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Grassroots Wisdom Book

Queer in the Land

Queer the Land is a Seattle-based housing collective confronting the displacement of BlPOC queer communities in Washington state. Credit: Queer the Land

Pride Month comes and goes, but the work to support the LGBTQ+ community isn't. Zanetta Jones, in her Sharable Article from June 7, 2022, notes that "in 29 of our 50 states, LGBTQ+ people still lack comprehensive legal protections against discrimination in housing, healthcare, and employment. Lack of safe, affordable housing is particularly evident in our country’s queer youth population, who face a risk of homelessness that is 120 times that of their straight counterparts." Jones' article shares stories of seven groups that seek to alleviate the housing and support shortages experienced by the LGBTQ+ community in the United States due to discrimination. In this story, we'll highlight two of them.

Seattle's Queer in the Land organization, founded in 2016 through the collaboration of Building Autonomy and Safety for Everybody and the Queer & Trans Pan-African Exchange, two local queer, transgender, and Two-Spirit Black/Indigenous/people of color (QT2BIPOC) groups, seeks to collectively purchase land, create an income-generating program, establish a community and organizational hub for activism, and provide temporary housing for working-class QT2BIPOC people from the Seattle area. Just think what can happen when people pull together!

In Chicago, the Center on Halstead emphasizes services and activities for the LGBTQ+ community, including HIV testing, vocational training, and therapy on the service end, and activities such as cooking, dance, and volleyball. Over 1,000 community members, check-in daily to provide these opportunities. Center on Halstead serves as a central location for the creation and planning of other, related, organizations and pulls in programming from established local and national groups supportive of the LGBTQ+ cause. Central to their mission is the health and well-being of this community. How might your community build a welcoming space for your LBGTQ+ neighbors?



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