As we enter the swing of Pride month, I have been reflecting on what Pride means to me as a transgender woman living in a rural state. Living in North Dakota, as in many other rural states, can be incredibly isolating for LGBTQ+ individuals. In the hostile political climate in which transgender, queer, and gender nonconforming current find themselves, this feeling of isolation carries the additional burden of fear for personal safety, economic stability, and the freedom to live an open and affirming life.
When I came out as transgender, I remember all-to-well the intense feeling of isolation and disconnection in my home state of Alabama. I remember the desperation of trying to navigate my transition while having little to no mentorship or support. For a long time I felt I was in a free-fall of emotional anguish, psychological stress, and identity crisis. This spiral resulted in an inevitable crash, and from this crash MyTransitionPartner was born.
My biggest challenge was knowing where to start, trying to understand who I was, and discerning what information on the internet was true and which was false. Navigating this path of transition was perilous indeed. I found strength in writing about my frustration and about the solutions and lessons I learned from my journey. In 2015, I decided to publish much of what I had written and compiled on my personal website in the form of resource pages. By the middle of 2016, my resource pages were getting an average of 300 views per day. Our entry into this new era of alt-facts and fear-based public policy pushed me to transform a pet project into a legitimate charity.
Pride, for me, is the bold confrontation of that unknown hideous strength which seeks to choke out the very flame of our beautiful and unique existence. Pride is the realization that in boldly accepting ourselves and our identity and reclaiming our narrative we become an even greater strength to rival even the vilest attacks on our dignity and worth as human beings. It is this pride which prompted me in December 2016, to take a major leap of faith and incorporate my website as a nonprofit community foundation.
Since officially launching to the public on Tuesday, I have received messages from transgender folk and their allies thanking me for this resource. A common theme has been "I wish I had this when I came out" and "thank you for giving me a place to send people when they come out to me." Wednesday, I attended a community meeting where many transgender people discussed how the expense of legal name changes makes being an authentic version of who they are very difficult. I was greatly moved by this especially in light of the fact that we will be rolling out five name change grants in July that will help transgender people in North Dakota move one step closer to the person they've always been.
All of this has been made possible by the generosity of our donors and and generosity of our volunteers. I want to especially praise the (now 8) people who give of their time and talents to the community a better place for transgender, queer, and gender nonconforming people. Because of their gift, we can give 85% of our donations back to the community.
And now, I am going to ask you to give back. In May, we surpassed last year's fundraising total of $2,500. In order to double our ability to help transgender people through our name change grants, we need to raise an additional $2,500 by the end of the summer. If everyone on our mailing list gave $50 today, we would more than amply surpass that goal.
Anyone can share a meme or video. Anyone can dance and celebrate at Pride. True pride, true allyship comes in recognizing where we have been, where we are, where we want to go, and what it will take for us to make it there. Living your pride or allyship is courageously joining in to help make it happen.
Will you live your pride and allyship with us this June?
Darcy J. Corbitt-Hall
President and CEO
•The first issue of Pathways has gone out. The next issue will be a full magazine publication, and should be released in August. Read Pathways at PathwaysMag.blog
•Justice Taylor has joined the Foundation as the Director of Publications and will serve as the Editor-in-Chief of our quarterly Magazine, Pathways
•Five name change grants have been funded. An additional $1,000 is needed to fund the remaining ten we wish to offer in 2017.[Donate]
•Summer Internship Program will begin on June 1.
•Becoming An Ally Full Training is being offered in June in partnership with St. Stephen’s Church in Fargo. [Learn more]
•Q2 Board Meeting is June 24, from 2-2:30. To join the call, contact us.
Who We Are
Darcy Jeda Corbitt Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity promoting the health and global wellbeing of transgender, queer, and gender nonconforming individuals. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by US Federal Tax Code.
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