Regional Letter on Hurricane Sandy and the Election

November 9th, 2012

To Our Comrades:

As Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual, Queer people and our allies, the past few weeks have
held many events that affect us. However, in the wake of the election—we do not
forget that so many people are still suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. We have
watched angrily as the media and government officials prioritized attention to those
with wealth; as in the time of Katrina, our concern has been with the poor and the
marginalized. We know that if you have need to access services, the chances of being
treated with dignity and respect—or getting services at all—are much lower if you are
Trans, Gender non-conforming, and LGB. It is clear that the effects of environmental
devastation will not be predictable—the only thing we know for sure is that we need
each other—we need local, regional, and national organizations and collectives working
for liberation. We also know that it will probably serve us to learn from each other, as
we go through these environmental and economic disasters.

In this time of great upheaval and ever-increasing mobility—we do not see Hurricane
Sandy as affecting only ‘your communities’, or ‘your people’—there is just too
much crossover. We have a stake in the shared need for you to survive and thrive,
and we hope you feel the same. We remain ready to transform ourselves beyond
the privatization and isolation that oppression pushes on our hearts, wallets, and
infrastructures. We offer our solidarity and support.

We also witnessed the re-election of Barack Obama this week. In the wake of this
election, where so many states in our region went ‘red’, our vision of Queer Liberation
remains steadfast. We stand in solidarity with our people throughout the world who
today continue to suffer the loss of land, home, and loved ones–due to the policies and
practices of hatred and greed. We understand that we all count and we will continue
to demand an end to violence in all it’s forms: physical and sexual, mental and verbal,
spiritual, economic, cultural … and we are growing stronger every day. We believe in
Queer Liberation, where justice, dignity, community, and safety are a birthright for all.
We believe in a North Carolina and in a South where we can all exist. As members of the
Southern Movement Alliance, we recognize the day after the election as Day 1 of the
Peoples’ First 100 Days. We wake up this morning with work to do ourselves.

We are dedicated to stopping the assaults of LGBTQ people. We are committed to
ending the attacks on immigrant and undocumented communities. We are staunch
in our resistance to military and police surveillance of our communities, especially
the profiling and targeting of people of Color and Trans people. We will continue
to demand universal, comprehensive, and affirming health care that respects our
bodies and identities. We will continue to demand a free and quality public liberatory
education. We will continue to insist on housing that is safe. We will continue to work
to transform our institutions into sites of abundance and creativity—finding other ways
to address harm than by turning to the police, prisons, and punitive measures. We
are dedicated to a clean and healthy planet where soil, water, and air and all species
are treated with respect and gratitude. In the wake of yet another hurricane, and in
the birth of the new term “super storm,” we see yet again, why our struggles must be
connected. We stand in solidarity, across borders, with all those who are stranded in
water, and with all those who always get helped last.

We refuse to be divided—to be used as a wedge issue that splinters our resistance.
We will continue to organize for collective liberation no matter who is in office. Our
vision is expansive. Therefore, the scope and depth of our work must also be expansive.
We wake up this morning to men in power, yes. We choose to work in coalition, in
a practice of love, and in collaboration. We are determined to build the liberatory,
beloved communities where we desire to live, in the places we call home.

In Solidarity,

SONG Family