Every November, we honor our communities by observing Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience, and the following week, we engage our own values in considering "Thanksgiving". ALP was founded in response to the public health crises facing LGBTSTGNC people of color, and in this moment, we are reminded of the ongoing amplified assault of the settler colonial state on non-white marginalized bodies as COVID rages in its second wave.
While the country celebrated gratitude, we may have been meditating on whose stolen land we are on, and how legacies of violent expansion have impacted our own ancestral narratives and current well-being. We may have been mourning the escalation of murdered trans and gender non-conforming people, considering the fact that this rate of violence has almost than doubled since 2019. We may have been considering how white supremacist governments erased the cultures of African and Indigenous peoples who were slaughtered and subjected to enslavement, forced migrations, family separations, intentional exposure to decimating diseases, and the ways these legacies continue as the ongoing murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and the assault on Black Lives. These early actions were justified by the doctrine of discovery, which regarded Black and Indigenous bodies as having half of a soul. The doctrine gave settlers permission to enslave African and Indigenous people, for Christian expansion, and it allowed them to kill Indigenous people who resisted conversion in order to steal their land.
The occupied land that ALP inhabits is Lenapehoking. Their system of governance was a participatory democracy, with leaders called "Sachems", persuasive community representatives who would come together for collective decision-making. As we navigate our own sense of power as an organization, in this moment, it's imperative to critically examine our location in history, geography, and sustainable community practice, in a time of organizational expansion. Our hiring processes are yielding promising new futures, and we are imagining best possible scenarios for expanding consciously, keeping centered principles for sharing power and holding space for more voices.
After 4 years of overt mass-media white supremacy being normalized around us, we cannot let momentary relief move us away from working to achieve a vision of compassionate justice, or the necessity to stay critical in the midst of the illusion of relief. As we move through this holiday season, we hope you are all staying true to your own senses of family and are able to find comfort and relief in community and ritual, even in these isolating conditions.
With Love and Respect,