Queer The Land, a collective project resisting displacement and gentrification, is celebrating the aquisition of a 12 bedroom house on historic Beacon Hill, in Seattle. This unique project will house a cooperative and community center by and for queer trans and 2spirit Black Indigenous people of color (QT2BIPOC). The purchasing of this home is an organizing victory four and a half years in the making, catalyzed by the labor of mostly Black and brown femmes committed to creating a place where the QT2BIPOC community can see themselves in the future. Queer The Land will be embarking on the next phase of this project, working to make this home fully accessible and welcoming to all QT2BIPOC and people committed to our liberation.
Queer the Land was brought into existence because of the devastating housing crisis, now made even worse by COVID19 public health crisis. An increased amount of our community faces housing insecurity with QT2BIPOC, particularly Black trans women, left vulnerable to more violence in these conditions. The racist history of home ownership continues with unabated vigor, as was experienced by our housing circle (a housing stewardship team assembled to address the housing and resource needs of our members) experienced during the process to acquire this property. QTL explored the housing market with little support or resources for collective home ownership by Black Indigenous people of color. This particular transaction took over a year, with hundreds of hours spent in negotiation, throughout the pandemic; a process prolonged by white supremacy under the guise of charity. QTL persevered with the support of many volunteers, offering labor and raising funds to make this dream a reality. One of our members shared, “When I heard the news that we had closed on the QTL house, I felt… I don’t even know how to describe it besides just pure joy. I think I screamed for five minutes. I know so many QT2BIPOC friends, who would benefit from this space, so to be part of this work with an amazing collective is like a huge love letter to my community and my people.”
This is only the beginning for Queer The Land. Immediate plans include renovations to make the house safe and accessible, creating protocols for incoming residents, and bringing to life a garden that will provide food and medicine to our members. The first residents stewarding us into this next phase is a queer couple with a child, both familiar with cooperative living and house maintenance, who said “We are thrilled to collaborate in the process of transforming the Beacon Hill house into a space for Queer and BIPOC folx to thrive and call home.”
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