Fund for Trans Writers

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I always say that I cannot fully understand the experience of another individual, but that I can have empathy. I can take that empathy, and put it towards positive action to further that understanding, in the hope of being a better ally. My voice is not crucial to this process, but yours is. If you are a trans writer, I can’t fully understand what the experience is like of attempting to exist in a world that is constantly fighting your ability to live & to love & to build a fresh, & new future, where it’s not just about acceptance, but understanding, & the freedom to be who you are, without fear. Even with my experiences as a person of colour, I carry privilege, and I often think of what I can do with that privilege to amplify the voices of others. I’ve never been a good writer, but there are a lot of individuals out there who have the ability to lift & to free others with their voice, & their words, and our world is continually fighting to silence these brilliant souls.We ask so much & give so little to individuals who are constantly fighting for survival in a hostile environment, & I find that unacceptable.

The Fund for Trans Writers is a $100,000.00 ongoing fundraising campaign that aims to provide an ongoing contribution/support to trans writers in Canada for their labour. Whether it’s financial support to attend conferences, process time for writing, or day-to-day assistance for living, the fund will be continually replenished in the hope that we can make the lives of trans writers a little easier, & safer. If you live within a world that is designed to be cruel to you, it’s important that we are at least able to help the creativity of the individual thrive & flourish. If it makes someone’s life a little easier, our tiny investment in their work is something that can work towards a better future for trans folk, & for all of us.

Our campaign will be ongoing, meaning it will not just be in the style of traditional crowdfunding, but take place on several levels through various initiatives. The goal is to be able to raise this amount of money by the Summer of 2019, & then work towards making it a sustainable fund for the foreseeable future. It is my hope that we have a large enough fund in place so that if a trans writer makes a request for assistance, there’s no delay, in case of emergency.

If we are to call ourselves a community, the only acceptable action is to have a mechanism in place where no one feels isolated or alone in their struggle. I am hoping that by creating this fund, and actively working on this campaign indefinitely, we can make the lives of the trans writer a little bit better.

If you are a donor, our organization is moving towards charitable status this year, so that we are better able to serve others. I’d be happy to discuss with you the status of our application, & future projects.

If you are a trans writer who wishes to apply, contact me at rahim@shootforthemoon.art & we’ll discuss how the process works. All correspondence will be kept confidential.

If you wish to give, I have decided to contribute $2000.00 to the fund to get us started (& I will continue to give to the fund as time proceeds) This means that funds will be available starting May 15th, 2019 & I am hoping that with your support, we can build on that number. Please click on the button below to take you to our secure donation page.

If you choose to donate $20.00 or more a month, I will provide to you 20 hours of fundraising consulting for free (This is a gift that is also transferable, so you have the option to give this to someone else, or to another organization, or to keep some of the hours, and gift the remaining time left to another) If the donation is higher than that, I'll provide the same amount of hours per dollar (If you donate $50.00 a month, I will provide 50 hours of fundraising consulting to you) This will include in-person or electronic tutorials on major donor acquisition, building a donor prospect base, right down to how to negotiate with any individual one-on-one. The idea is that if someone is going to support the fund, I want to be able to provide a service that can hopefully reward you financially many times over, in return (It feels like the right thing to do) As someone who has raised over a million dollars for various organizations (The CAMH foundation in support of reconstruction of their facilities, the National Ballet of Canada, & other non-profits) I’ll be more than happy to help you in your own endeavours. You can even ask me to do some fundraising on your behalf, if you wish. The idea, again, is that if you’re going to use your resources to invest in our writers, I am going to help you in return with my time & my skills.

If you do choose to become a monthly donor, ask me about this, and we’ll put together a package for you of fundraising consulting services, in return for your monthly contribution.

Thank you so much for being a part of this initiative. It’s a good thing when we are there for each other, friends. Let this be the start of building something beautiful together.

Strength to you,

Rahim

Update: August 16th, 2019

We’re in the process of building a peer mentorship program that’ll employ trans writers & provide them the opportunity to teach workshops of their own design. I’ve also been setting up a new broadcasting studio where we can record podcasts/programs for trans folk (They do not have to be located in Toronto to be able to amplify their voice) The idea is to start building programs attached to the Fund where we hand over the tools to trans folk to create whatever they wish. I feel that if this Fund is to grow, we have to start branching out in various directions so that it’s not just about providing ongoing support, but providing ongoing opportunities on several levels for people to do the work they wish to do. A way to do this is to set up a studio here (which we already have the equipment for) and then provide things like the necessary software or microphones to anyone, regardless of where they are. If we can set up a network, it can also amplify the fundraisers or projects of individual writers (Anything that amplifies the voice is something I wish to happen) I’ll send out weekly reminders to our recipients to let them know that this opportunity is available.

While we’re doing this, I’ve asked the writers involved (& will let future recipients know) that if they wish to teach things like a workshop, there’s no reason why our organization can’t help in setting something up (renting or finding free space in their city so that they’re not worrying about the cost) I’d rather a writer have the opportunity to work in their profession in any capacity they feel good about. If we are able to compensate the writer for teaching that workshop, the cost isn’t passed on to those participating/signing up. If we can grow to the point where we can fund not only writers, but projects and initiatives like this, we’re doing more than just simply being a Fund (We are capable of doing more, so we should) If a trans writer has an idea for a project, I want us to have the capacity to fund it. Again, I' will send out weekly reminders to our recipients to let them know this opportunity is available.

It’s also why in the next month or two, forming an advisory council/board to manage the funds made up of trans folk is an imperative. This way, I can focus on acquiring the resources to do this, and we’re involving more voices in how things grow. I want to be able to make sure that by the end of the year, we’re balancing payouts so that recipients receive the same amount, & receive extra compensation. It’ll be up to the board to make these kinds of decisions, but I want to be able to provide the resources so that it’s an option.

If you wish to speak with me about it before you make a contribution, please email me, & I’ll have the details about what we’ll be doing posted here soon.

Update: August 19th, 2019

We will be building a podcast network & set up writing/mentoring workshops across Canada (I’ve asked all recipients to provide a list of places they feel would be best to host workshops in their cities) Amplifying voices & setting up paid teaching opportunities seems like a logical next step, so support is crucial to build this network. Workshops will be fully accessible & have sign language accompaniment (podcasts will be transcribed in text & sign language video) We also need a list of friendly spaces across Canada available to host these endeavours, & recipients know that we’re here to amplify their work and not hold any of the rights to whatever content they produce (Technical equipment or software as donations are great as I want to be able to set everyone up with their own mini-studio) I want to make sure that anyone teaching a workshop is compensated properly, & I’ll be speaking with the CRA to make sure that we proceed in a way that is fair & beneficial to our writers. I’ve also let them know that they’re not obligated to do any of this, but if they have a project they’d like to receive a little funding for, the Fund can help with that.

If you do make a contribution (be it one-time or monthly) and want your donation to be directed to either path, please let me know when I get in touch with you (I'll be able to write people back soon) Keep spreading the word, and amplify the fundraiser if you are able, & if you have questions before you make a contribution, email me at rahim@shootforthemoon.art.

Amount Raised (As of August 1st, 2019)

$7175.00

List of Contributors:

Rahim Ladha - $2000.00 (Ongoing)

Kim Pittaway - $100.00 (Ongoing)

Annick MacAskill - $40.00

Michael Melgaard - $50.00

Yilin Wang - $20.00

Lori O’Hara-Hoke - $30.00

Gwen Benaway - $100.00

Renee A McTavish - $30.00

Katalina Murrie - $20.00

Alexander Manley - $50.00

Bill Hanlon - $50.00

Anonymous - $500.00

Dr. A W Peet - $250.00 (ongoing)

Sarah Dowling - $50.00 (ongoing)

Derek Denis - $50.00

Aven McMaster - $20.00

Loretta Colton - $70.00 (Ongoing)

Amanda Earl - $20.00

Chelsea Braun - $100.00

Jenny L Ferguson - $20.00

Anonymous - $200.00

Heather Smyth - $100.00

Cathleen With - $100.00

A.H. Reaume - $500.00 (Ongoing)

June Scudeler - $100.00

Hsien Chong Tan - $125.00 (Ongoing)

Kat Grey - $50.00

Hazel Jane Plante - $100.00

Patricia Salah - $100.00

Nikki Zawadzki - $100.00

Melissa Boiko - $10.00

Soraya Gallant - $30.00

Dominik Parisien - $25.00

Marjorie Stintzi - $250.00

Chimedum Ohaegbu - $100.00 (Ongoing)

Meagan Black - $100.00

Tamara Jong - $20.00

Libe Garcia Zarranz - $100.00

Justin Ling - $100.00

Massy Books - $100.00

Mary Davies - $50.00

Deborah Reeves - $20.00

Ian Linkletter - $25.00

Anonymous - $20.00

Anonymous - $100.00

Jane Shi - $30.00

Aaron Kreuter - $100.00

John Elizabeth Stintzi - $30.00

Heather Joan Tam - $20.00

Tania De Rozario - $50.00

Nikki Shaffeeullah - $50.00

Sarah McCullough - $50.00

Linda Trinh - $30.00

Kathryn Mockler - $30.00

Danny Ramadan - $20.00

Anonymous - $50.00

Eugenia Zuroski - $40.00

Marika Prokosh - $50.00

Claire Kelly - $45.00 (Ongoing)

Denise Balkissoon - $50.00

Kelly Aiello - $40.00 (Ongoing)

Anonymous - $100.00

Andrew McArthur - $150.00

Carrie Jenkins - $100.00

Anonymous - $25.00

Zoe Imani Sharpe - $20.00

Aja Moore - $100.00

(Note: Ongoing means part or all of their contribution is on a monthly basis)

Recipients:

Kiera J. Anderson - $100.00 per week indefinitely

Sebastian Yūe - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Arielle Twist - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Anonymous - $50.00 to $100.00 per month definitely

Jaye Simpson - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Anonymous - $50.00 per week indefinitely

Eli Tareq Lynch - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Hazel Nightengale - $30.00 to $50.00 per month indefinitely

Rani Banerjee - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Beni Xiao - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Anonymous - $25.00 per week indefinitely

Tash McAdam - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

Swapna Krishnamurthi - $50.00 to $100 per month indefinitely

RJ Lloyd - $50.00 to $100.00 per month indefinitely

(More to be announced)

Amount Presently Being Paid Out To Writers (over a 12 month period)

Weekly:

$9100.00

Monthly:

$5760.00 to $11,400.00

Total Funds Required At The Moment:

$14,860.00 to $20,500.00

Note:

The amounts you see here are the monies we’ve committed to writers over a one-year period, since at the moment we’re doing weekly/monthly payouts. The total amount is what we are owing to the writers, while the amount raised is what we have available. At the moment, for the commitments we’ve made, we haven’t raised enough for the commitments we’ve made, but fortunately with weekly/monthly payments, we have time to continue to raise funds & hopefully be able to level the amounts on a consistent basis of what we take in, and what we pay out.