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Issue 17 Out Now

Don't Forget About Us

In the pandemic, GoFundMe has been a way to quickly amass money for various causes and people. One particular use for this platform has been for black trans folk to gain money for surgeries, hormone treatments, relocation, and therapy.

The number of black trans folk that meet their goals within the first couple of months of making the initial GoFundMe post is slim. Posts for people like a Starbucks Barista, who went viral after an encounter with a woman who would not wear a mask met their goal and then some within the first month (Morales 2020). It has shown to take upwards of three months to get even half of the amount of money raised, and not everyone meets their goals. Most black trans folk that aren’t social media stars have had posts up for more than 5 months and haven’t even reached half of what they’re asking. The support coming in for black trans people has become likes, retweets, and hashtags to boost the individuals in need. While this does cast a wide net across social media platforms making people aware, it also doesn’t make everyone reposting and liking an ally of that person or black trans people. The amount of attention these posts get from popular black social media accounts make it seem like the people in need are getting help. Often time this is not the case. The cries for help get broadcasted to followers to make everyone feel like they are rallying for black trans people. Yet this broadcast feels empty when the amount of money donated and raised doesn’t match the people who talk about helping black trans people. While boosting those in need, this broadcast has also become a way to stay trendy with what is popular right now: being an ally for black trans people. This performative activism on social media gives those in need a false hope that asking on GoFundMe will be all they need to do to gain money for their wellbeing. This false hope is dangerous for the black trans folk that live in abusive and unsupportive households leaving them stuck in their situation without the means to move. Not only does this false hope affect those still living in abusive and unsupportive households. This also affects the black trans folk who need stability from leaving their homes and those who need to pay for surgeries to look and feel like who they are and can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars that insurance won’t cover. According to verywellhealth.com the cost for gender reassignment can exceed $100,000 in the US. (Whitlock,2020) The support on social media for black trans women on GoFundMe has been largely talked about since the recent rise in people standing with the black community through questionable means. In all of this activism, boosting black trans people has become highly performative, leaving them without their means for survival and again without the help they deserve. References: Morales, Christina. “Starbucks Barista Gets $87,000 in Donations After Customer’s Mask Complaint.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 June 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/06/27/business/starbucks-barista-mask-gofundme.html. Jennifer Whitlock, RN. “Gender Confirmation Surgery: Formerly Known As Sex Reassignment Surgery.” Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 13 Dec. 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/sex-reassignment-surgery-srs-3157235#paying-for-gender-confirmation-surgery. Mere, Kaydence De. “Kaydence’s Gender and Life Affirming Fund, Organized by Kaydence De Mere.” Gofundme.com, 6 Oct. 2020, www.gofundme.com/f/kaydence039s-gender-and-life-affirming-fund.


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