time to retreat. This is not a time to be in the bubble. This is not a time for naiveté. This is a time to dig deep into the marrow of who we are as a people. […] In the face of hatred and fear, let us always choose love and empathy.”
And it seem like Saturday’s marches are only the beginning, as plans several other marches have begun to form for the coming months. An LGBT March on Washington is being planned for June 11 to coincide with Capital Pride, D.C.’s annual Pride event.
While millions were marching on Saturday, we were in Philadelphia at Creating Change, engaged in lively discussion with folks from across the country about radical redistribution of resources in the South. Especially in the difficult times that lay ahead, it is our imperative to strategize how to best support and fund grassroots-led work.
The South is home to over ⅓ of the country’s LGBTQ population. LGTBQ people in the South are more likely to be poor, be people of color, and have fewer protections in employment and housing. Yet, the South receives only 8% of total national funding for LGBTQ issues, nearly 50% of LGBTQ groups operate with only one or no full-time staff, and 20% of groups operate with an annual budget of $10,000 or less.
When we zoom in on the 8%, we learn that most of the funding in the South is centralized in metropolitan areas, like Houston and Atlanta. And despite the South being home to 55% of black people in the US, and ⅓ of the country’s transgender population, only ⅓ of Southern LGBTQ groups reported incorporating a racial justice framework and only 36 of about 750 groups report working primarily with transgender and gender non-conforming communities.
At Creating Change, we looked closely at these disparities and envisioned possibilities for a more powerful LGBTQ movement, where the grassroots leaders, and especially those queer and trans leaders of color, have the resources and the support to transform the South.
We have two clinics coming up this week for folks to learn more about the Affordable Care Act, get help picking a plan, and find out more about their options as well as LGBTQ-friendly community resources and services. The first will be this afternoon, (January 27) from 3-6pm in Greenville, SC and the second will be tomorrow (January 28) from 10am-3:30pm in Birmingham, AL. If you live in or near these areas, we hope you will join us! The deadline to enroll is January 31st. Here’s a photo of Olly and Kate who got coverage with the help of Kate of Pisgah Legal Services at our Asheville clinic last night!
CSE is also funding a Post-Election Rapid Response round of grants through our Southern Equality Fund, which supports grassroots LGBTQ Southern leaders through direct funding, training and leadership development.
We need new organizing strategies and new models for providing services and support to LGBTQ Southerners. We want to hear your ideas – and we want to fund you.