feature image via Tegan and Sara.
We all know them as queer pop idols, the candy center of our current hella gay music choices, but they’re not stopping there. Today Tegan and Sara announced that they’ve founded the Tegan and Sara Foundation. Their mission: fight for economic justice, health and representation for LGBTQ girls and women. According to their about page, they’re a fundraising organization that aims to raise funds and awareness and then give to other organizations already doing the work.
In their letter about their new foundation, Tegan and Sara write:
In the fall of 2016 we traveled across North America touring our new record, Love You to Death. We played shows every night, but it was also an important listening and learning tour for us. Every day we read your letters. We met with local fans, youth activists, researchers, legislators, and nonprofits working tirelessly to promote LGBTQ equality. We were deeply inspired by their work. The list would be too long if we mentioned everyone who generously spent time with us, but a special thank you to GLAAD, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the LA LGBT Center, Equality North Carolina, the Audre Lorde Project, the Astraea Foundation, and the Williams Institute. We learned a great deal from you all, including much more about the needs of LGBTQ people in North America. We learned that the lack of federal funding for LGBTQ services, limited training for doctors about the needs of their LGBTQ patients, and severe workplace discrimination are disproportionately affecting women. Most importantly, we learned that LGBTQ women and girls are feeling overwhelmingly rejected and left behind.
LGBTQ women are experiencing disproportionately high levels of poverty, health issues and inequality. LGBTQ women of color, especially transgender women often experience these issues even more severely due to racism and transphobia. Today, given the state of politics in the United States, we must continue to unite and fight for our rights and against all forms of oppression.
Through the Tegan and Sara Foundation, we can be proactive with our support rather than wait to react to discrimination as it occurs. We will support the work of other organizations who have been fighting for LGBTQ and women’s rights by raising funds and awareness for their initiatives. We will fight against the repressive legislation of the incoming Trump administration. We will fight against regressive homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic legislation. We will fight for economic, racial and gender justice. We started the Foundation to dismantle the systems of inequity that prevent LGBTQ girls and women from reaching their full potential. Together, we can make a difference.
You can read the letter in full here. I love it when my favorite artists stand up to a white nationalist administration and actually call it out by name! I love it when members of our community band together in response to this no good very bad year, which, we are all now coming to realize, is only the beginning of a new shitty era. It’s so easy for people creating entertainment to stick their heads in the sand and say, “We exist so you don’t have to think about all the bullshit that’s going on!” It’s harder and, I would argue, better when our entertainers engage with the reality around them. That’s what they’re making art about, after all. And where their fans live. And where they live too. Four for you, Tegan and Sara.
I’ll keep an eye on the Tegan and Sara Foundation as they move forward in funding the resistance.