Rural QTBIPOC/LGBTQ+ Mutual Aid Fund - A Pandemic Relief Fund of Out in the Open
A mutual aid relief fund for rural QTBIPOC/LGBTQ+ folks prioritizing those who live at the intersections of these identities, living in Southern Vermont, elsewhere in Vermont, Southwestern New Hampshire, and the rest of New England.

This Mutual Aid Fund will distribute money to LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer+) folks, prioritizing applicants who are QTBIPOC folks (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color). Additional priority will be given to those who live at the intersections of systematically oppressed experiences & identities.

**Click next to fill out the request form.**

If you have any questions and/or would like support filling out this form please email eva@weareoutintheopen.org or call 513-600-0580.
Email address *
Art work by Monica Trinidad
Why this fund; why now?
For folks who are part of our QTBIPOC/LGBTQ+ community: we see you and we love you. In addition to everything below, we know we also have times of great joy and celebration stemming from our queer and trans identities. We will find those times again. And we're hopeful that support from this Fund can help us all get there. Additionally, if you need non-monetary support, you can find that through our Rural Queer Community Care Network by emailing Eva (eva@weareoutinthopen.org).

COVID-19 has deeply affected all of us in nearly every aspect of our lives. And as with most things, those impacts can look different in our rural communities and small towns. Hospitals in rural areas have been closing at a rapid rate. 2019 was a record year for rural hospital closures and this situation (even before COVID) was only projected to get worse. We have essentially no public transportation to speak of (not that public transit is safe these days anyway). And can be very isolated, often as the only queer or trans folks that we know of in our town or county. Additionally, we are seeing housing prices increase significantly and are feeling the crush of those with access to wealth fleeing more densely populated areas because Vermont (and other rural areas) have been positioning themselves as havens from this virus.

This can create even more challenges for those of us living in rural areas whose economies are heavily reliant on tourism dollars holding up our communities (which is so many of us). While we need that money coming in in the short-term, in the long-term we’re being priced out of our communities and are increasingly likely to have less access to much-needed resources (like dentists, doctors, high-quality affordable childcare, housing, etc.) that are already in short supply during non-pandemic times.

We are in solidarity with our siblings who are struggling in cities! We need to be together in this fight against fascism, racism, and wealth hoarding that contributed to this situation in the first place.

We know that rural LGBTQ+ folks in our community who are Black, brown and people of color are being more deeply affected by this virus on top of the other daily oppressions they were living with from pre-pandemic times, due to a centuries-long arc of systemic racism. Here in Vermont, Black folks are about 2% of the overall population and currently make up 7% of those with positive cases of COVID. Systemic racism and white supremacy are the reason. And are also the reason why we are prioritizing QTBIPOC for receipt of the support from this Fund.

Our LGBTQ+ community on the whole, as compared to our straight and cis siblings, experiences higher rates of poverty; fewer of us have an existing relationship with a primary care provider so are less able to access care if we need it during COVID; may not be in contact with our families of origin and/or may have less support where we are quarantined presently; and more.

We want to make sure that as many of us as possible make it through this time in order to keep fighting together long into the future. We have been inspired and supported by many mutual aid funds started over the past many months.*

Join us in requesting support from this fund if that is what you need. Join us in supporting community if you are able (not that those are mutually exclusive! You can both need and give support at the same time).

*Individuals and organizations who we have taken inspiration and support from in creating the language and systems for this mutual aid fund: Ijeoma Oluo's efforts to support her community of fellow artists in Seattle, Amita Swadhin organizer of COVID-19 Relief Fund For LGBTQI+ BIPOC, SisTers PGH COVID-19 LGBTQIA Emergency Relief Fund, The Root Social Justice Center’s Mutual Aid Support Network, and Dr. tara jae and YouthSeen in Colorado’s efforts to support QTBIPOC folks.
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