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Protecting Black Trans Life with Jaelynn Scott, Executive Director of Lavender Rights Project

Hacks & Wonks

Release Date: 12/05/2023

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More Episodes

On this Tuesday topical show, Crystal welcomes Jaelynn Scott, Executive Director of Lavender Rights Project, for a conversation about their intersectional work to protect Black trans femmes (and thereby all trans people) by focusing on housing justice, economic justice, and violence prevention.

Though our lawmakers have passed some protective legislation in what many consider a progressive state, Crystal and Jaelynn discuss how much more needs to be done to ensure the safety of Black trans people here in Washington. To that end, Jaelynn describes a King County Housing First initiative Lavender Rights Project is undertaking in conjunction with Chief Seattle Club to provide permanent supportive housing for trans people who don’t feel safe in shelter offered by traditional housing services agencies - the hope is to become a model for how similar support can be provided to other vulnerable communities across the country.

Crystal then notes the remarkable success of pilot after pilot of guaranteed income programs, and Jaelynn details the small program Lavender Rights Project has run over the last two years and its positive impact on participants. Finally, the two give a rundown of how to listen, step up, and take action - whether you’re a state legislator, a county or city official, or a concerned community member - to push back against anti-trans sentiment, hate, and fascism.

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.

Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find Jaelynn Scott and the Lavender Rights Project at @lavrights

 

Resources

Lavender Rights Project

 

The Combahee River Collective Statement

 

 “Introducing our New Mission: thoughts from Executive Director, Jaelynn Scott” | Lavender Rights Project

 

BREAKING: Lavender Rights Project and Chief Seattle Club opening permanent housing for QT2BIPOC in Fall 2023” | Lavender Rights Project

 

Here’s why the Lavender Rights Project, county officials, and Seattle’s mayor think this Capitol Hill apartment building is the right place to start a new approach to creating supportive housing and putting a real dent in the homelessness crisis” by Justin Carder from Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

 

Seattle's new 'Health through Housing' property to serve QT2BIPOC residents” by Erica Zucco from King5

 

 “This organization’s plan to provide housing for Black trans people in Seattle offers a much-needed glimmer of hope” by Naomi Ishisaka from The Seattle Times

 

Seattle Solidarity Budget: Basic Income Guarantee

 

Solidarity Budget presents: Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) panel discussion

 

Washington State Basic Income Feasibility Study | WA Department of Social and Health Services

 

Welcoming Cities Resolution | Seattle City Council

 

Seattle City Council reaffirms support for immigrants, refugees” by Daniel Beekman from The Seattle Times

 

Seattle ‘Welcoming City’ resolution includes plan for push back on federal orders” by Agatha Pacheco from The Seattle Globalist

 

Impact of Gender Affirming Care Bans On LGBTQ+ Adults | Human Rights Campaign

 

Majority of LGBTQ adults feel safety threatened by gender-affirming care bans: poll” by Brooke Migdon from The Hill

 

‘Kids Online Safety Act’ will ‘protect’ children from trans content, senator Marsha Blackburn admits” by Emily Chudy from Pink News 

 

We are family, too — A love letter to the Black community from your trans family | Lavender Rights Project

 

Transcript

[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review show and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.

Well, today I am excited to be joined by Jaelynn Scott, the Executive Director of Lavender Rights Project. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:02] Jaelynn Scott: Good to be with you.

[00:01:04] Crystal Fincher: Well, I'm excited to have this conversation - your reputation precedes you, Lavender Rights' reputation has been talked about. We just had a guest bring you up on the show the other day talking about what wonderful work you do - that was Dr. Ben Danielson. What is Lavender Rights Project and what brought you to this work?

[00:01:22] Jaelynn Scott: Oh my goodness, I love Dr. Danielson - I'm so glad he brought us up. So Lavender Rights Project is a Black trans-led organization. We're based in Seattle, we serve all of Washington, and we also do national policy work as well. And we're primarily focused on protecting Black trans people. Honestly, we're in the business of protecting all trans people from violence, period - but we use a lens of Black trans feminism to do that work. And what I mean by that - oftentimes I need to clarify - is we really believe in intersectionality, and as a praxis, and not in the way that people casually use. Like, you know, my mother's from Italy and my father's from whatever, and it's intersectional - nah. In the original term that was meant by the Combahee River Collective - when they brought it up and as others who have coined intersectionality - thinking about what are those pieces, those intersectional pieces that need to be put in place to protect the most vulnerable in our community. That, in 1977 - with the collective, right - was Black women. And I think we have more clarity on gender diversity, so we say Black trans women, Black trans femmes even to be specific. And it really is a praxis, right? It's a strategy to look at - we're not only concerned about Black trans femmes and Black trans women but we know, as the Combahee River Collective said, that if we can really protect Black trans women, Black women - if we can do that, it means all of the systems of destruction and oppression will dismantle because we have taken care of that core group that are affected by each of those intersections. So that's the work that we do, but doing trans work from that lens in particular - in three quick areas, I'll let you know quickly. So housing justice, economic justice, and really getting in the meat of violence prevention, also - those three.

[00:03:19] Crystal Fincher: Well, and a lot of work is in that portfolio - a lot needs to be done. You talk about protecting the entire trans community from violence, particularly with the lens of Black trans femmes, which is critical. We're in Washington state, which is in a better position than several other states - true, and we've done some positive work on positive legislation. But there are still challenges here despite the fact that this is a blue state, a progressive area. What do you say to people who feel like - Hey, we're in Washington, it's all good. We don't need to worry about this here. We're all progressive.

[00:03:56] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, I mean, the fact is, is that it is not safe anywhere in this country and frankly in the world for trans people - not completely - and especially for Black trans people. For me personally, I'm Black first, and so we start there, right? That there is still police violence against Black communities in Washington state, that we have dismal outcomes in terms of health and housing - even here in progressive states, in Washington state. All of the progressive legislation that exists isn't quite reaching our community because of systemic oppression and because of systems that really need to be looked at and anti-Blackness. And then we add transgender to that lens. I mean, it is just the fact that - anecdotally, when I go to a grocery store, that it is hard to feel safe even there because of - my hair might not be in the right place, my makeup might not be right, and I might catch the wrong light. And it is a constant stare or a calling out of who I am and what people are projecting onto me as a trans woman. And that's the case with all of us who are visibly trans, and those of us who may be a little bit more stealth and can navigate safely. The fact is that many of us in Washington state live in fear. And so is there a modicum amount of protections in terms of legislation? Yeah, it's a bit better in terms of our access, but those freedoms aren't necessarily reaching us in the way that they need to, those protections aren't reaching us in the way that they need to protect - particularly Black trans people.

And socially, it's still a mess. We are not that different - I'm from Mississippi - culturally, it's not that different than it is in Mississippi in terms of my ability to navigate socially, social spaces in Washington state. And in many ways, it's safer in Black community in the South because at least there are more of us there, and I'm able to navigate Blackness a little bit easier when there's more Black people here. So you're faced with this sort of double thing - you got us who are a smaller amount of people navigating a mostly white community, and also the general transphobia and transmisogynoir that exists across the country. And if there is a slight degree of - very, very slight degree - of it being socially more acceptable, it's not enough to secure our protection and safety. And it is still dismal.

[00:06:23] Crystal Fincher: Now, you talked about the areas that you're practicing in, where you're focusing on - housing being one of them. Why is housing so important?

[00:06:33] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, so we had conversations with community, with our community members - and across the nation and also in Washington state - to really get to what are we being asked of as an organization to focus on, to really think about in the protection of Black trans people. And we determined both from research and also from those conversations, three particular areas that are absolutely necessary to guarantee our protection. And the first of those is housing. We believe in Housing First as a disruption and violence against Black trans people. We need to be able to know that our housing - and really food security - but housing is secure and we don't have to depend on others for our security. And we don't have to negotiate our livelihood, right - and our wellbeing so that we can have a place to stay at night. And so the research shows that when people are housed that the outcomes are a lot better in terms of their own security and safety. And it is absolutely critical that we focus in. It's a strange thing - we started as a legal services organization, I think seven years ago now, and we never were in housing and housing justice. But as you know, in Washington state, especially Seattle, and across the country - there's a housing crisis. And no one was actually standing up to do this work. Outcomes for trans people in general - for public housing services - is absolutely terrible. We were finding that our clients and our people, that our family - were not feeling safe in shelters, were not feeling safe by the traditional housing services agencies. And it was unacceptable, so somebody actually needed to step in.

So our project is small, it's tiny - 30, maybe 32 housing units for individuals here in the Seattle area. It is permanent supportive housing - ongoing in perpetuity - they leave when they want to leave and they have ongoing supports for their health. It's open to all folks, but we'll primarily be focused on the people that we serve with our specialty. But it really is a model - and that's how I'm looking at it - it's a good model to work across the City of Seattle, King County, Washington state, nonprofits. We're partnering with a Urban Native organization, Chief Seattle Club - who actually owns, right, the land whose land this really is - and they have a lot more competency in the area. So they're providing a lot of support for us as we learn housing. And so there's this beautiful model happening - if it works, and I pray that it does, that we can then replicate across the country with other partners and other people who are interested in getting secure and well-funded housing for trans folk to protect them from violence. And I really think this model is not exclusive to Black trans community, but I think it really could be used for trans community - trans exclusive housing that is well supported by the government and well supported by community is what's needed in this moment to reduce the crisis of violence in our community.

[00:09:33] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely - to reduce the crisis of violence, to help people stabilize and find housing security, which is necessary to address so many other challenges that people find in life. Now you talked about this being a model, which I think is important - and permanent supportive housing is, as you said, what research is showing to be most effective in keeping people safe and stable. How did this partnership come about?

[00:10:00] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, so initially there was a client of ours who - and a friend, a community member who we were advocating for - who had experienced some really lack of cultural competency with King County, I'll just name it. And they hired her for an event and she was targeted by right-wing media and doxxed because of how she showed up - she did a burlesque performance and they ran with it. And I think King County was really just regretful about that experience - they were hoping to empower trans folk and really show Black trans visibility. And there needed to be some healing. And they asked her - What do you need? We'll do whatever is needed to repair this. And she said - We need housing for my community. And to their credit, King County jumped on it. And so we found the right model with King County - they contacted us because we were the only Black trans-led organization in the state that was doing this work and especially in King County. They contacted us and we began discussions - how could we get into this work and find the right model that worked for Black trans folk? We identified the right program, we found the right partners - we knew we wanted to partner with either a Black or Native org, right? - to help us get this rolling and get going. And it just moved on and progressed from there.

[00:11:21] Crystal Fincher: So where is this at in the process currently? Will this be opening soon?

[00:11:25] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, and by the way, I do want to name - her name was Beyoncé Black St. James - she's a fantastic community leader out of Spokane who does amazing advocacy work, but also is just a powerful and beautiful and fantastic performer. But we are in the process - we were awarded the facility, it was announced. And we are now waiting on some minor repairs that need to happen in this new building. And so we're sort of caught up in really - King County's working on getting things through their processes and government processes so that we can actually get this minor repair done and open our house. We're delayed in the opening about a year. So we really need our community to continue to encourage the county to move quickly to get this facility open, because we're just wasting money at this point with open rooms - and we have residents lined up and ready to move into the facility.

[00:12:20] Crystal Fincher: Now, when you say permanent supportive housing, what does that mean for the people who will eventually be moving in? What does that look like and how will they be served?

[00:12:28] Jaelynn Scott: So Ebo Barton, who's our Director of Housing Services has worked really hard to build out a network of support for our residents. So on the first half, King County will provide ongoing social services support as they do for any of their agencies. There also will be security - and we don't look at that security on-site as protecting anyone else but our residents. So there will be 24 hour security on-site to protect them from the outside and make sure that they are safe, as well as ongoing support groups for - I believe there's support for gender affirming care, and healthcare, and counseling services to heal from just the trauma of being Black and the trauma of being trans in this community - as well as getting them career support and moving on career support. There's a number of, I believe, 9 or 10 agencies who are committed to supporting our particular facility in addition to King County's ongoing services.

[00:13:28] Crystal Fincher: So is most of the focus on this facility, are there any plans for others, or is it working on getting this model straight and then evaluating after?

[00:13:37] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, so we aren't a housing services org, right? So I think we see ourselves as a policy shop and really our direct services really informs what we're doing to push forward in policies. I mean, we equally do criminal legal services and we also do policy advocacy around criminal law and this intersection with trans people. And we do economic justice - we're really pushing for a guaranteed income as a sort of third pillar of support for all trans people in Washington State, quite similar to the guaranteed income in San Francisco. So we aren't a housing services organization and I don't think we're immediately planning on expanding those services. It is our hope that - King County has promised that those properties will move over and shift into the ownership of organizations. I think we just wanna stay there - continue to work in supporting that property and maybe even have those residents, if they want to, participate in the movement building and policy work that happens with our organization. So we're not seeing them as this sort of dual client versus people providing services - that they are a part of our community and they're part of the movement building effort. So I think we wanna stay there and it's a good size for us at the moment, but we do and we have been talking nationally with other Black trans community members and organizations who are hoping to do projects similarly. So we hope other people will take on the banner - and even in Seattle, we need a lot more than 32 units to take care of trans community in general. I know, and I don't wanna get ahead of the county, but there was at least a request for proposals for transitional housing services for veterans - for LGBTQ veterans focusing on trans communities - that King County is also doing, that we hope another agency will take up the banner and continue to provide for those expanded services. I know Chief Seattle Club is hoping to serve more Two-Spirit people - we will also be serving some of those folks in our facility. And so there's a number of places that we can start moving in.

And really this is the right response right now to what is happening across the country. If we can take anything from these coordinated political attacks - and let me tell you that they are coming after us, not because they actually care that much about the issues - they are coming after us because they wanna get elected, because they need a boogeyman and they think that this is gonna score them political points. But what they don't know is it's drawing more attention to the issue of the crisis that is happening in trans community. And it's really bringing more support from the majority of Americans who actually have love in their heart and care for their community, and believe in the diversity of the American society, and really support LGBTQ community. And so that's - right now, it is our opportunity to in response to them, not necessarily be put on the defensive, but let's finally secure and build trans protections, trans security, trans safety in response to their disgusting actions.

[00:16:31] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely, I love that. And focus on support and building, as opposed to centering the people who are just pushing fascism and hate.

[00:16:42] Jaelynn Scott: Fascism, period. Period.

[00:16:44] Crystal Fincher: So you said you are a policy shop and you have a lot of experience in policy. One, I'm excited to hear about the talking about a guaranteed income - every single pilot, and there have been many now, for guaranteed income has just been successful and shown that it's helped. Turns out when you give people money and let them spend it on what they need the most, that's the most effective intervention that we see. Is this something that you're advocating for locally, and in our city or state? Is this something that looks like might be possible here in Seattle?

[00:17:20] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, so there is two areas - well, a few areas. So we're doing our own very, very small - a sort of a pilot just for our community to get a sense of how this is actually serving us. We started thinking about guaranteed income because in the summer of 2020, we were doing mutual aid and we were finding that people - $50, $100, $500, every once in a while - they were becoming more dependent on that. And we didn't like the positionality of us looking like sort of the saviors of individuals instead of empowering them to have economic security. And what we found now is that there were a few, right - that were return. And so we had enough money to do about five folks - it's over the last two years - a $1,000 a month, every single month, for those people. And they, we're watching just the results - both from our surveys and our conversations with them - their economic security, their housing security, how they're thriving in their own careers. Month after month after month, we're just seeing so much improvements and they are needing less to do the GoFundMes and less seeking mutual aid - that is declining - and support in the community. And so that's sort of our - that's the piece where I say we do the support so to inform how we approach it.

So we do - there's basic income, right - which is a kind of a guarantee for all. And then there's sort of guaranteed income, which I think in our understanding is really focused on particular populations that are most in need. There's a basic income approach in Washington state that, I think, there was even a bill pushed through that didn't actually make it through - I don't think it made it out of committee and it failed, and I think that will continue to come up. And we do support that, but we really do believe - that you have to start looking at who are the people who are most in need and you have to consider gender and race, economic status, pregnancy status, as well as a number of items in order to get this right. And I believe the state version was kind of a lottery system that we weren't feeling secure about. So we've been in conversation with the Transgender Cultural District in San Francisco, and they launched a - worked with the City of San Francisco as well as other agencies and nonprofits - to get a guaranteed income for trans people in the City of San Francisco. And that is, you know, there's been some lawsuits and et cetera, but that is getting launched there if it hasn't started already. But that program follows on the heels of other guaranteed income for people who are pregnant, guaranteed income for other particular populations in San Francisco that have proven effective - and at least $1,000 a month in an ongoing way. And that's what we wanna push in the City of Seattle. We're currently, I believe, and the people who are doing a Solidarity Budget are also looking at how they can do guaranteed income for particular populations. And so we're in conversation with them as well as pushing on our own for a guaranteed income for trans people. And hopefully using some of the data from the support that we provided - our organization - to prove that this is a proven method to protect your Washington and Seattle populations.

[00:20:21] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. What other policy is really important right now, or what is at the top of the list for you that you're advocating for?

[00:20:29] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, so I think right now it's guaranteed income. We use policy in a number of different ways - like the capital P, which is like the legislation - but the lowercase policy, which includes how King County is operating in relationship to providing housing to trans people. Like we see all that as a sort of movement building policy where different aspects depending on who's involved. But right now, we're really concerned about what's happening nationally. As you may know, Washington state really has a suite - what I've been calling a suite - of trans protections that have passed over the years, including an expansion of Medicare to include gender affirming care. As well as recent legislative session, there was the SHIELD law, which protects people who are seeking refuge here from extradition to other states and penalty and persecution from other states for what they do in Washington state. And finally, there is a youth gender affirming care access for people who end up in shelters who are runaways and making sure that they have access to this data and aren't turned back to dangerous living situations for seeking affirmations in their gender. And all of those are good bills - they're all at different levels of acceptance and there's lawsuits and all kinds of things happening, being pushed from outside parties who are trying to push legislation here.

But they don't necessarily really address the needs of trans communities of color because they are mostly written in legislative corners, sessions with white folk who are in the legislative game. They really haven't, didn't sit down - because they're on the defensive, right? It's a quick thing. You gotta get this stuff going 'cause you're seeing like all of the sort of outlawing gender affirming care in Alabama and Georgia and et cetera, and criminalizing seeking care outside of the state - both for abortion and gender affirming care. And so to their credit - that they needed to, and they felt like they needed to respond. And I do think there needed to be a response. But there wasn't enough time to actually doing the organizing, the movement building, the conversations with communities of color to say - actually, you never had access to gender affirming care in the way that white communities have. You've never had that access, especially not in the US South. So what is it that we can do now to correct the original sin, right? So that you never find yourself there and none of our communities will find ourselves there. But what we're doing now is putting a band-aid on an issue and making sure that those people of privilege who have already had access to care, don't lose that access.

So one of the ways they could have done it, right? is to say - Okay, we want to protect people seeking gender affirming care here from Texas, for example. And we wanna have this legislation up so that they can't be extradited to other states and et cetera. Okay - build a budget line item in the state budget that provides support for them, to fly them in to seek care, to make sure they have access to medical care, to make sure they have recovery services and et cetera. In addition to that, if you had really talked to communities, you would have known that none of the people who are most at risk in Texas can afford to get here to seek that care and to actually benefit from that bill. And so there was additional conversations needed. If not that, at least put out some funding and support for communities of color here to gather and come up with legislative priorities on our own that they can take the lead from instead of us following on the tail end of whatever they decided in their corners.

[00:23:57] Crystal Fincher: So for people who may be legislators or policy makers listening right now, where can they start with that? How do they start with that?

[00:24:06] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, I think right now capacity building funding is absolutely necessary. So for those organizations who are trusted - there's POCAAN and PCAF and our organization, Lavender Rights Project. There is Gender Justice League. There's a number of queer and trans organizations - Creative Justice - who serve Black trans and queer people, who are brilliant and who have policymakers and movement builders and do amazing work, but they aren't as well funded as the big box nonprofits. And so we need the ability to actually hold policy - to have the staffing for it, to organize for it, to fund our people to do that work - so that when the legislative session comes up, we have the policy recommendations necessary, that we actually have boots on the ground. We're learning from other community members about what those priorities are, but we are behind the game here. We're behind the ball here. We are years and years and years behind the ball. So that capacity building around the ability to do both organizing and policy making - that's needed, critically needed - including lobbying, the ability for us to fund our own lobbyists. We need it and we need it like 30 years ago in this state.

[00:25:24] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely, and makes a lot of sense. Now we're thinking about legislatively, do you think - for local leaders, city council members, mayors - locally, that they need to embark upon the same path or are there additional suggestions that you would have for them?

[00:25:41] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, I haven't - we've been thinking a lot about the State Legislature. And locally we've been thinking more around sort of some of the direct support initiatives like guaranteed income and et cetera. But I do think it's worth local politicians, councils - to figure out how can they build out a sanctuary county, city for trans people - what policies are in their power to make, what protections are in their power to make to ensure security and safety for Washington residents and others who seek care here. And let me tell you, it will work because I - the majority of the Black trans people that work in my organization come from the US South, they come from the East Coast. They come from other places where they may have felt less safe and they sought refuge here because of the promise of progressiveness of Washington state. Now that promise has mostly been empty, but they can work really hard to make sure that promise is fulfilled - because we are already starting to see that there will be a flood of refugees from other places around this country as this ball continues to drop on attacks against us and the rise of fascism in this country. So there are protections that are in the power of King County - to make sure that folks have income, to make sure they have access to employment, to make sure they have access to housing, to ensure that their laws protect them safely within their city jurisdictions - that people need to be looking at on their own and starting to work on.

[00:27:14] Crystal Fincher: Now for people who aren't policy makers - they're just looking around and feeling very troubled by what they're seeing by the rise of hate and fascism, anti-trans violence. What advice would you give for how they can meaningfully help?

[00:27:32] Jaelynn Scott: People, we need the voices of everyone at this moment. And the first thing is to continue to love on your LGBTQ family that's around you. And really lean into care for them in this moment - because whether or not we're saying it, a lot of us are feeling deeply traumatized, targeted and attacked at this moment. And there was a poll that was recently released - I can't remember, but I found it through the HRC, National HRC - that more and more of us are feeling less safe across the country because of what's happening. And so what can you do to extend your love and care to people. Also, as people start seeking refuge here and refuge from other states, be thinking about what can you give up? You know, we might be at the place that we were during the crisis of immigration, especially in the Trump administration, where people were starting to open up their homes to - as refugee assistance. And I think it's time to start planning that. What can we do to prepare our space for people who might need care and safety here?

And I think the third thing I will say is look at and lean into Black queer and trans communities of color, Native and Indigenous Two-Spirit communities - and see the organizing that they're doing right now. Follow their lead. When they say - Hey, we need you to speak out against the Kids Online Safety Act - that's currently moving through Congress right now. And that promises to silence trans communities nationally in social media, that will almost destroy the social media and the publicity of nonprofits who do this work. And really will remove the ability of trans youth to find affirming media, to find affirming care, services, information, education, sexual health on social media. It will be destructive, and yet it has bipartisan support. Speak out, right - whenever we say this bill is being pushed in this state that's not quite working - and take the lead from communities of color, trans and queer communities of color in their legislative efforts. It's pretty easy. Follow them on social media, right? Give when they say give, take action when they say take action. Many people are often calling and saying - I want to volunteer. I want to be on the ground. I want to whatever. But when we post - Hey, we need you to call your Congressperson on this - no one calls. It's so much easier than you think. Follow, support, and listen.

[00:29:56] Crystal Fincher: It does. And it makes a difference when you call and when you reach out, especially when it's to your Congressperson. They pay attention, they listen, and it is very important to do that. I appreciate that. As we move to close this interview, is there just anything that you would urge people to reflect on, or act on, or do as we move forward?

[00:30:18] Jaelynn Scott: Yeah, so Black trans community, Black trans people, Black trans women, trans folk have always been here. And I think - speaking specifically to Black community at this moment - we have always been a part of culture. There have been moments when we have been silenced, where colonization has forced our history around gender diversity on the continent to be erased. And we need to have a conversation. We need to have a conversation about how much trans communities have supported who we are as a people - our role in the civil rights movement, our role in the Black Lives Matter movement - how we have always been there for Black community. And we need Black community to stand up for us in this moment too - that we are much more beautiful because of our diversity and that violence against any Black person is violence against the entire Black community. And so, yeah, we need to have conversations. But I also want us to take care to not take the lead from white right-wing neo-fascists who are concerned about the destruction of trans folk, the oppression of women, and who really cannot stand your Black skin - to let them lead the conversation, to let them take your voice, and you to be taking talking points from them. Let's have a conversation as community as we are - deeply from the place of the value for human rights, civil rights, and our value for our love ethic that we all share as Black folk. Let's sit down around that and let's sit down around gender and have a convo. And so I think that right now is what's at the top of my heart in speaking and speaking to the community that is closest to my heart.

[00:32:02] Crystal Fincher: Very well said, absolutely necessary to be said. I sincerely appreciate you sharing with us on the program today - all the work that you're doing as part of the Lavender Rights Project. And thank you so much for your time today.

[00:32:17] Jaelynn Scott: Thank you, Crystal. And thank you so much for this platform. This is - it's a critical moment - and this may seem small on a podcast and a brief conversation, but every single one of these matter at this moment.

[00:32:28] Crystal Fincher: Thank you.

Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks, which is produced by Shannon Cheng. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on every podcast service and app - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review shows and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes.

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