Aimée-Josiane Twagirumukiza

“In 2009 I got evicted and forced to quit my job in the same week. By fall of that year, I was homeless and had survived a sexual assault by a stranger. The shame over my queer sexuality limited my access to family support, and it wasn’t until 2010 when I joined a housing collective that I was able to get my life back on track. Flash forward to 2017, when a fellow Queer The Land member disclosed that they were experiencing violence at home. Because we have a shared value of transformative justice, we were able to talk in-depth about their experience and even made a plan to help them flee. Within 48 hours, Queer The Land was able to rent a truck to move their belongings and to provide subsidized rent and free storage to them in other members’ homes for over six months. I remembered how distressing my experiences in 2009 had been and how intentional community literally saved my life. Having ways to collectively respond to traumatic experiences like homelessness and violence is a big part of our work, and it comes through in the ways that we collectively deal with the impacts of harm. We know that conflict is inevitable and so our continued education and practice of restorative and transformative justice principles remain an important part of my love for Queer The Land.”