It is with profound sadness that we learned of Queers for Economic Justice’s decision to close, based on the funding climate. The closing of QEJ is an incredible loss for social justice and queer liberation movements. As we mark this moment in time, we would like to uplift QEJ’s legacy of centering the needs, experiences and voices of queer people living in poverty.
As political comrades and friends of QEJ, we have all collectively held an unprecedented community movement space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Transgender and Gender Non Conforming (LGBTSTGNC) and Queer Folks of Color and allies in our building, affectionately known as 147, and most recently named the Miss Major Jay Toole Building for Social Justice (MMJT) for the past four years. With QEJ we have shared the political necessity of our collective values, analysis and vision for the world that embraces homeless, working class communities, people with disabilities, immigrant, displaced, jobless, incarcerated, policed, youth, elder, queer, TransGNC Two Spirit Lesbian Gay Bisexual People of Color in New York and beyond.
We have all benefited from and stand in solidarity with QEJ's principled, ground breaking, innovative and risk taking anti-capitalist agenda. QEJ held bold spaces with love and care for our communities, and inspired us to stand in the truth of our experiences in order to work towards dismantling and disrupting preconceived notions of “equality” advanced by the mainstream LGBT movement that did not challenge or seek to dismantle capitalism and economic injustice, but instead maintain the status quo.
Even now, we are moved by QEJ’s courage in making such a difficult decision in the face of the adversities of a political and economic climate that still considers us expendable and unworthy of livelihood, safety and dignity. We look forward to celebrating and honoring QEJ, as it closes, to lift up its many achievements and contributions to our movements and our communities. But that is not enough. We are committed to upholding QEJ's vision and work through our respective organizations and communities until all our collective work is done.
We send our deepest love and gratitude to QEJ for their righteous legacy and all that they have invested and built towards our collective liberation. Our work moving forward as MMJT is not to dwell on why this happened. Our role moving forward is to work towards transforming our movements, our resources, our funders and our strategies in order to interrupt this cycle of devaluation of our political work, our movements and our comrades.
With love, appreciation, and deepest gratitude to QEJ for all your years of work and contributions to our communities, our analysis and our visions for the future. We shall continue to live your legacy.
Streetwise And Safe (SAS)
Audre Lorde Project (ALP)
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)