In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st, Ariana Grande partnered with Pledge to raise awareness for transgender people, and to support 18 different organizations that provide direct services to trans youth. Several of these nonprofits also advocate for the rights of transgender youth in states currently targeted by anti-trans policies, and their work is essential for the preservation of human rights and the creation of a safe society where trans people can live freely.
So far, over $672,000 from over 5,300 individuals has been raised for the Protect & Defend Trans Youth Fund, to which Ariana herself has pledged to match up to $1.5 million. She has also continued to support the campaign by sharing with her social media community, encompassing more than 300 million followers on Instagram alone.
With several pieces of legislation and legal actions leaving trans youth in vulnerable positions in America, it’s now more important than ever to raise awareness and support for trans people, their families, and communities. Many transgender youth communities are in jeopardy of losing their voices to share their stories, empower others and have spaces that they can be comfortable in.
We want to give a special thanks to Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender rights, for selecting several nonprofits to benefit through Ariana’s fundraiser supporting transgender youth communities. Chase’s work includes impact litigation, as well as legislative and administration advocacy, on behalf of LGBTQ+ people across the United States. In addition, Strangio assisted in organizing the second annual Trans Week of Visibility and Action that aims to support marginalized communities across the country in building solidarity and momentum in the fight for trans rights and protections.
In addition to this great work, Chase joined Pledge and our co-host Shira Lazar for our first Twitter Space which was a powerful and positive virtual event including a variety of leaders for transgender rights. Check out the recording to hear the impactful testimony that many of these leaders shared.
Here are a few of the incredible nonprofit beneficiaries of Ariana’s Protect & Defend Trans Youth Fund that we would like to highlight:
The Knights & Orchids Society (TKO Society): TKO was founded in 2012 by Quentin and Jennine Bell. In 2017, TKO became the first and only AIDS Service Organization (ASO) and STD/STI clinic in the state of Alabama founded and led by Black Trans and LGBQT+ people. Their mission is to build the power of transgender, lesbian, bisexual, and gay people across the south by providing a spectrum of health and wellness services.
Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT): An organization dedicated to furthering gender diverse equality in Texas. They work to accomplish this through education and networking in both public and private forums. They are a community of people serving the communities they represent. Through their efforts they strive to halt discrimination through social, legislative, and corporate education.
JASMYN: An organization that supports LGBTQ young people by creating safe space, providing health and wholeness services, and offering youth development opportunities, while bringing people and resources together to promote equality and human rights. JASMYN partners with organizations across Northeast Florida to accommodate the needs of LGBTQ youth. They refer or introduce young people to other providers for services in the community such as primary care, behavioral health counseling, and shelter.
Zebra Coalition: The mission of Zebra Coalition is to support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth. Zebra Coalition is a network of organizations, which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13-24. The Coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.
House of Tulip: Their mission is to raise funds and restore a multi-family property in an area of New Orleans that’s accessible to health care and employment opportunities. This will be their pilot permanent housing campus, and it will house up to 10 TGNC people at a time. In addition, they are working to acquire a separate space that can serve as a community center where TGNC people can safely access social safety net navigation, community programming, a hot meal, a shower, or a safe place to just hang out or do schoolwork.
Pledge is honored to power this campaign in partnership with Ariana Grande for International Transgender Day of Visibility as this day marks an important time of awareness that continues beyond a single day. The countless weeks, months and years that go into impacting the lives of trans youth and providing opportunities for them to thrive in their communities does not go unnoticed. We support all of the Protect & Defend Youth Fund nonprofits for their dedicated work in advocating, nurturing and giving life-changing programs for trans youth!
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