The Fire These Times is fundraising for Queer Mutual Aid Lebanon! Here to talk to us about their work, queer mutual aid in Lebanon and why they started working after the October 2019 uprising and the 2020 crises (Covid-19, August 4 explosion, economic crisis and more) is repeated guest and buddy-in-chief Ayman Makarem.
To support them:
● Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/qmalebanon
● Paypal: @qmalebanon
About Queer Mutual Aid Lebanon:
We are a small grassroots group of queer/trans people in Lebanon working to secure material support for other queer/trans individuals facing homelessness through mutual aid and community-building. Our work is only possible through consistent support from friends and allies. We run two main programs: a sustainable housing program, and an emergency cash program.
Through the sustainable housing program, we intentionally want to move away from one-off payments that do not allow people to plan ahead, and into sustainable monthly payments that can contribute to their long-term safety. Thus, we support around 15 queer/trans individuals in Lebanon with monthly payments of approx. $150/month over a long-term period until they feel they are no longer at direct risk of homelessness or other emergency situations.
Members of our group and the people we support are constantly approached by others facing emergency situations. Depending on donations, we are also able to provide emergency cash payments for temporary shelter and/or medical needs. Emergency payments range between $100 to $900, depending on our current budget and the person’s needs. This has been particularly helpful for trans people who were survivors of assault, recently evicted, and/or needing emergency life-sustaining medical procedures. So far, more than 35 people have benefited from this program.
What we need
You can help sustain our work and help our group stay viable through a monthly donation, or by sharing this with your trusted friends who might be able to help. We’re using this Patreon to supplement our routine fundraising efforts (which we usually do through our individual Instagram pages) with something more sustainable. If you’d like to reach us, feel free to send a message through the email below.
More about us
We want to build a network of mutual support for queer people that works outside traditional modalities of humanitarian aid and emphasizes radical care and practical solidarity. Our group is one of few in Lebanon to explicitly adopt a mutual aid philosophy and we put a lot of effort into integrating mutual aid concepts and dynamics in our feminist and queer practices.
Since 2020, as a grassroots group, we’ve taken the time to build a relatively solid structure that allows us to maintain and work through tough situations facing others in our network. We do not operate based on an identity politics framework, nor do we exclude people from our group based on identity. However, this group started by working with and for other working class trans people in our community and it then grew from there. We are constantly learning as we go, and were able to establish a minimum groundwork that allows us to carry out emergency work that other bigger organizations are unable, or unwilling, to do.
Given the economic violence in Lebanon, the most pressing needs people are facing are financial, but our group is also focused on providing non-material forms of support as we try to contribute to building a community rooted in political solidarity and economic justice.
For inquiries, one-time donations, or if it is cheaper/easier for you to donate through other means (bank transfer, MoneyGram, cash payments, etc.), please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org