Remaining Connected Through the Pandemic: Queers for a Cause

March 16, 2021

Photo courtesy of Queers for a Cause

Queers for a Cause, a fundraising organization based in New York, New York, is rooted in pride, community, and queer creation. Dana Perkiss and Tori LaFon premised the organization on inclusivity and a platform for all queer voices.

The Pride March in New York was canceled in June 2020, due to COVID-19, but Perkiss and LaFon sought to celebrate and bring queer people together safely.  

Perkiss and LaFon put together Party in the Park in Prospect park, an outdoor socially distant event with games, snacks, and music. The founders invited queer people all over NYC through dating apps, as well as their own friends and allies. 100% of donated proceeds at this event went to the Okra Project, which provides resources to Black trans youth and people who are in need all over the world. 

It was important to Perkiss and LaFon to use this platform to draw attention to and support the Black Lives Matter movement. The founders and close friends participated in, and continue to protest, the longstanding crisis of police abuse and racial injustice. The combination of protesting, marching, and direct action is a crucial part of Queers for a Causes’ mission. The organization continues to raise money and awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photo courtesy of Queers for a Cause

BLOG 

Queers for a Cause’s blog has grown from its start in mid-September 2020 to a lengthy database of queer experience in mid-March 2021. The blog features LGBTQ+ pieces, Organizations QC (Queers for a Cause) supports, queer media reviews, LGBTQ+ advice, and personal reflection pieces. Seven Misconceptions on Asexuality written by Naomi “Bez” Norbez and Puberty Blockers and the Myths of De-Transitioning ­by Madeline Stern are a few of the most recent pieces published in March 2021. The blog displays the richness, complexity, and true intersections of queer identity in all spaces.

 The founders, Perkiss and LaFon feature their own work on the blog and there are 8 other contributing writers on the team. Perkiss writes a bi-weekly Feature Fridays on local LGBTQ+ artists, creators, and influencers. The goal of Feature Friday is to spotlight local queer talent and give other queer folx inspiration and connections, “…especially because queer talent isn’t often featured in the mainstream spotlight,” Perkiss says.  

CAUSE OF THE MONTH 

Queers for a Cause chooses an LGBTQ+ or BLM organization each month to donate 50% of donations and list related resources. This month focuses on the Black Trans Travel Fund which was founded on June 28th, 2019 in New York. BTTF was founded by Devin Michael Lowe, “a Black, queer, transgender man who took the initiative to crowdfund for Black transgender women to receive paid car ride services in order to help prevent them from having to use public transportation and avoid possible harassment and/ or violence,” Perkiss writes. QC has a funding page where Black trans women can in New York or New Jersey can apply. 

March: Black Trans Travel Fund (BTTF)

February: Anti-Violence Project (AVP) 

January and December: Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (BTFA)

November: Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S.)The Stone Wall Protests and Designer and Activist Jason C. Peters, and New Alternatives 

October: Not Like Other Kids 

REEL QUEER: “Reel Stories. Reel Change. Reel Queer.” 

Photo courtesy of Queers for a Cause

Reel Queer Group dives into films- labeled as queer films or otherwise- to ask questions of homogeneity and heteronormative film plotlines.

“Too often, white, cisgender, heteronormative, able-bodied, and well-educated points of view are deemed the ideal standard. When you belong to a group that hasn’t received its share of creative power, different criteria for what makes a “good” movie can emerge,” LaFon writes. 

Increasing amounts of queer media has been included on major streaming platforms in 2020/2021, (The Boys in the Band, Feel Good,  I Care A Lot) with an emerging normalization of the queer narrative and existence in the wider society.

RQL reflects on the modern emergence of quality queer content and the not-so-great queer representations and welcomes it all in:“in the name of creating conversations, encouraging changes, and providing safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community, especially queer women, non-binary, and trans folx.”

QC hosts film screenings, trivia nights, and panels to discuss queer film and TV, “in the name of a little (mis?) representation,” writes LaFon. 

EVENTS

Queers for a Cause puts on events designed to be a space for all identities. “Ultimately, this is a platform for queer people,  for us. We don’t know what’s best for each part of our community, so we want to hear from everyone: what types of events do they want, what types of topics are they looking to hear about, and if anyone wants to submit their work,” Perkiss says. 

Events have mostly been virtual, such as game night, meditation, creative writing circle, and yoga.  Other events, hosted safely outside bring queer folx together for Party in the Park and Dance 4 Pants.

QC has mastered creating nearly every-day events that are inclusive, creative, and weave the ever-present thread of queer support.

March Event Schedule:

Photo courtesy of Queers for a Cause