how grace dunham is helping fight lgbtq incarceration

Support.fm is a crowdfunding platform for queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people navigating the prison system — which sounds niche, but it's very much needed.

by Hannah Ongley
|
Jul 5 2016, 6:45pm

The ramifications of mass incarceration in America are felt by anyone who pays taxes or possesses empathy, but for the LGBTQ community, the effects are devastating. Queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people are incarcerated at a rate four times the national average, while such people of color are not only more likely to be arrested but more likely to receive longer prison sentences and to be tried as adults when they're not even 18. Scaling back these statistics will take years, if not decades — but the bunch of legends behind a new crowdfunding website are hoping to make the burden a little easier to bear. 

"Get the word out!" tweeted Grace Dunham over the weekend. "support.fm is here — a crowdfunding platform for queer, trans, GNC people in jail, prison, and detention." Dunham is one of the site's three founders, along with web developers Rye Skelton and Blaine O'Neill. Lena's younger sibling is a writer and activist who has become something of a post-gender icon over the post few months, being very vocal about social justice on Twitter and walking the runway for stereotype-subverting brand Eckhaus Latta. In a short bio for support.fm, Dunham uses the gender-neutral pronouns "they/them." 

So why do we need such a platform anyway? "Existing crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and YouCaring don't allow fundraisers for bail, legal defense, or 'the support of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity,'" the founders stress. "The result is that queer, trans, and gender nonconforming (GNC) people have no safe platform on which to fundraise for some of the steepest and most common costs they have to pay; namely, the unjust costs of prison, policing, and immigration systems."

Dunham and her new colleagues point out that trans people's increased media presence doesn't translate to equal safety for the community. Further, "a lack of employment and housing opportunities means that many queer, trans, and GNC people depend on the sex and drug trades. The illegality of these trades, as well as discriminatory policies on the part of law enforcement agencies, means that queer, trans, and GNC people — especially communities of color — are criminalized for their survival."

Check out the website here.

Credits


Text Hannah Ongley

Photography Mitchell Sams

Tagged:
Culture
prison
america
LGBT+
crowdfunding
LGBTQ
Grace Dunham
support.fm