Trans Plus- Where your blue tax goes this June.
An interview with Sean Hayes, he/him/his, Co-Founder Trans Plus
What is the mission of Trans Plus and how you are personally motivated by the mission?
We are a community group that provides community care, connections, and resources to trans+ people. This includes folks who are transgender, non-binary, two spirit, agender, gender non-conforming, and/or another identity under the gender expansive umbrella.
When I first came out as transgender in 2014, I was absolutely terrified that I might be the only trans person in Duluth. I was way off! I'm so grateful that I could be a part of founding this organization that has connected hundreds of people to community, resources and care.
Could you share a story that exemplifies the impact of your organization?
Trans Plus is the only trans-specific group in Greater MN and because of this, we help folks in our community navigate Life in a lot of different ways. From offering monthly and now weekly support spaces, to advocating for gender-affirming health care, to planning community gatherings...we do it all!
A few months back, a mom to a gender non-conforming kiddo reached out to us. Her child had been participating in a local dance studio and was particularly interested in ballet. Both parents worked hard to create a dialogue around how the owners and the dance studio could be inclusive to not only their kid, but all trans and gender non-conforming kids who want to dance. Unfortunately, the dance studio chose to kick this child out rather than do the work to make their side safe for all kids. This mom was heartbroken, lost, and didn't know how to support their kid through this really hard and sad experience. After hearing their story, we rallied our community in support of this young one. People sent cards and care packages. This child was able to feel the full love and acceptance from the larger community around them. When we checked in with their mom a few days later, here's what she said:
"I haven't seen my child beam with so much happiness since prior to all the dance BS. They said after last week, they thought nobody cared about them, other than me (I don't count apparently lol). Now they know they matter to even strangers. I honestly know they wouldn't be where they are mentally today without the outpouring of love from the community."
What does feminism personally means to you and how does your organization fit into that view?
Patriarchy and toxic masculinity are at the root of transphobia and homophobia, so organizations like Trans Plus are vital for creating safe, inclusive spaces for those of us who don't fit into society's neat little pink and blue boxes. We believe feminism is for everyone, and it benefits all women, non-binary and gender non-conforming folks, trans-masculine people and even cis men.