Meet the Irish micro-communities providing vital support services to trans and queer POC amid COVID-19

In response to the lockdown, Small Trans Library are bringing the community together to help raise funds for trans people facing financial uncertainty.

trans support

Small Trans Library have set up a grocery and supply fund initiative to support trans people in Ireland who have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Many people face uncertain financial situations due to the closure of spaces and restrictions on freelance work. In response to this, LGBT+ groups have been establishing fundraising campaigns as a way of helping out with everyday necessities. 

A volunteer librarian in the Small Trans Library, Kate Kiernan, has been working with the Dublin branch for seven years. She described how the fund came about, “The library is a community resource for trans people, and we felt a community fund for groceries, medical expenses, and household bills during the COVID-19 crisis would be a natural extension of the work we already do.”

Kiernan further shared, “A focus on directly providing trans people resources, rather than attempting to build anything institutional, is at the core of what the library is, whether those resources consist in regular reading groups, workshops, a lending library, or a fund of this kind.” 

Since launching the fund, the Library has received enormous support for the initiative, enabling them to redistribute approximately 3000 across their branches in Ireland and Scotland. Kiernan described the response as “fabulous. We’ve had a steady stream of donations right up to Trans Day of Visibility, though they have lessened since, and we have been able to redistribute, in Ireland, over €1600 to trans people in need.”

Similar to Small Trans Library, LGBT+ group, Origins Eile, have established fundraising campaigns to support queer people of colour during lockdown. On their fundraiser page, they write, “Origins Eile is mobilising to secure much needed resources and assistance for Ireland’s QTIPOC community – one that is, and will continue to be disproportionately affected by the ongoing lockdown and future economic fallout.”

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OE Reads! Our book of the month is This Hotel Life by Melatu Uche Okorie This Hostel Life tells the stories of migrant women in a hidden Ireland. From a day in the life of women queuing for basic supplies in an Irish direct provision hostel to a young black woman’s depiction of everyday racism in Ireland, her nuanced writing shines a light on the injustice of the direct provision system and on the insidious racism experienced by migrant women living in Ireland. A third story, set in a Nigeria of the past, tells of a woman’s life destroyed by an ancient superstition and her fierce determination to carry on. 📚📚📚 We’ve got some borrowed copies for QTIPOC if you need them please holla at us! You can also purchase the book at a super affordable price from @skeinpress website for €7

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Origins Eile further state, “Beyond the current situation, there is also much uncertainty with regard to the long term economic impact caused by the global crisis.”

These crucial fundraising campaigns are going towards financially helping queer people facing difficult times amid COVID-19. Donations will assist towards the delivery of groceries, access to medication, and assistance with rent and bills. 

Kiernan highlighted how people can support the Small Trans Library fund, “The best way to support the library is, speaking personally, to be open, free gay people committed to liberation and to one another. If you are trans, and want to know about the library, get in touch with us. If you are cis and LGB+, well one gay is as good as another in my opinion, you can donate, talk to us, help us build community.”

The librarian also said, “I would also strongly recommend looking into the fund currently being organised by Origins Eile for QTIPOC in Ireland. Check out their Instagram to get a link to that fund.”

If you would like to help support these vital campaigns, the link for the Trans Small Library can be found by clicking on this link. And just click here for the link of Origins Eile’s fundraiser

Small Trans Library has also given some great trans authored books to check out during lockdown. Kiernan shared the following, “Siofra recommends The Faggots and their Friends After the Revolution, which they describe as ‘life-changing and moving’.”

The librarian added, “James recommends The Bride Was a Boy, a manga which he describes as ‘sweet, inclusive, and optimistic’, and I recommend Jamie Berrout’s Portland Diary, which is an incredible book of short stories. You can check out our entire catalogue at smalltranslibrary.org.”

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