Black trans-led mutual aid initiative, For the Gworls, recently announced that it has raised and redistributed over $1 mil in the past year and a half. The group was founded in 2019 by Asanni Armon, with the intent of fundraising for two friends facing eviction. Now the programme raised $595,377 toward rental assistance, $460,866 toward gender-affirming surgery, and $53,058 toward critical medical needs. As of July 2020, For the Gworls has distributed $252,000 to vulnerable individuals.
Armon said in an Instagram post: “$1.1 million. If you would’ve told me that at 25, not only would I have touched a million dollars, but that I also would’ve given it away, I would’ve cackled. If you would’ve told me hundreds of thousands of folks would trust me with a million dollars to help people, I wouldn’t have been able to comprehend it. I’m grateful. Eternally thankful. I couldn’t have done this without my team.”
Black trans people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a 2020 survey from the Human Rights Campaign finding 31% of black queer and trans respondents had their hours cut as a result of Covid-19. A further 18% lost their jobs. Armon highlighted the need for the black trans community to receive greater support: “We are the ones left without insurance when we need it just as much as others. We are the ones left homeless and with very few fail-safes when we need help just as much as others. We are the ones being thrown in prison cells irrespective of our gender. We are also being killed in the middle of the street, in our homes, in jail cells – not just black cis people.”