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A Homeless Black Trans Women Fund has raised over $1.1 million across 40,000 donations, thanks in part to celebrities like Myyki Blanco. Read on to learn more.

The Homeless Black Trans Women Fund GoFundMe campaign has raised over $1.1 million dollars thanks to more than 40,000 donations.

While the fundraiser launched back in December with a goal of $100,000, its seen an exponential increase in donations since the start of the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd.

The campaign, started by photographer and activist Jesse Pratt Lopez, began as a way to help homeless Black Trans women in Atlanta.

” Atlanta has almost no resources for Transgender women, so I took matters into my own hands,” Lopez explains in her GoFundMe background story.

In a recent update on Instagram (below), Lopez shares the progress she and other Atlanta organizations have made thanks to the outpouring of support and donations, adding:

We also recognize that through your support and donations, we find ourselves with a unique opportunity to build something sustainable, that will impact the lives of other Black trans women in Atlanta and beyond.

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UPDATE ON THE #HomelessBlackTransWomenFund! ✊🏼🦋💗 . Arianna & ReVon Getting Ready Under the Car Garage, 2019. As people are marching in the streets in all 50 states to protest the murder and injustice of Black lives, Trans people of color like #IyannaDior, a Black Trans woman, continue to face violence, even within their own communities. This is why I am so grateful that tens of thousands of ppl are responding to this call to support the girls. . Nearly 40,000 of y’all have come together to support this cause, I am happy to announce that we have raised 1 MILLION DOLLARS. I’m so overwhelmed with emotions — and I want to thank EVERYONE who has helped me with this project along the way, and will give shoutouts in the comments. . This fund started months ago and has been given a new life in recent days. Its purpose has always been to directly support the lives of these women. To date we have provided the girls with direct services, including temporary housing, food, transportation to doctor’s appointments, and more. But we are working within a system that is actively against #GirlsLikeUs. Luckily, there are a few organizations, such as Trans Housing Atlanta Project (#THAP), that we are currently working with to get the girls off the streets. . We also recognize that through your support and donations, we find ourselves with a unique opportunity to build something sustainable, that will impact the lives of other Black trans women in Atlanta and beyond. . Today, I met with local Atlanta leaders – Southern Fried Queer Pride, SNapCo, Trans Housing Atlanta Project, SomeoneCares Atlanta, and a few more – to lay the groundwork and vision for what this project could be. These organizations are all led by brilliant Black Trans organizers that’ve been fighting for the community of Atlanta for a long time. We have a collective vision of creating a space in Atlanta that can provide short and long-term sustainable housing, mental/physical health services, and other resources, without the restrictions that often put girls back on the streets. We are committed to ensuring that Atlanta really becomes the Black Queer Mecca it so often touts itself as being… (CONTINUED BELOW)

A post shared by Jesse Pratt López (@jprattlopez.photos) on

While Twitter and Instagram users passionately promoted the cause, part of the increase in donations comes thanks to celebrities including Rapper Myyki Blanco & retired tennis star James Blake.

Both stars shared the fund and encouraged their followers to match their donation. Fans responded by far exceeding the celebs’ request.

Black trans women face more than just hunger and exposure to the elements while living on the streets, they also face violent attacks, too often resulting in their murder.

Violence against transgender women claimed at least 26 lives last year, most of whom were black

A 2019 Human Rights Campaign report found that in 2018 alone, “advocates tracked at least 26 deaths of at least transgender or gender non-conforming people in the U.S. due to fatal violence, the majority of whom were Black transgender women.”

As Serena Sonoma of VOX explains, however, while the violence against Black transgender women is finally getting media attention, it’s hardly a new problem. Sonoma writes:

Black trans women face discrimination across multiple sectors within employment, housing, police brutality, and health care. All of these factor into our vulnerability as a community, but our experience is about more than just violence — far too often, these stories are never given a follow-up.

Just this week, an attack on a Black trans women from Minnesota went viral. According to reports, Iyanna Dior was brutally beaten after getting into a minor “fender bender”

As advocacy group Abounding Prosperity shared in a Facebook post regarding the incident, “If we want Black Lives to Matter, then All Black Lives Must Matter, including Black Trans Lives Matter.”

If you would like to donate to the Homeless Black Trans Women Fund, visit the GoFundMe campaign page. Lopex extended the fundraiser until the end of Pride Month (June).

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