Cw: Abuse mention, no detail. Mental health
I’m striking out on my own to work on a dream I’ve had for over two years now. I’m creating a grassroots organization that collects reparations for Black MaGes with a trans first mission. I’m hoping that with this project, I’m able to get the reparations Black trans people deserve. The ultimate goal however is that I hope to create a Black trans safe house, maybe even something closer to a commune. I have spent more time daydreaming about this than anything else. Rooms for shelter, a swap closet for gender affirming clothing, an open kitchen for food and weekly house meals. A garden to work on sustainable food. Regular peer support groups to make mental health care as accessible as possible. The WORKS.
I remember when I finally ended my cycle of abuse that included 4 back to back domestic violent partner relationships. I wished the world could stop. That I didn’t have to work to just focus on healing, and just be loved and cared for. I was very fortunate my grandma let me stay with her so I could collect finances over a year to get an apartment for my own and not be in another vulnerable housing situation that helped perpetuate that cycle. And although I still had to work, that year truly changed my life. But not everybody has a grandma, or any family member that could or would allow them to do that. And even then, I still had to work which seemed to be one of my greatest set backs for my healing.
When I did finally move out, I considered moving out of state, and tried to find and emotional half way house. A sort of domestic violence rehab. There’s many mental health institutions that are used as last resorts, trife with ableism, misogynoir, transantagonism, and just flat out not a place of healing. Just a place to almost force survival. Basically a prison until you “feel better” enough to be considered safe. But it doesn’t actually promote healing.
I realized there’s a huge gap missing. That I needed something BEFORE a last resort. I needed something that promoted healing, not white rooms and systemic oppression. I needed an emotional rehab center that would help me in ending my cycle of abuse, and took care of my needs so I could stop working to focus full time on my healing without dealing with capitalism and the oppression it brings working in the service industry.
And so….the House of Liberosis. While it is not the first house of this kind, to my knowledge it is the first official one specifically for Black trans people. I know there are houses across the country where Black trans people have come together as chosen families and collaborated on survival. But not everybody has family, chosen or otherwise. But there’s a lot of MaGes who need time to thoroughly heal. Harriet Tubman’s famous quote “If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” and MaGes are experts in Keeping Going. But they deserve a taste of freedom along the way to remember why we keep going. That it does and can get better. That they are loved and deserve that time to heal. That their worth isn’t solely in working or being able to sustain themselves, but is so much more than this country and it’s capitalism has shown us. They deserve rest, and to be taken care of.
It’s an ambitious project. One that always felt too overwhelming to talk about beyond my imagination. But there’s no time to lose. And it’s all I can think about, and there’s Black MaGes lives at stake. If I can make this happen….how beautiful and amazing. What an honor to play a small part in somebody’s road to healing. To be a rest stop that prevents more abuse happening to them as best as possible. If it helps even one person from experiencing the abuse I resonate with….that’s worth it. And I hope to help many more.
So…help me out? I need people that can fund raise and write grants to get funding for this project started. And I need cis/white people who can help as a form of reparations so we can pay any Black MaGes that help with this work. And any privilege leveraging you can manage to make this happen, whether it’s a monthly contribution, one time gift, labor, or spreading the word, it’s all so important. Dire even. And I hope you’ll join me anyway you can to make this happen