Give Back

Every month since March 2021, roughly 10% of my gross income has been reallocated toward community care. I’m including this information on my website not to boast, but because I value transparency and accountability.

This work is being done imperfectly through the framework of “solidarity, not charity,” which highlights the idea of showing up for each other in mutual aid and respect. 

Dean Spade writes his book, “Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And The Next)” about how mutual aid focuses on everyone indiscriminately, not just those deemed “worthy” of help.

“Being more engaged with the complex and painful realities we face, and with thoughtful, committed action alongside others for justice, feels much better than numbing out or making token, self-consoling charity gestures. It feels good to let our values guide every part of our lives.” – Dean Spade, “Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And The Next)”

As the founder of Youthphoria, I donated my time both as a photographer and organizer working with trans youth and raising $32,582 alongside the community over the course of two years. Additionally, I donate my time as the co-founder and co-host of Rainbow Connectionsan award-winning, monthly, virtual meetup for LGBTQIA+ kids and allies (K-5), in partnership with the Abington Township Public Library. I also volunteered weekly as a crisis counselor with The Trevor Project for six years.

Below is an ongoing list of the amount and percentage given per month, along with the organization or individual supported (receipts can be found on my “Give Back” Instagram stories for transparency).

2024

  • January 2024: N/A
  • February 2024: $511 (10%) to Ida’s Bookshop to help raise the seed money to secure the bookshop at its current location for another year.
  • March 2024: $292 toward Community Partnership School, an organization recommended by a client, which helps to provide affordable education for students in partnership with their community.
  • April 2024: $335 donated toward the development organization Heifer International on behalf of clients and an additional $702 to a brick-and-mortar LGBTQIA+ library in Boston, MA (QT library), totaling to $1,037 for the month.
  • May 2024: $690 toward a GoFundMe boosted by Theo Nash to help evacuate a family from Gaza into safety.
  • June 2024: $333 to Savage Sistersa non-profit providing trauma-informed recovery housing, harm reduction, outreach, and statewide education in Pennsylvaniain memory of Walter Baltra.

Totaling to $2,863 so far for 2024.

2023

  • January 2023: $265 (10%) to seven BIPOC individuals, with $38 payments for each, per mutual aid requests on Venmo.
  • February 2023: $286 (10%) to the GoFundMe of Erika Saunders, a Black single mother of two battling income, housing, and food insecurity.
  • March 2023: $727 (10%) to Gather Grounded Midwifery, a Black-owned birth cottage in the Powhatan & Monacan Territory of Midlothian, Virginia,
  • April 2023: $488 (10%) to Gender Reveal toward their grant and mutual aid programs, which distributed $25,100 in general mutual aid in 2023.
  • May 2023: $230 (10%) to Philadelphia Asian & Queer, a volunteer, social organization that strives to engage queer, Asian/Asian-American folks within the Greater Philadelphia area.
  • June 2023: $600 (10%) to Pearl & Fyre Wood, a Philly-based Black, trans stripper and drag entertainer and licensed hair stylist (and incredible human).
  • July 2023: $409 (10%) to The Tailored Collective, a group of textile artists committed to learning the Perfect Fit process and sharing that magic with every body.
  • August 2023: $287 (10%) to Jessica Saint’s GoFundMe, organized to support a vendor friend through her cancer diagnosis and rehoming.
  • September 2023: $151 (5%) to Storybook Maze, a radical street librarian focused on eliminating Baltimore’s book deserts and increasing access in the city.
  • October + November 2023: $262: (5%) to Sane in the Membrane’s Palestinian Mental Health Fund. Toward therapy sessions, which ensure Palestinians receive culturally adequate mental health support.
  • December 2023: $TBD (10%) toward Blue Stoop’s Reading Philly Fund. All of Blue Stoop’s classes have financial aid options, and among their applicants, 95% of those receiving aid are BIPOC and Queer writers. 70% of their teachers are BIPOC, but BIPOC-lead classes often attract students that need more financial aid to attend. Donations to Blue Stoop go directly toward implementing these new programs and closing the gap for BIPOC-lead classes.

Totaling to $3,705 for the year of 2023—$20,699 since formally starting a Give Back initiative in 2021.

2022

  • January 2022: $242 (10%) to SOL Collective in Philadelphia, a harm-reduction collective working to end the overdose crisis and support overdose prevention sites.
  • February 2022: $513 (10%) to The Transgender Education Network of Texas, dedicated to furthering gender-diverse equality in Texas through education and networking.
  • March 2022: $215 (10%) to Da’Shaun L. Harrison, a fat, Black, disabled, non-binary, trans, and Autistic educator, co-host of Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back, and author of Belly of the Beast.
  • April 2022: $445 (10%) to Philly Bailout toward #FreeBlackMamas, dedicated to bailing out Black women (cis and trans), gender non-conforming folk, and caregivers. 
  • May 2022: $663 (10%) to @AnaloguePapi aka Liam Woods, an incredible trans photographer and creative director based out of LA.
  • June 2022: $250 (10%) to Blue Stoop, where their mission is to support and nurture writers and readers from all walks of life in the Greater Philadelphia area.
  • July 2022: $825 (10%) to Mikael Garner of MG Photography for their trans photo series, offering 50 photo sessions free to Black and Brown trans and non-binary folks.
  • August 2022: $1,875 (10%) to CBTEL for their community pantry and Diyaspora Haus, a space of home and healing for Black, trans people in Philadelphia.
  • September 2022: $1,380(10%) divided three waystwo individuals via mutual aid and donations to Central Florida Mutual Aid Fund to support folks in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
  • October 2022: $580 (10%) split up into five payments of $116 toward five mutual aid requests.
  • November 2022: $367 (10%) to Chocolate Ballerina Companya contemporary community-based dance organization that supports artists of color in the Philadelphia region.
  • December 2022: $535 (10%) split between two different causes — a GoFundMe for a Fresh Start and TransSanta, delivering gifts to trans youth in need.

Totaling to $7,890 for the year of 2022.

2021

  • March 2021: $1,575 (20%) to Morris Home’s relocation program, supporting the trans and gender nonconforming community in Philadelphia.
  • April 2021: $1,397 (20%) to Red Canary Song, a grassroots collective of Asian sex workers and allies supporting decriminalization and migrant justice.
  • May 2021: $1,036 (20%) to No More Secrets, a Philadelphia organization that opened the nation’s first menstrual hub, “The SPOT Period,” in Germantown.
  • June 2021: $800 (20%) to Bebashi in Philadelphia, whose Trans Necessities Closet gives trans folks access to clothing, wigs, prosthetic breasts, binders, and other necessities.
  • July 2021: $482 (10%) to Harriett’s Bookshop, in support of them owning a permanent location for the new Home for Harriett’s in Fishtown.
  • August 2021: $921 (10%) to Black Doctor’s Consortium, which is dedicated to the education and advocacy for African Americans to reduce the incidence of disease and death from COVID-19. Additionally, $290 toward Youthphoria.
  • September 2021: $300 (10%) to my friend Jefferson Brown’s memorial and $368 to CBTEL, The Coalition for Black Trans Economic Liberation created for and by Black, transgender Philadelphians.
  • October 2021: $500 (10%) toward my friend’s gender affirming bottom surgery on GoFundMe. Additionally, $145 toward Youthphoria.
  • November 2021: $500 (40%) to Chocolate Ballerina Companya contemporary community-based dance organization that supports artists of color in the Philadelphia regionalong with a $90 ticket donation to pay-it-forward to a community member.
  • December 2021: $700 (10%) to 13 TranSanta participants, delivering gifts to trans youth in need, safely and anonymously.

Totaling to $9,104 for the year of 2021.

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