Transgender people have always existed and will always exist in the Northwest. If the ultimate goal of our CARE Department is to fuel a Northwest inhospitable to harm directed at LGBTQ+ communities, then our TRANSform Culture program is our unapologetic commitment to Transgender+ individuals and communities in the service of that goal.
The TRANSform Culture Program supports the brilliant and dedicated organizations and leaders working to meet the needs of BIPOC Transgender, Two-Spirit, Nonbinary, and Intersex Northwesterners. What has crystalized as the TRANSform Culture program has evolved and shifted over the years, but what has remained central is the belief that all Transgender+ people should be able to live openly as our whole selves, and to live free and well from discrimination and violence.
Origins of the TRANSform Culture Program:
In 2016, Pride Foundation was invited to join a community coalition called TRANSform WA, a public education campaign that successfully was able to defeat Ballot Initiative I-1551 (an anti-Trans Bathroom Bill).
With the defeat of I-1552, the TRANSform WA campaign evolved into the TRANSform Culture program, now housed at Pride Foundation, with a new broader focus to work across the Northwest.
In 2021 and 2022, the TRANSform Culture experimented with launching a community advisory body called the Village Council, consisting of BIPOC Trans, Nonbinary, Intersex, and Two-Spirit Northwesterners. We are indebted to council member Ganesha Gold Buffalo for the idea of a Village Council.
In 2022, with the hiring of an inaugural Director for the Department of CARE, the TRANSform Culture program was restructured to better clarify the narrative and power-building elements of the work. In 2023, it became an integral program within the Department of CARE.
What is the TRANSform Culture Program:
The TRANSform Culture program consists of a fellowship project (the TRANSform Culture Fellowship), and alumni network project (the reimagined Village Council), and broader narrative work honoring and unapologetically centering BIPOC Transgender, Nonbinary, Intersex, and Two-Spirit knowledge and livelihoods in the Northwest.
The Goals of the TRANSform Culture Program are:
- To increase awareness and celebration of gender diversity in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington
- To promote research and action regarding the specific needs of and societal contributions made by BIPOC Transgender, Nonbinary, Intersex, and Two-Spirit Pacific Northwesterners
- To develop a network of solidarity and support between BIPOC Transgender, Nonbinary, Intersex, and Two Specific Pacific Northwesterners and those who share those identities beyond the Northwest
The TRANSform Culture Fellowship Project:
In 2023, we officially launched the inaugural cohort of the fellowship with two representatives from each of the 5 states that Pride Foundation serves. Following the inaugural cohort, this fellowship will move forward through an open application process each spring. This inaugural cohort will work with the Director of CARE to identify eligibility criteria for the next cycle and this process will be repeated with each subsequent cohort.
The goals of the TRANSform Culture Fellowship Project are to:
- Financially and professionally support the leadership of individual BIPOC Transgender, Nonbinary, Intersex, and Two-Spirit Pacific Northwesterners
- Increase the number of stories collected by and for Two-Spirit, Transgender, Nonbinary, and Intersex folks in the Pacific Northwest
- Create a network of BIPOC Two-Spirit, Transgender, Nonbinary, and Intersex leaders across the Pacific Northwest
The Inaugural 2023-2024 TRANSform Culture Fellows:
- MoHagani Magnetek (she/her), Fairbanks, AK
- T MO (they/them), Juneau, AK
- Aodhàn Crawford (they/he/she), Boise, ID
- Brandon Connolly (he/him), Idaho Falls, ID
- Mija (they/them), Missoula, MT
- Delaiah Robinson (they/them), Missoula, MT
- Úmi Vera (she/her), Hillsboro, OR
- JJ (they/them), Portland, OR
- Jesse Guecha (they/he/she), Tacoma, WA
- Mattie Mooney (they/them), Tacoma, WA
TRANSform Culture Village Council Project
Our Village Council is under development and will continue to grow with each cycle of the TRANSform Culture Fellowship. The purposes of the Village Council is to further invest and co-conspire with fellowship alumni and to organize and mobilize a network of Transgender, Two-Spirit, Nonbinary, and Intersex Northwesterners for transformative work.
Stay tuned for more updates about this exciting alumni and coalition project.
We are actively recruiting storytellers who are BIPOC intersex, nonbinary, transgender, Two-Spirit, and non-cisgender. This is a paid opportunity to take part in our work to transform culture across the Northwest. Please reach out to Director of CARE, Omni (they/them), if you’re interested in sharing your story!
Testimonial: “As part of the Village Council guiding TRANSform Culture, being able to be part of a multi-generational group where I can sit across from an Indigenous elder, a Black trans femme activist, a Fa’afafine fellow organizer—having that beautiful blend of people and experiences, has really stood out for me.”