As 2017 winds down, we are reflecting on the past year. It has been a scary and dangerous time for LGBTQIA+ people, and this 29th anniversary of World AIDS Day reminds us that we have been here before. At Q Center, what we see is our communities being resilient, connected and showing up for each other every day.
This year, our transgender communities have faced anti-trans legislation that threatens to roll back the victories we thought we had won. This year, our communities of color have seen white nationalism legitimized in the highest political office. Our immigrant and refugee families have been terrorized and torn apart. Asylum seekers are turned away and loved ones are swept up in ICE raids, and our Dreamers’ stability hangs in limbo. Poor people are getting poorer, more people are unhoused and our footholds to financial security are being systematically eroded.
This year we have also witnessed the strength and resiliency of our LGBTQIA+ communities. It’s there in daily drop-in visits, phone calls, volunteer shifts, and in the sustaining generosity of funders and donors. It’s there in our 30 peer-led support and recovery groups. It’s there in this year’s Brown Brunches, Trans ID Clinics, Meals on Wheels, Cabarets with Q, and Drag Queen Storytimes. It is there in wonderful new partnerships with Victim’s Rights Law Center, Portland United Against Hate, Village Coalition and SCRAP. It is there in how we simply keep showing up with and for each other: in fear, sorrow, joy, laughter, love, and compassion.
This year, our communities are holding each other closer and struggling harder. And in hundreds of small and large ways, we are growing into a powerful collective determination. Yes, we are moving through a storm. Yes, we will keep moving forward together.
That is our gratitude for 2017.
In connection, joy, and solidarity,
Q Center Staff & Board
p.s. See this week’s newsletter for a listing of events for World AIDS Day and other events coming up at Q Center in December–including the Trans Health and ID Clinic this Sunday and the Slips & Stitches 6th Annual Holiday Sale.