One of the things I’ve always envisioned this site being able to do is lifting up other people in our communities. For me, that means chronically amazing, trans/GNC, queer, sex-educatory, animal-loving people.
Since it’s Giving Tuesday, I want to highlight ways we can give back to our peoples, whoever they may be. While I’ve put people under a variety of sections, notice that intersecting identities don’t just limit most of us to one label.
My friend Kenzie defies words. She is all at once innovative and an old soul, spontaneous and planned out, supportive and sassy. There are a million reasons I’m glad she and I are friends. Unfortunately, she’s struggling a lot lately. While dealing with being a senior in college, she’s juggling an ever-growing list of serious chronic health conditions. The dual hit to the bank account of being a chronically ill college student is something that’s really hard to cope with. That’s where we come in! You can donate to her Amazon wishlist or contribute to her fundraiser that helps train her service dog (and giant love muffin) Ophie.
Britt is another chronically ill gal. Recently, she’s received a rare disease diagnosis and struggled with back-to-back hospital admissions. On top of that, she’s barely able to eat. You can help get her food and supplies through her Amazon wishlist.
Struggling with undiagnosed health issues is scary, especially when they land us in emergency multiple times. Kat, who is a freaking joy to know, is dealing with just that – struggling with a high ER bill on top of needing to see specialists. You can help offset the costs she’s been hit with on her GoFundMe.
Judy lives with a number of health conditions. Unfortunately, she has little help with day-to-day tasks, schooling, medications, and more. She’s looking to get a service dog, but they’re very expensive. Please visit her GoFundMe to learn more.
Annabel has been fighting breast cancer for over a year and recently had a second major surgery. Unfortunately, she’s not covered under the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and will be out of work for two months. You can help cover the costs of her surgery and expenses via GoFundMe.
Antonina is a hard-working Haitian immigrant with 4 children. She works as a nurse to provide for her kids, but this has left her with severe damage in her knees – to the point she needs a total knee replacement on each one. With the Temporary Protected Status of Haiti being ended before August 2019, it’s incredibly important to raise the money to get these surgeries as soon as possible to allow for the best possible outcomes. You can donate here.
Alex is a great reminder that healthcare isn’t better in other countries – yes, even Canada sucks when you’re chronically ill. They have been fighting to get an accurate diagnosis for ages. Unfortunately, that requires a series of very expensive tests that the Canadian health system won’t cover. You can donate to Alex’s GoFundMe or shoot them money via PayPal.
Shona, who you might remember as the author of this piece, has an outdated wheelchair. Since she is able to walk (with a metric ton of pain), the National Health System in the UK won’t help her get a new one. Since she can’t work, either, funds are limited to get a new chair. Please consider donating to her GoFundMe.
Emma also lives in the UK where they are ill-equipped to handle her complex medical issues. On top of chronic Lyme Disease, she endures a number of harrowing symptoms that leave her bedbound 90% of the time. Her family is raising money to help get treatment underway as the NHS isn’t cutting it.
Dawn runs Spoonie Chat, a weekly Twitter chat held on Wednesdays at 8 pm Eastern that’s focused on living well will a variety of chronic illnesses. She’s currently working on crowdfunding her writing to help get more representation of illness out there.
Black and Brown Spoons is an online community started to help Black, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indigenous people with chronic illnesses get connected to information, resources, and support around healthcare and disability rights in the US. Honestly, most of us who are popular are pretty white and we don’t experience the same issues the same way. They’ve got a Teespring page set up with great gear you can grab while helping them further this awesome mission. They have a merch giveaway that ends today, too, until 6 pm Eastern today. Check out this Twitter thread for how to enter.
Jennifer Brea has made a lot of headlines recently. As the filmmaker behind Unrest, she is challenging providers to see and believe the reality of patients living with ME/CFS. The film premiered at Sundance this year and it’s gotten rave reviews (mine is coming soon!). If you want to help Jennifer and her organization raise more awareness of ME/CFS, please click here.
Gender-affirming surgery is a very extensive and expensive process. It can be scary to go through, even though it’s super helpful to have. Kai has been on testosterone for two years and is starting the process of getting bottom surgery. Between having to travel across the country – and stay for 6 weeks – for treatment, he is having a hard time paying the bills associated with preparing for surgery. Please visit Kai’s YouCaring page to help.
Ty is working to get top surgery. Right now, though, their insurance won’t cover the costs. Donating will help Ty with the costs of surgery and being out of work while healing. Their YouCaring page has more information.
Getting a new passport for trans folx can be incredibly expensive, but very worthwhile. You can help, though! An organization is helping to cover passport fees for trans peeps. Visit their YouCaring page to learn more.
Zaire is a black, trans, chronically-ill queer who has been struggling with ongoing homelessness for their entire life, on top of chronic illness, ongoing health struggles, and the daily violence of anti-blackness and transphobia moving through this white supremacist world. You can help them by donating through their YouCaring page.
Jacie is a runner and activist who fights hard for equality. Unfortunately, after coming out as trans in 2014, she was severely beaten. While she’s in a safer position right now, she is raising money for surgery to correct the damage done during the attack.
Bree is one of my favorite people. I can’t believe I get to be on a panel with her soon! (Go to Clexacon – you won’t regret it.) She’s a fellow queerdo, disabled, and just hella cool. She helps remind people all the time to practice self-care and is very open about mental health, which is so very needed. You can help her through her fun Amazon wishlist, her medical one, or on Patreon.
NC Queer TROUBLMakers (Trans Revolutionaries Organizing Under Black Lives Matter) is a statewide collective of queer and trans people of color in North Carolina. We began formally working together in August of 2015, coordinating Queer and Trans Black Lives Matter demonstrations at Pride events across the state. They need additional funding to help their members pay rent and cover basic living costs. Visit their GoFundMe page to learn more.
Ducky Doolittle is an amazing human being. She’s one of the reasons that I got into sex education work. Unfortunately, she has recently been diagnosed with uterine cancer and just went through surgery to kick cancer’s ass. If you can donate to help keep things afloat while she does her thing, click here to pop to her PayPal.
Sarah Brynn is one of my favorite sex educators. She’s had a lot of great things to share during the MeToo movement as a fellow survivor. She wants to help create more trauma-informed, feminist sex education. You can donate to her via Patreon or PayPal.
JoEllen Notte talks very openly about mental health and sex. She has given presentations and talks at many conferences on the subject and is working on writing a book. Check out her Patreon and support her amazing work.
Ever heard of the book Girl Sex 101? The author behind that, Allison, work on a lot – sex-ed videos, blogs, essays, art, fiction, etc. She has a Patreon set up to snag more funding and make her work more accessible.
Amy Jo Goddard and Julie Carlson are on a mission to improve pelvic exams, and they go on a quest to find out why patients have horror stories about gyn exams, what students are learning, and how to change our approach to gynecology to one of empowerment rather than dread and trauma. Check out their project, At Your Cervix.
LGBT+ and Sex Ed
The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) is an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.
In the quaint town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island sits a building with a giant walk-through vulva. The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health works tirelessly to provide education to everyone, including continuing education for people like myself.
Heart Women & Girls is one of my favorite organizations. They focus on sexual health and education for femmes within Muslim spaces. Providing culturally-sensitive health information is something that is vastly overlooked and badly needed – and Heart does that. Donate and help them on their path to fix the world.
The Matthew Shepard Foundation came about after Matt’s brutal murder in 1998. As a baby queer at the time, I’ve written about how Matt’s story continues to push me to fight for all of us. The Foundation continues to push for better laws against hate crimes, especially for the LGBT+ community. You can donate to them here.
TSER – Trans Student Educational Resources – is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. In addition to our focus on creating a more trans-friendly education system, our mission is to educate the public and teach trans activists how to be effective organizers. Please consider donating to help further their mission.
Founded in 2003 by trans activists, the National Center for Transgender Equality provides a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, DC. After the many setbacks our community has seen this year – and the ones we fear are coming – it’s important to continue supporting their work and affirming our support for them.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. It’s named after one of the trans pioneers of the LGBT rights movement, Sylvia Rivera. Please consider donating to them today.
The International Pain Foundation is a great organization. They work hard to help raise awareness about various pain-causing conditions as well as providing resources and help for patients.
RA Guy has been a staple in patient communities for ages. Recently, he started his own foundation that focuses on providing education, support, and connection for arthritis patients.
The Autoinflammatory Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those with autoinflammatory diseases, also known as periodic fever syndromes… AKA part of what I deal with (and hate) daily.
NORD – the National Organization for Rare Diseases – works with patients, providers, researchers, pharma, and more to help raise awareness and money for the many rare diseases out there (some of which aren’t even on their list). You can donate to help further their cause.
It’d be hard to write this out and not include my stuff. I’m semi-reluctantly posting links here that will help me to continue producing awesome content, going to conferences, and developing stuff to help all of us.
You can donate via Patreon, PayPal, or Ko-Fi. Additionally, you can snag CS gear on Zazzle, donate to ORCHIDS, or purchase something from my Amazon Wishlist. You can also shop using one of my affiliates:
- Peepshow Toys
- You can save 10% using the code CHRONIC.
- You can use the code CHRONICSEX to save 10% off your order. Not applicable for use with other coupon codes.
- Early to Bed
- Fun Factory
- Pink Label
- Oska Pulse
- Use code NSSD to save $55!
- Liberty Lotion
- ChronicAlly Box