Black trans people have long stood at the intersection of racist violence and gender violence. In the last month, Nina Pop, a black trans woman killed in early May, and Tony McDade, a black trans man fatally shot by Tallahassee police last week, have become names to rally around, symbolizing the need for specific protections for black trans lives.
Recognizing that need, The Okra Project, a grassroots collective that combats food insecurity in the black transgender community, has launched two mental health recovery funds to provide black trans men and women sessions with a licensed black therapist, free of cost.
As Them reports, the initiative was launched Sunday and includes a Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund, dedicated to raising money for black trans women, and the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund, which will focus on black trans men.
The organization, which is based in New York, fronted an initial $15,000 for the funds, and are calling on community donors to match their donations. Interested people can do so via the Okra Project PayPal account, where they must note which fund they are contributing to. Alternatively, they can donate a session with their own black therapist. The funds will then be disbursed to black trans folks for a one-time therapy session.
“In the wake of the murders of Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and so many more black Trans people, The Okra Project recognizes that black Trans people are feeling the weight of our siblings being murdered while their murderers, whether it be the assailants or the police force that puts very little effort into finding their killers, walk free,” the organization wrote in a statement shared on its Twitter account.
Black trans folks interested in accessing the fully-funded therapy sessions are encouraged to apply in the Google forms linked in the organization’s press release.